By on February 22, 2016

1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon

Since September, the collective wisdom of the Internet has changed. Before, the ideal car — as decreed by keyboard warriors across this great nation — was an all-wheel drive, manual, diesel wagon. Now, however, oil burners are less popular than even Jeb Bush.

Today’s feature checks all three remaining post-Dieselgate fanboy boxes.

For some brief insight into my process for finding three classics per week for your perusal and ridicule: I don’t read the headlines while shopping. Instead, I quickly scan the lead photos for something that catches my eye. I’m a data geek at heart, and I’ve found that I average over a thousand cars scanned per day. Sometimes this method finds a poor listing, like the car-cover clad Fiat Dino on eBay that I shared to Facebook yesterday. But other times, I find stuff I never would have considered otherwise.

Today’s feature, a 1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon, wears the iconic “Snowflake” alloys also found on the original GTI, and thus was immediately thrust into consideration. Those wheels always grab my eye.

This is priced like a future collectible, but I’m certain there won’t be a future at Pebble Beach or Barrett-Jackson for this Quantum. It’s a fascinating, early, all-wheel-drive sports wagon, in the vein of the big brother Audi 5000, nothing more. With under 52,000 miles, it’s in great condition save the fading exterior plastics, but this is a $3,000 car at best, especially considering the lack of undercarriage photos and the Iowa location.

Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s valuable.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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137 Comments on “Crapwagon Outtake: 1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon...”


  • avatar
    sirwired

    I could understand some uninformed Craigslist seller trying to list it at $6,700, but you’d think an actual used-car dealer (presumably one aware he/she lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere that is necessarily going to have somewhat of a limited market for obscure mid-80’s European cars) would know better.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      Small towns actually drive prices up. I live in Gainesville Florida. Last summer, when I was looking for a new car, I discovered I could save a few hundred to a few thousand dollars by driving to either Jacksonville or Orlando.
      Though this price is ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve always pulled people down from your neck of the woods (Ocala, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Beverly Hills, Lake City) for the same reason – there ain’t much on the ground and what’s there is a) overpriced, b) lousy, c) both.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      I’m sure the dealer is hoping some UNI would-be hipster with deeply pocketed parents falls in love with this thing. Gotta spend that ethanol windfall somewhere, dontcha know.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I barely remember anything called a Quantum from this time period.

    51k miles is pretty amazing though…and a AM/FM tape deck on top of all that! 14″ inch wheels and the interior looks surprisingly clean. No way I’d spend $6,700 on this. Apparently these are in high demand in Iowa.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      No.. no they aren’t.

      IIRC back when I used to browse Autotrader for fun this C&S car dealer had more then a few cool rides show up to it, but they always seemed over priced..though $6700 is a little ridiculous by even those standards.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        Basic engineering. Two things cause a piece of machinery to wear out – friction and oxidation.

        A low mileage 30 year old car has to have almost all of its soft parts replaced, but few of its metal to metal parts. This example is going to need a lot of soft part replacements.

        So, take $6,700 less that cost plus the cost of a brown paint job, and you got it.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Rare is right, rare even when they were new. Does any of the B&B have the actual importation numbers for the Quantum with Sycro option?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      A year or so ago in traffic on the opposite side of town from where I live, I saw a B3 Passat Estate TDI. This has to be a similar type of unicorn.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      In total, about 3000 Quantum Syncros were sold in the US. I have no idea how many were wagons.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        You’d have to keep a few around for parts.

        I can’t even imagine trying to get the AWD system fixed on this.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          So it’s probably the same one they put in the Vanagon Synchro, yeah? Why didn’t they just use Quattro bits, given they were already putting them all over Audis?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I have no idea what they used in these, but whatever it was, it was aggressively bad.

            How bad was the 5000? My dad dumped it in less than a year…for a four-banger 190E…and he was 6’4″.

            The mid-’80s were a dark time for Dad car wise…he traded an awesome manual BMW 733i on the Audi, then in rapid order dumped that for the 190, and then a W123 300D with vinyl seats.

