What is a Volkswagen Caddy?

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1981 Rabbit Pickup (Diesel)

1996 Caddy (Gasoline)

1981 Rabbit Pickup
Mfg. Westmoreland, PA, USA

1996 Caddy
Mfg. Uitenhage, South Africia

The Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup was first manufactured in the town of New Stanton, Westmoreland county Pennsylvania from 1979 through to 1983. Based on the Rabbit (Golf A1) chassis, these water-cooled models were originally made for the US and then the US and Canadian markets. The US pickups were sold in the 1980 to 83 model years and the Canadian pickups were sold in the 1981 to 83 model years.

In the US the vehicle was referred to as the VW Rabbit Pickup, but in other parts of the world, it is referred to as the Caddy. Where did that name come from? Just like the US Rabit was named Golf in the rest of the world, the Caddy name was a take off on that sporting theme; "Golf", "Caddy".

United States Rabbit Pickup Sales Figures

Year Sales
1979

____78

1980 25,532
1981 33,879
1982 12,769
1983 _4,861
1984 ___392
1985 _____2
Total 77,513

After manufacturing of the pickup in the US came to a sudden halt mid way through 1983, production started in Yugoslavia for the European market later that same year. The European truck that was based on the American design was called the Caddy and was produced at rates of about 1000 per month until war broke out in 1991. The "original" Caddy is still manufactured at the Uitenhage VW plant near Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The visible differences between the North American Pickup and the European Caddy were the headlights and bumpers. The North American models had the square 4x6" Halogen sealed beams. 1980 pickups were sold with European fenders and the turn signals on the front bumper. In 1981 all pickups had turn signals to the immediate outer corners of the truck resembling the 83 to 84 American made Rabbit GTI. All European models had round 7" H4 Lights with signal lights mounted on the front bumper. North American Pickups had metal front bumpers and the LX series had a metal rear bumper (the base model had no rear bumper) license plate lights are mounted on the body of the truck. European Caddies had two separate bumpers on the rear with a space left in the centre to allow mounting of a longer license plate. License plate lights were also mounted on the bumper instead of the body of the truck. Front bumpers were the standard Golf 1 issue with back plastic covering them.

Canadian models were available with a choice of one engine. The 1.6L 48 hp diesel with 4 and 5 speed manuals transmissions. American customers also had the choice of the 57 kW (78 hp) 1.6L or 54 kW (74 hp) 1.7L gasoline engines as well as the diesel engine.

European models came with various 1.8L 8.5-1 compression Cabriolet / Scirocco gasoline engines with the later models having Digifant injection other models had the 1.6L diesel.

What Volkswagen parts can I use on the Caddy? The Caddy is for the most part, the same as the four door Rabbit / Golf Series 1 or four door Jetta Series 1 from the rear of the front seats forward. The rear suspension is totally unique to water-cooled Volkswagens with the absence of coil springs. Instead there are leaf springs with a rate of approximately 75 lbs per inch. The 200mm rear drum brakes are also different from the rest of the A1 series, these are borrowed from the Audi 4000 to help stop any large load you might be carrying. Later style 180mm adjustable drums are an easy upgrade option with Scirocco 16v disc brakes being the ultimate solution. Exhaust systems are also unique to the Caddy. Tectonics of Oregon is one of the few manufactures to produce high quality galvanized and stainless steel performance exhaust system for the pickup.

Currently a second generation of Caddies are being produced for the European market. The Caddy Pickup is based on the Skoda's Felicia and the Caddy is base on the Seat Ibiza / Cordoba serries, which is also the basis for Volkswagen's Polo Classic (small 4-door sedan) and Polo Variant (small 4-door station wagon).

1987 Caddy Pickup 1996 Caddy

1987 Caddy Pickup

1996 Caddy


Rabbit Pickup Technical Data


1980 Pickup Truck:

Gasoline Engine power: 57 kW (78hp) @ 5500 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.6L
Fuel & Air Supply: CIS Fuel Injection 

DieselEngine power: 35 kW (48hp) @ 5000 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.5L
Fuel & Air Supply: Mechanical Fuel Injection Pump
Dimensions Vehicle Length: 4.36m
Width: 1.64m
Height: 1.43m
Weight Total: 986kg
Front GVWR: 638kg
Rear GVWR: 348kg
Fuel tank capacity: 57 litres
Oil capacity: 3.5 litres with filter


1981-83 Pickup Truck:

Gasoline Engine power: 54 kW (74hp) @ 5500 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.7L
Fuel & Air Supply: CIS Fuel Injection 

DieselEngine power: 38 kW (52hp) @ 4800 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.6L
Fuel & Air Supply: Mechanical Fuel Injection Pump
Dimensions Vehicle Length: 4.36m
Width: 1.64m
Height: 1.43m
Weight Total: 986kg
Front GVWR: 638kg
Rear GVWR: 348kg
Fuel tank capacity: 57 litres
Oil capacity: 3.5 litres with filter


1984-97 Caddy:

Gasoline Engine power: 60 kW (82hp) @ 5200 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.6L
Fuel & Air Supply: CIS Fuel Injection 

DieselEngine power: 38 kW (52hp) @ 4800 rpm
Engine displacement: 1.6L
Fuel & Air Supply: Mechanical Fuel Injection Pump
Dimensions Vehicle Length: 4.38m
Width: 1.64m
Height: 1.49m
Weight Total: 986kg
Front GVWR: 638kg
Rear GVWR: 348kg
Fuel tank capacity: 60 litres
Oil capacity: 3.5 litres with filter

Side phantom view

Front and rear phantom view


Paint Codes:
The Rabbit Pickup had a limited quantity of factory colors to choose from. This is not a complete list and I am looking for more colors and paint codes. Please email me if there is some color that I have missed.
 

1980
Black - L041
Alpine white - L90E
Lago blue - LE5B
Mojave beige - LE1N
Tabasco red - LE3A
Sunbrite yellow - LE1N
Mountain green - LE6B
Diamond silver metallic - LE7Y
Tarpon blue metallic - LE5V
Inca brown metallic
1981
Black - LO41
Cashmire white - LE9C
Lago blue - LE5B
Mojave beige - LE1N
Royal red - LE3C
Sunbrite yellow - LE1B
Forest green metallic - LE6Z
Diamond silver metallic - LE7Y
Slate gray metallic - LE6U
Sandstone metallic - LE1Y
1982
Black - LO41
Cashmire white - LE9C
Lago blue - LE5B
Mojave beige - LE1N
Royal red - LE3C
Mahogany - LE3K
Forest green metallic - LE6Z
Diamond silver metallic - LE7Y
Slate gray metallic - LE6U
Burnished gold metallic - LE1Z
1983
Black - LO41
Cashmire white - LE9C
Lago blue - LE5B
Mojave beige - LE1N
Royal red - LE3C
Mahogany - LE3K
Jasper green - LE6D
Diamond silver metallic - LE7Y
Slate gray metallic - LE6U
Frost blue metallic - LE5U