Rich Robertson was basically born with a wrench in his hand. His dad was an old-school air-cooled VW nut. In short – Rich has been around Veedubs his whole life. But enough with all that. No one cares about Rich lol. Ya’ll just wanna know about Rich’s Rabbit truck here… so you can get a lil bit of that A.D.H.D. adrenaline-inspiration that makes you look for sweet deals on Marketplace through the wee hours of the night. Fair enough, we’re here to please. So in that case, here’s what you probably need to hear:

VW pickup

Eventually, you find yourself at a point in life…

Where there is a redeeming, soul-quenching quality in being able to actually use/utilize the cars that you build. When they’re not just a porcelain doll on air…

…Or a tire-killer that spends more time on jackstands than actually killing tires.

paint rust effect

You’re not about to abandon the lifestyle

But you want to find a way to make the lifestyle work for your life.

I get that feeling from my slammed bricknose F150 (some of you may be familiar it). Like this Rabbit pickup here, my old F150 is cool enough on its own… just cruising through town. But it’s like… the full balls… when you pull up to the lake LOW with a 2-stroke stand-up jet ski on the back & slide that thing into the water. It’s a whole way of life at that point. You’re using something that you love… to do other things that you love. And in a similar way…

MK1 volkswagen

Rich uses his VW Caddy… ‘like a truck’.

It’s the vehicle he just ends up grabbing the keys for when he leaves the house. His go-to for the daily grind. And it just works! This VW pickup is small enough to be fun, playful, and super economical. Yet it’s utilitarian enough to do 80% of whatever Rich needs to do with a truck. It sits on Enkei 92s that aren’t over-cambered. And he’s got coilovers in front, with an axle-flip & air-shocks in back with a small remote tank. So whenever Rich needs to load-down the bed… he just loads-up the shocks. No problem! Even with the bed full, the Caddy doesn’t miss a lick.

VW truck

And with this Volkswagen truck’s ABA 2-liter 8V swap…

It makes enough torque to keep you smilin’, while being reliable & simplistic enough to keep you sane. Hell I think this 2-liter swap ran him a good bit less than $1,000 in total. And these photos were taken on a 4-hour weekend road-trip to Maggie Valley. Rich doesn’t hesitate to put it out there. He hasn’t had hardly any problems with reliability. And any issue he has encountered… has been easy & inexpensive to fix.

VW rabbit

The paint & patina…

Rich did the era-inspired striping by hand with rattle can spray paint. In fact, the majority of the ‘surface rust’ you see on the truck is also just strategically applied brown spray paint. He posted a video of the paint process, along with his techniques to give it the aged effect. Pretty cool stuff!

VW caddy

Rich has built a ‘clean & pristine’ VW before…

It was a MK1 Cab. But he eventually came to the realization that perfection was becoming a real kill-joy. He didn’t take the car out much. And when he did… he spent more time stressing over it than enjoying it. So who really owned who?

VW caddy truck

So many VW enthusiasts nowadays…

Chase total perfection in all the details. These guys spend yeeeears doing bodywork that only another Volkswagen nerd would ever notice (no offense guys lol). And they drive their cars through beeeeautiful scenery, on trailers. But like… are they missing the real moments? Lifestyle moments? The whole reason for the love in the first place?

Volkswagen truck

There’s something that just feels comfortable…

About rocking an older vehicle that’s seen & survived some years. Something that’s not so damn fragile. It’s not true every time. But sometimes – part of being an enthusiast is embracing the mileage… not erasing it. So there it is, that’s your ‘seed’. Now go hit Marketplace & turn it into a garden lol.

Photos by lil brother, Alex Robertson


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