Released in 1979, the first Volkswagen Caddy, also known as Volkswagen Golf Mk1 Caddy is a coupe utility and van based on the Volkswagen Group A1 platform, shared with the small family car Volkswagen Golf Mk1.
Volkswagen Typ is:
- 147 = LHD (Left-hand drive)
- 148 = RHD (Right-hand drive)
Caddy debuts internationally as a Rabbit
The Caddy came into fruition when Volkswagen was experimenting with Golf derivatives, an estate and a pickup.
Volkswagen of America was interested in the pickup, and Volkswagen released the Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup in North America, produced at the Volkswagen Westmoreland Assembly Plant in Pennsylvania from 1978 to 1984. Trim levels such as LX and Sportruck were available. In North America the Caddy came with 2 engine choices. The 1.5L diesel and the 1.7L petrol. One unique feature of the diesel was that it came with a 5 speed gearbox, with the 5th gear labeled as “E” or “Economy”. The Caddy actually wasn’t called Caddy until 1982 when it was released in Europe.
The Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup competed with other coupe utilities such as the Ford Courier and Subaru BRAT of the time.
Caddy debuts in Europe
The Caddy nameplate was never used in North America. Its first use was in Europe in 1982, when the Caddy came to Europe.
European Caddys were built in Volkswagen’s plant TAS in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1982 till 1992.
The original Caddy was produced in South Africa until 2007, alongside the first generation Golf itself (which was sold until 2009). The stamping equipment was shipped from the closed plant in Westmoreland for both models.
The 1979–1984 Caddy pickup used the following engines:
- 1.5 petrol
- 1.5 diesel (1980)
- 1.6 petrol
- 1.6 diesel
- 1.6 diesel w/turbo in Canada and abroad
- 1.7 petrol
- 1.8 petrol
However, during its long production in South Africa it has been available with the following engines:
- 1.6 petrol 63 kW
- 1.6 petrol 60 kW
- 1.6 diesel 44 kW
- 1.8 petrol 70 kW