            But he did end the decade strong with a W124 300E. Magnificent car. That got traded in on a 400E a few years later, which was even better.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s much different than the Golf and Vanagon Syncros. It’s basically the same as the 4000/80 Quattro.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have no problems with the 190 or the 300. Solid designs, both of em – if a bit bland.

            Your dad had money!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Corey:

            Yep, we had money back then.

            Good news was that I got to drive around in some very cool cars.

            Bad news is that I got a taste for very cool cars that I was never going to be able to act on after I married my ex, and her out-of-control spending issues (and criminal tendencies).

            I’d say the 190 wasn’t bad, but the main problem was that it had an AWFUL back seat and way too little power. My dad was a big man and barely fit in it. Mercedes cured the power problem with the 2.6 but the car was still far too small.

            But the 300E was just about perfect – roomy, good looking, amazingly well built, and stellar on the road. Dad traded that in on a 400E with the 4.2 32-valve V8 a few years later, and I think that may well be the best overall car I’ve ever driven.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            He still around these days?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Corey:

            Nope, he went to that big car show in the sky a few years back.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @Freed

          This uses the same basic VAG system used by the more common Audis of the period. Probably not fun to have fixed but the drivetrain isn’t a one off. However model specific parts such as body panels or interior trim may be 40% unobtanium by volume.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Thanks, 28. Still, no way I’d drop thousands of dollars on repairs on a 30-year-old VW. Some people have a fetish, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Some of us had a C3 illness at one time or another. In some of us, it may only be dormant… its tough to explain.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Not a particularly rare car in northern New England back in the day. I would imagine not very many in New Mexico though.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m put off by this! The price is double what it should be, as you mention. As well, it looks like the passenger side front fender is rusting by the wheel arch cladding. The paint is really unimpressive too.

    And for what it’s gonna take in hard-to-get parts, you might as well get a 5000 Quattro Avant, which is roughly 375% better looking and superior in every way.

    This 200 Quattro Avant (manual) sold for $3,400, and it has WHITE LACE ALLOYS. Which factually trump all other wheel styles.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audi-Other-AVANT-/201482445659

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “…you might as well get a 5000 Quattro Avant, which is roughly 375% better looking and superior in every way.”

      Superior to taking a bus, maybe…my family owned one of these and it was a complete, unrepentant piece of dung. The only redeeming value was that I could put the back seats down and fool around with my girlfriend in the back when I was short money for a hotel.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Well, the Quantum is a piece of dung too.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Why not have a nicer exterior to look at, and larger, nicer interior to luxuriate in, and better badge on the front – in an equivalently reliable piece of dung?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          If you’re a glutton for ’80s VAG punishment, might as well go all the way with it!

          BTW…the 5000 had the exact same door handles as my ’81 Rabbit. And guess what? Just like on the Rabbit, they popped loose too. That Audi was so bad it made my dad’s mid-70s Caddies look like they were made of pure unobtainium.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            There’s something about 80s and 90s Quattros which have such a look of competency and serious purpose about them. That is not present in an equivalent-age VW product.

            5000 trigger handles don’t like to be wet or cold or outside. It’s your fault for doing those things. At least the passenger side broke on mine, so I could still get in on me way to high school with dignity.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oh no. We’re going to go down the 80s Audi/VW door handle road. They were all sorts of bad. They broke, fell off, got stuck open, etc. Terrible.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            One used to be able to buy reinforcement plates that went around the door handle and supposedly prevented people from breaking into your VAG by simply pulling repeatedly.

            I had two Audis and a VW that used those handles. I also lived in miserably cold and wet Blacksburg, VA at the times, aka Bleaksburg. It was the only time in my life that I carried aerosol lock de-icer and a device that resembled a key blank connected to a shorted battery that would heat up and melt the lock free without killing the power locks in one of the Audis.

