Home » Looking For Car Collection Ideas? Consider A Volkswagen Champagne Edition II Collection: Cold Start

Looking For Car Collection Ideas? Consider A Volkswagen Champagne Edition II Collection: Cold Start

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Starting a serious car collection is not a task to be taken lightly. Even if we ignore the considerable expenses involved, there’s the question of theme. Sure, you could just be some boring-ass incurious, unimaginative chump that just gets a garage full of white Lambos and McLarens and Bugattis and other supercars, but the world has plenty of those already. Who gives a shit about that? What if you picked a really unexpected theme for your car collection, like, say, the 1978 Volkswagen Champagne Edition II limited run series? What then? I don’t think I’d be exaggerating too much to say that, in all likelihood, doing so would improve the fundamental quality of life of every human being by a massive amount.

massive amount.

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I mean, just consider what a fun collection this would be! In 1978 Volkswagen was in a strange, transitional period. The move from the original Volkswagen formula of air-cooled, rear-engined cars to the Auto Union/NSU-derived front engine/front wheel drive cars was well underway, and along with that came the change from the old rounded, bulbous styling that had its roots in the 1930s to the ItalDesign crisp linearity that would define VW’s water-cooled cars.

Sure, the old air-cooled cars were on their way out, but they were by no means gone. There were still automotive niches that nothing else could fill, so in 1978 VW had this very interesting lineup of modern, crisp-looking Rabbits and sporty Sciroccos and sophisticated Dashers, but also Buses and Beetles, now just in convertible form.

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It’s an interesting set of cars! You really have something for every automotive mood: sporty, comfort, efficiency, open-air motoring, sleeping in your car, you name it! Sure, none of these are exactly the best at, well, almost anything, but they’re all fun, in their own way!

The air-cooled holdouts here are especially interesting, I think, for some compelling reasons:

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In 1978, your choices for a four-seat convertible were, what, a Rolls-Royce Corniche and this, the Beetle convertible? And in 1978, when VW decided to champagne the fudge out of the Beetle, you got something classy as all hell: a convertible the color of metallic root beer and creamery seats and one of the no-joke best convertible tops in the industry, fully padded and insulated and with a glass rear window. Plus, wood appliques on the dash!

Then there’s the camper variant of the Champagne Edition Type 2 Bus, one of the only actual campers you could just walk into a major car dealership and just buy. And maybe the only camper you could easily use to commute to work in, as well.

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I’m just saying, this would be an exciting, novel car collection to have! Hell, look how VW described the Champagne Edition II:

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What is that, a wedding invitation? It may as well be, all calligraphied to hell like that! I’ve read there were only 1100 of each were made, just enough for two per dealer! Just two! Two examples of VW’s finest, lovingly slathered in the twinkliest, browniest paints and the richest, thickest, most chocolatey velours, I mean, what’s not to like?

You should probably watch some commercials about these Champage Edition II cars:

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There’s some unrelated ads after the VW ad, but if you want to watch those too, I’m sure as hell not going to stop you. Here, let’s watch another ad, this one focusing on the Dasher, perhaps one of the most forgotten VW nameplates:

I hope I’ve made a compelling argument to those of you with money searing smoldering holes in your pockets, as you stare longinly into your vast, empty garages. Get yourself the whole Champage Edition II set! Find them, restore them, do whatever it takes! In the end you’ll be the envy of, um, me?

You’ll love it, trust me. Plus, none of these has more than 100 horsepower! In fact, the highest hp is in the Dasher, with 78. Oh, and the Rabbit and the Scirocco have the exact same, 71 hp! That seems kinda nuts, right? But who cares? Fun is fun.

Here’s to you, Champage Edition II collector!

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Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
3 months ago

Ooh the stripes on that tin top bus! 😀

You COULD choose the Triumph Stag as well for a 4 seater convertible, but that would be your own fault if you went that way…

Last edited 3 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
3 months ago

I briefly owned a 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Wolfsburg Edition and while it looked good, it was by far the most unreliable car I’ve ever owned!

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
3 months ago

Much swankier than the Expresso collection from Plymouth! 1999 Voyager/Breeze/Neon.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
3 months ago

I owned a 78 Scirocco in the 80s. The black on white stripes and air dam celebrated an SCCA class win and included Recaro style seats. Unfortunately it also included Karmann rust and I junked mine when the strut towers started to come loose. The Rabbit and Scirocco having the same horsepower is normal, they are the same car under the skin, although the Scirocco got a unique dash with an oil temperature gauge in the console. This is also why Sciroccos are tight on headroom, the seat base is the same height as a Rabbit but the roof is lower.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
3 months ago

“And maybe the only camper you could easily use to commute to work in, as well.”

Can confirm. I daily drove a Westfalia into the early 80’s. Footprint of a compact car, easy. Mine was more of a butter edition. Beige paint and sort of mould green tartan upholstery.

Now I would love a passenger variation of that era. No leaky louvred side windows and less weight to haul around. And if I’m going to be really picky, maybe a working heater. 😉

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
3 months ago

Awesome! I really like each of these models already especially the Rabbit- now I want this whole collection

Mike F.
Mike F.
3 months ago

I think I’d rather go with a small collection of the two available four-seat convertibles, and find a metallic brown Rolls to match my VW.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
3 months ago

I briefly owned a 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit Wolfsburg Edition and while it looked good, it was by far the most unreliable car I’ve ever owned!

