Killer Rabbit: An LS-Swapped 1984 VW (With Video!)

033SEMA 2017 1984 VW Rabbit

“Wanna see my favorite car of the show?” asked David Freiburger as we wandered through a startling array of muscle and metal in the outdoor display of the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. Of course I did, so he led me past a miles-deep black Lincoln and around a very handsome ’80s Monte Carlo. “Oh, oh wait, I want to see that Rabbit,” I said, catching sight of a red VW flare surprisingly stuffed with tire. “That’s it!” he said, “That’s the best car. That is a really good car.”

032SEMA 2017 1984 VW Rabbit

Later I went back to get the details on the really good car. It’s a recent build, so new that its first miles came when owner (and builder) Connor Hofford drove it the three miles from the hotel to the convention center. It’s a 1984 VW powered by a 6.0 truck engine with an LS3 top end. Behind the powerplant is a Muncie four-speed and a narrowed Ford 9-inch. “Very narrowed,” said Connor when we asked for details. “It was originally from a 1964 Galaxie.”

030SEMA 2017 1984 VW Rabbit

Connor and his friends did all the work on the car, from smoothing out the body panels, “It had been packed into a pole,” to sourcing and retrofitting the BBS wheels. Inside is an era-appropriate plaid but cleaned up and classy. Connor keeps an eye on the action with a headliner-mounted RacePak dash. He seemed pleased, but slightly overwhelmed by all the attention the car was getting. “It’s really been an honor to have it here,” he said, and promised to let me know what it runs when he gets a few more miles on it.

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Roadkill Fall 2016 Cover