            One of my Audis was a 4000S quattro, which had much in common with this Syncro. I ripped a hole in the exhaust near where the manifold connected to the pipe. At that point I learned that although there were only a few thousand US market 4000 quattros, there were two completely different exhaust systems. One was a two-piece, and one was a one-piece. The important difference between them was that one cost about what the car was worth, while the other one cost about twice what the car was worth. I was assured that they were not interchangeable. While an Audi specialist dreamed of a new JetSki, I found a good old boy in the hills of Bleaksburg to weld up the hole in my exhaust for less than $100.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Which factually trump all other wheel styles”

      You’re fired.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      In the St Louis area I could get an ’86 Camry for just $2k (the Citation looking thing), this VW should be somewhat close to that.

      Why’d I not buy that Camry? Too much rust, and the few times I inquired one thing or another would mysteriously break. Last time it was the water pump, would at least need a battery, alignment, suspension work, and rust repair after buying. Someone had already tried to buy it once, but returned it when the fuel pump died.

      Say what you want about uber-unreliable European cars, all old cars have the potential to be headaches.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Ha ha! Two grand for a rusty Camry? I had one, same year, no rust, low miles, one owner bla bla bla. Fμ€k¡n hated that thing. With four (not large) adults on board, it plowed and slid like I had it full of cement.

        Oh, but it was A CAMRY! so it mustve been reliable! It reliably broke down when I truly needed it (like the morning of my first day at a new job, on my way to interviews, on my way home from work after a 12 hour shift), yes indeed it was very dependable…as in you could depend on walking to your destination. It loved to randomly stall and refuse to start for a couple days, then it was fine. Toyota dealer said they could find nothing wrong. Every little thing that broke on it was $200+ if it was a dime. NSS gave out, Toyota wanted my eternal soul for a new one, $100 for a used one at a Toyota-specific yard. I bought the used one and it worked ONCE. I took it back and was charged a 25% “restocking fee”. I asked the guy how many times he planned to “restock” a defective part in order to rip people off with it. He pretended not to hear me. I by-passed the NSS because I had no choice. Allowing the car to be able to start in gear was a small price to pay for it to be able to start at all.

        The final straw came when it died in traffic and an old Escort (chrome bumpers, thats how old) pushed me onto the shoulder so I wouldnt be blocking traffic any longer. I walked several miles to a dealership owned by the company I worked for, and they lent me a recently traded in 1996 Aspire 5 door 5spd. I drove it all weekend and tried to buy it on Monday, only to be stopped by the people who traded it in. Turns out they had 2nd thoughts about giving the car up and wanted to buy it back.

        I got the Camry started later that day and promptly traded the thing in at a BHPH lot for a 1990 Festiva L. I only paid TTL on the Festiva, otherwise it was an even trade. Well, I got the far better end of the deal. I put an oil pan gasket and a set of plugs/wires on it and drove the §#¡Г out of it for over a year before selling it for more than I originally paid for the Camry.

        I had originally pulled into the BHPH lot to look at an 80s BMW 3 series coupe, but its engine was louder than a 7.3L PowerStroke, so I walked around until I spotted the Festiva in the back. They had just gotten it in, was traded in at a Ford dealership, then they bought it from a wholesaler.

        Out of 120 or so cars Ive owned, that Camry was the only one I ever traded in at a dealership. And I did it out of pure frustration. They couldve offered me $200 and I mightve taken it.

        Ive had worse cars (1996 Chrysler Concorde LXi was the worst as far as mechanical issues, but at least it was nice to drive when it wasnt broken down), but there is a special place in hell for that Camry. My current Taurus has many more miles (about to roll over 208k!) than the Camry did, but I trust it 100% and have no reservations about taking a long trip in it, etc. I trusted the Camry to be a POS, and it did not dissapoint.

    • 0 avatar
      never_follow

      Yes! Best wheels indeed.

      The 7.5 in wide ones that were on the V8 are a favourite of Vanagon owners as they were forged, adding much lightness, strength, and class. They’re also one of the few OE wheels that are rated for it’s weight if memory serves. (Something about them is very desireable in particular to the van guys, and I can’t remember.)

