• Aug 16, 2007
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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]



PRESS RELEASE:

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.


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  • 26 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Six months! That says it all for VW............
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Anyone who is able to get 30 years out of a VW ought to have been given a free replacement."

      I didn't see where it said he owned it all 30 years, just that he owned it. Crap, he could have bought it a month ago... so getting anything free for just owning an old vehicle is a plus, even if it's just for 6 months.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They should have just given him a Jetta TDI or something similar. I agree that he shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth (and he probably isn't) but as far as PR is concerned, this makes VW look cheap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW diesels are great, own 2 Jetta TDIs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      well all though i offered them to take my car i really do enjoy driving thins car. it does use more gas then my rabbit but i signed into this knowing that. i have never won anything and it made me so happy to win something like this. yeah it would be nice if i got a new jetta TDI or something like that but i thank VWOA all the time for this chance.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Agreed. This is a stupid promo. Saab is giving anyone who has bought a saab new and driven it 1mil mi not just one person, if i recall correctly. Why give the rabbit owner a toureg for 6 months? It just sounds weird. Give him a new rabbit or give him gas/service for a year/the life of his 77 rabbit. Something like that is more suitable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow.Some people can really whine.The guy's getting something for nothing and basically is entitled to nothing.I'd be flippin' grateful as heck.
      • 7 Years Ago
      FYI, the 2006MY Touareg V10 TDIs were 50-state compliant due to special admittance (type-thing) given to VW.

      The 2007 and facelifted 2008MY are not, even though they have the same engine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The 6 months is likely timed to coincide with the launch of the new Jetta TDI.

      An it's a Touareg V10 TDI because that's the only diesel that VW has *at the moment.*
      • 7 Years Ago
      seriously -- they couldn't have just given him the damn thing? though a new Golf (or Rabbit, whatever they're calling it now) TDI would've been more appropriate.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You've taken a guy out of a 2600 lb and put him into a 5400 lb car. Way to show what you're doing for the enviroment, VW!
      • 7 Years Ago
      A lousy promotion by VW. Mr. Wilson's prize for having the oldest diesel Rabbit is a six month Touareg TDI loaner....what a joke. As another reader stated, give the guy a 2008 Jetta TDI to keep. I hope the PR department will be willing to pay for a new set of rubber after Mr. Wilson reenacts the scenes from the Bourne Utimatium through the streets Tehachapi, California.
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