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
3 months ago

Sorry, my garage is already full of the Ford Centennial Edition lineup from 2002.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
3 months ago

Your writing style seems…the same(genius), I guess I expected some profounderey. I replaced the outer convertible top on my 71 Karmann Ghia (third attempt, the charm) as a young lad, and the early VW tops were indeed the Tops.
Bring back the Karmann Ghia !

76Eldorado
76Eldorado
3 months ago

My Dad still has his 78 champagne edition Bug with I think optional AC that I drove to my senior prom in 2000 that got hot on the way there stalled and I had to get a jump start from a guy in no shit a chicken truck. My date was not impressed with that car after having to push it in her dress. Also fun fact these cars don’t have a VW badge on them.

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
3 months ago

I already have a brown Vanagon so I think I’d rather go for Champagne Super Nova instead

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
3 months ago

Did I miss Jasons return? Or is this it, either case welcome back Torch! Hope you are feeling you’re crazy self!

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
3 months ago

We knew the family who owned the VW/Subaru/Peugeot dealer in Merced, CA for several years.
She drove a Champagne Edition Dasher until the new Quantum came out – then a blue Jetta.
He drove a succession of 604s

Jnnythndrs
Jnnythndrs
3 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

604’s were spectacularly comfortable cars.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
3 months ago

I just want the Scirocco, and it needn’t be a Champagne Edition. Mine wasn’t. I still miss it.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

I had two, and a Dasher, and yes I’d love to have one of them today. Just not on the expressway.

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

I still see Scirocco’s from time to time. But they are getting super rare to see. I loved that shape.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
3 months ago

I had forgotten the “Volkswagen does it again” tagline. One that you could extrapolate in any number of ways, like when NJ’s tourism slogan was “New Jersey’s got it!”

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

Or NY’s famous: New York, bring your whole gang.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

These are fascinating VW editions, but unless they were built in the Champagne region of France, they cannot legally use the title. I’m afraid they’ll have to be rechristened the “Sparkling Wine Edition.”

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

I really really want a Prosecco Edition Fiat 500e!

The Matts
The Matts
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Make mine a Cava SEAT 124 Sport, please and thank you.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

funkelnd Liebfraumilch

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Give me the Babycham Edition Morris Marina!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

France demanding reparations from Germany didn’t work out so well the first time.

10001010
10001010
3 months ago

Man I miss when cars actually came in interesting color combinations.

D.B. Platypus
D.B. Platypus
3 months ago

Torch, why do you always write “creamery” instead of “creamy”?

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  D.B. Platypus

Creamery. More creamy than creamy.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
3 months ago

If mixing nouns and adjectives yanks your chainery…

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
3 months ago
Reply to  D.B. Platypus

Written during a coffee break, perhaps.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago

Alas, I have champagne tastes with a box wine budget.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chronometric
NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

André Cold Duck has you covered

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago

Champagne edition VWs in 1979? Seems a bit fancy for the people’s car. Plus champagne is all French and stuff.

Maybe they should have made them the Budweiser editions. Or whatever the German equivalent is.

Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Budweis is the German name for the Czech city of České Budějovice, so not very German. And Budweiser is beer, not wine, but Germany makes some pretty good sparkling wines as well. So “Winzersekt” edition it will be.

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Ibert

Seeing all the “Bitte ein Bit” stickers on old Mercedes sedans makes me think Bitburger might be the best fit here.

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Ibert

Blue Nun edition ????

John Hower
John Hower
3 months ago
Reply to  Gilbert Wham

Boones Farm edition, for those on a very tight budget.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hower

Ugh: Strawberry Hill.
All too vivid memories of that rot—and the consequences.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Ah the good old days? We would buy that crap for a buck a bottle and hide it in the snow while skiing. It’s amazing how loaded one could get on that stuff at 11,000 feet elevation. And having to stop and pee whilst wearing ski stuff was always fun. Especially in 25 mph winds. Like which part was gonna freeze and fall off first, fingers or wang? Thanks for the reminder.

Christo Arvanitis
Christo Arvanitis
3 months ago

I still lust after the first gen Scirocco. I had a second gen and it was just not the same. My Corrado, however, was gorgeous and handled amazingly well. Underpowered but a blast on backroads.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

I preferred my 2nd gen to the 1st.

Christo Arvanitis
Christo Arvanitis
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

From a technology standpoint, I agree with you. It was comfy and had great seats and cockpit. I’m talking only about the Giugiaro styling which I find more memorable than the second gen that I had. That said, I never actually drove the first gen, only my gf’s first gen GTI which had the same underpinnings as I recall.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

I never drove the 1st gen either. At the time I greatly preferred the styling of the 2nd gen, now it’s a tossup. Both look good.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago

And maybe the only camper you could easily use to commute to work in, as well.

Dad did so for many many years. He has a ’74 if I remember correctly. Alas it is not champagne brown (… where do you get brown champagne?) but orange

Eric Davis
Eric Davis
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I think the rule of thumb is “If the champagne is brown, turn it down.”

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Davis

“If your champagne looks like root beer, make sure the doctor is near“

Mike F.
Mike F.
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Davis

Not surprisingly, I can’t remember – did Cold Duck verge on a brown color?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

I commuted in a 72 Westfalia for several years—down, then up a substantial mountain much to the disgust of my impatient fellow denizens.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Used to enjoy watching the other drivers flip the bird as they finally managed to pass us as we struggled to make it up the mountains. Good times.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Occasionally, I’d stoop to tossing peanut shells out the window as I ate them. For some reason that really got to people

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