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        My dad had an Audi V8 4.2 with the base AMG-style 6-spoke wheels. I was always a little mad at him for not forking out for the lace wheels.

        On my own account, I had plenty of fun cleaning these:

        http://www.carid.com/ic/replace/factory-wheels/aly01475u20-1_6.jpg

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Sorry gents, but I have a fevah and the only cure for this fevah, is more VW cow-bell. This ’80s throw-back is over-priced, but that’s what haggling’s for. I grant you your Audi, but a ’80s VeeDub with Quattro tech, workable amount of rust and that oh-so-funky interior just does it for me, but maybe not for $6700. Add to it, it’s 30 years old and is up for ‘classic’ status; a true hipster wagon. He may just get someone to pay that.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    At least these got the cool 14″ snowflake rims from the Mk1 GTI. Other than that – “crapwagon” indeed.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    VAG odometers like to quit working in the 80s and early 90s product, which means this is TMU and the 52K number is bullsh*t.

    Not being an Audi really hurts this, $1500-2K. Add another $500-1000 for an Audi, another $2K for being a Audi 5000/200TQ because that’s the best C3.

    Somebody call Scott at 888-351-7579 and tell him to shove it up his ugly ass.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Sect of 5000 concurs.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Also, dude wants $16K for an 07 Silverado with 220K. That’s lunacy right? It’s not a diesel!
      http://www.candscarcompany.com/en/hot-buys.cfm

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      For this price, the vehicle would have to be an immaculate 5000TQ, 4000TQ, or GTI. An Audi Coupe/Quattro would run more because of rarity.

      And when I say immaculate, I mean showroom quality after 30 years.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I could see stupid numbers on an Audi Coupe because there has to be a dozen or dozen and a half people in the US who would sit up and take notice. Not the cheap VW branded TMU equivalent. A smart indy would have shopped this on VW Vortex on an OTD cash price of say 5 (which is still way too much) and take advantage of someone’s sickness. Then if that didn’t work try to find a local collector. I guarantee Scott has no money in this POS but he’s gotten very greedy, but what do you expect from a man selling used Dodge Avengers at MSRP? I can’t even see any rational bank writing paper for this so its going to be a cash deal… ZIRP’d proles want to spend big money on obscure second bests? To quote ODB Achieves, N*gga please.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They may finance it if the buyer puts their tax refund down as down payment.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well everything is upside down and inside out so maybe someone, somewhere, would write paper for this but I sincerely hope not. Not a bad car for the right money but she’s a Sunday car in 2016. She’s also going to need to rear main serviced and also the bomb if so equipped so $$$ off the bat.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I do like how the rear end looks like a Mercedes 300E wagon. That’s something else you could easily find for this money.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Might even be worth buying too vs this interesting oddity.

            Evidently its a B2 and not a C3 as I had initially suspected (so Audi 4000).

            W124 > B2.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            W124 > pretty much anything made in the ’80s.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    30-year-old VW with AWD.

    http://disinfo.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/JokerBurnsMoney.jpg

  • avatar

    For $1200 more. someone just bought an ’08 A4 Avant w/115k, navigation, new tires, sunroof, and leather from me.

    Couldn’t even dress the moldings and clean the rockers for 2x acceptable asking price?

    People like this give me a bad name.

    P.S. On closer observation, this is a FRANCHISE dealer. Jesus, take the wheel.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    The Quantum was actually called Passat in Europe. FYI. Just thought we all should be clear on this.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Price is silly, of course. That dough would have netted you this lovely Avenir, which does everything the VW does except break every other week.

    http://japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1990-nissan-avenir-2-0si/

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oh no! The front is a Primera, and the back is a Taurus GL.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I love drooling over the cars on that site.

      Diesel stick shift Hilux Surf (read: 2nd gen 4Runner) with an awesomely-maroon interior? yes please!
      http://japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1990-toyota-hilux/

      Funky luxo-van? Why not?!
      http://japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1990-nissan-homy/

      Supremely versatile camper van (diesel, 4wd, stick shift)? be still my beating heart!
      http://japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1990-mitsubishi-delica/

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Come on Homy, let’s go!

