[rescue] obscure vw facts

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Mon Apr 21 16:00:01 CDT 2003

On Mon, 21 Apr 2003, Kurt Huhn wrote:

> "Curtis H. Wilbar Jr." <rescue at hawkmountain.net> wrote:
> > 1986 Rabbit ?????
> > 
> > Where are you from... last year for the bunny in the US was 1984...
> > then it was replaced by the Golf (which the Rabbit was known as the
> > Golf almost everywhere else in the world except the US).
> I can't recall the year (hence IIRC).  However, this particular Rabbit
> was not made for the US market initially, it was born and driven in .de
> before being imported to .us.  That's what made it so special, at least
> to me, and the reason why I suggested it to my sister - who promptly
> trashed it.  :-(

hee hee.  one of my first paid programming gigs, good god, 20 fsckin'
years ago!? was writing a program to decode vehicle identification numbers
(VINs - since ~ 1980, the standard 17-digit alphanumeric stamp on your
dash, engine block, and typically in one or more locations on the chassis)
and maintain a small database for tracking grey-market cars.  the
available data from the VIN books and mangled faxes from automakers was
awful and i ended up having to key in a bunch of it by hand, and sort of
fudge a lot of it...[0]

but i remember noting with some irony that the "wolfsburg limited edition"
series vw's were largely built in westmoreland county, pennsylvania[1], at 
least the ones destined for domestic use.

what's more scary is that for a while - and forgive my feeble memory now,
this was 20 years ago :-) - i had memorized a bunch of VINs for testing,
including some that produced "cool" reports (aston martins, ferarris,
etc).  seriously, i could practically identify your car by its VIN from
memory, since i'd spent so many hours typing in all that data...

-- chris

[0] obRescue:  the program ran in 16K on a dg nova _clone_, under the
"BITS" operating system - which itself was an offshoot of the IRIS os.  
for a couple of years, i was probably the most knowledgeable BITS BASIC
and dg nova clone hardware hacker in the entire pacific northwest, a
highly dubious honor at best...

[1] when i lived in pittsburgh and went out for drives with my dad on the
weekends, there was a really cool windy road near that plant where we used
to turn off the engine of his old mustang and just roll down that hill -
it was like 5 miles of twists and turns with just the sound of the wind
and the leaves and a few squeals of the tires... :-)

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