Paradise Taxi Continued
Me and My Rabbit Taxi “Yellow One”
Our “Rabbit Transit” business cards
Paula and I both had Volkswagen “Rabbits” for our personal taxi’s. Everywhere else in the world these are called “Golfs” Paula’s aunt and uncle used to visit Hawaii about ever-other year and one time in 1979 they had moved from London and retired to Wales. Her uncle had bought a Golf and was praising it to High Heaven. He suggested that I get one for the Taxi business. I found out that they produced them with diesel engines and I was very interested in checking one out. Of course at that time In Hawaii the only Volkswagen dealership on the Big Island was in Hilo. So Paula and I headed off to Hilo after her aunt and uncle returned to Wales. We arrived at the dealership just in time to see this salesman drive up in his demo Rabbit that was yellow and had several Rabbit Decals on it. Paula liked it right away and so I told him we wanted to buy his demo Rabbit. He was shocked and said that there were several other Rabbits in stock that we could buy but he wasn’t going to sell his demo. I said okay and where can I find your boss, please? Needless to say I drove that demo back to Kona later that day. I was surprised that when I asked him where he got his Rabbit Shaped business cards he actually told me and called the company there in Hilo and told them that he was giving me permission to use that die to cut out the Rabbit shape at no charge. That Rabbit was one of the best investments I ever made. I put 325,000 miles on it on an island 3o mile wide and 60 miles long. I could seat 4 people very comfortably and their luggage would fit in the huge hatch area. Once I took 6 Japanese guys and 2 just hopped into the rear hatch like they did it every day. I also took 6 Americans once and 4 people sat in the rear seat and two ladies rode up front with me. They lady who sat practicably on the gear shift had to lift one cheek for me to shift and they all just cracked up every shift. I only had one place where I just couldn’t go up this steep, steep driveway with four people and tons of luggage. Thankfully the front door to their condo was very close to the street and we managed those bags okay. After my great experiences with the 1979 VW Rabbit, I decided to purchase one for Paula to use as a Taxi.
Unfortunately by that time all the 1979 models were sold out and the new 1980 models were being made in the USA. The engine and transmission were still made in Germany and we never had any problems with those parts– everything else just fell apart! The roof leaked (they both had roll-back sunroofs) the headliner fell down, the upholstery wore out, the dash cracked and separated and it just rusted away. It did make money for a few years but the appearance was so bad that we had to replace it, and not with another USA built Rabbit either.
Sorry for my absence lately, I don’t have a good excuse but I hope that you will bear with me as I promise to do better. I also wish to remind you how lucky I was that Paula Was My Girl.