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Back in January when Volkswagen unveiled its new diesel Jetta TDI in Washington D.C., the German automaker began a campaign to find the oldest running diesel VW in the U.S. The search is over, with the eldest VW oil burner being a 1977 Rabbit owned by Clint Wilson in Tehachapi, California. The 1977 Rabbit was the first diesel passenger car sold in the U.S. by Volkswagen, and it appears that Wilson's is still in great shape, something VW no doubt hopes isn't lost on today's prospective diesel customers. The car's age was verified by Volkswagen of America and Family Volkswagen, a VW dealer in Bakersfield, CA. The search is still on for the VW diesel with the highest mileage, but in the meantime, VW has provided Wilson with a Touareg V10 TDI to drive for six months.

[Source: Volkswagen]

Related Gallery1977 VW Rabbit - Oldest VW diesel in the U.S.


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OLDEST VOLKSWAGEN DIESEL FOUND IN CALIFORNIA

1977 Volkswagen Rabbit Recognized As Oldest Volkswagen Diesel

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced that, as part of its diesel heritage search, it has located the oldest operating Volkswagen diesel vehicle in America, a 1977 Rabbit owned by Clint Wilson of Tehachapi, Calif. The Rabbit's was recently verified by Volkswagen of America and Family Volkswagen, a Bakersfield, Calif. based auto dealer.

"Diesel engines are noted for their long-term reliability and durability, so we didn't think it would be a problem to find a 1977 Rabbit that was still in great condition, like this one," said Steve Keyes, Volkswagen Public Relations Director. "The entries for the oldest (and the soon to be announced highest mileage search) not only represent cars that were well-built and well-maintained they are also interesting stories from people who are passionate about Volkswagens and diesel."

In recognition of owning the oldest Volkswagen diesel in the U.S., Volkswagen has provided Wilson with a new Touareg V10 TDI to drive for six-months. In addition to his 1977 Rabbit, Wilson also owns a Beetle that he is hoping to restore in the near future.

Volkswagen is a leader in the U.S. diesel passenger vehicle market with over 815,000 diesel vehicles sold since the 1977 Rabbit, the first U.S. Volkswagen diesel. In addition to the currently available diesel Touareg V10 TDI, Volkswagen has previously announced that the 2009 Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen, which will be available late first quarter of 2008, will feature a clean diesel TDI engine.