        There was that other site too, where the cars are still in Japan. It was on that Honda BEAT article. So much interesting stuff, and pristine Excursions.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Goo-net. You’re on your own to figure out how to get that stuff over here, though.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yes, that!

            Presumably it can’t be hard as long as it’s 25+ old. Many many people have done it!

            I wonder about bringing in something which was sold here though, like the Excursion. I think you’d have to prove it was not altered for sale in the JDM. Of course it sounds ridiculous to import something which was sold here, but those were cleaner and lower mileage than any available in the US, and the prices were reasonable.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The logistics would be the hard part, of course. Goo-net is basically Japanese autotrader, so you’d have to arrange the sale with the seller, pay them in yen from a Japanese bank draft, then negotiate the fun Japanese bureaucracies involved in removing a car from the country, arrange for overseas shipping, then fill out all the paperwork on the US side and get the customs inspection done, then go have some more fun explaining to your local DMV and insurance company what a “Bongo Friendee” is.

            The Excursion would be slightly easier, if you can get a letter from Ford documenting that the VIN is for a USDM vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That sounds like something to undertake in retirement, for funsies when I don’t have anything else to do. Completing the seller negotiation and pickup is the hardest part I bet. I doubt any of them are too eager to deal with an American.

            I’m sure the Japanese Classics site has a man on the ground acting as agent over there.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Of course. They go back and forth to Japan pretty regularly, and they have arrangements to store some cars short-term until they’re old enough to import.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            How you know dis? Friends with owners?

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            FB postings and a little deductive logic. I do live about 90 minutes away from their US facility, so I’m going to go visit sometime in the next few months.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You should do a write-up when you do, for here!

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Ha, DeMuro and Motorweek beat me to it. Plus, I expect LandArk will have been there for a Figaro by then.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah shucks.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            I might bang out a Ur-turn when I get my Skyline (and/or Presea) next year.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh man, 4WD MasterAce diesel! Already in the US, and boy is it clean.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-Van-Masterace-Surf-Super-Touring-/252292049377

            It’ll be gtem’s favorite thing of today.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            That could be fun, though I’d definitely want to see some paperwork before bidding.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahh there’s even a Century on right now.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Toyota-Century-/111909656593

            Someone needs to rescue that burgundy beauty from Alabama and put stock wheels back on immediately.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The owner should receive a polite yet emphatic letter from the Japanese Embassy regarding the desirability of restoring the car to a tasteful appearance.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Unusual to find one that’s not black or silver, as well. That burgundy is clearly the original color.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    From the Autotrader listing:

    “Try finding an all-wheel drive wagon with miles under 52,000 at this price!”

    I love it, what a transparent piece of spin. I can’t imagine anyone but a fetishist being tempted by that price or hoodwinked by that marketing. As the owner of a recent vintage VW 5 cylinder, 5 speed manual wagon, I approve of this car’s existence. But I am not an independent VW mechanic so it is not allowed near my driveway.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    VW liquid cooled cars of that time had 13″ wheels. 14″s were the ‘deluxe’ for the GTI and some Quantums.
    Hard to believe now,but those wheels were a “Hot” item. Dealers would show up early Monday to find all the GTIs that were parked outside on their bellies with all 5 wheels and tires gone. Yep 5, most VWs at the time had full size spares.
    Some dealers removed the GTI spare and replaced it with a regular Rabbit steel wheel. Then would sell 4 at a time to Wanna B GTI owners for their Rabbits.
    And double yep, this car is going to be a mechanical and electrical nightmare.
    All makers were suffering from quality control troubles at the time, VW more than most. Peugot and Fiat dropped out entirely. We all thought VW was next. Could never understand how they went from the aircooled cars with one of the highest quality reps to one of the worst in a few years…

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      Not all makers. My 1987 Mazda 626 (which was virtually identical to the 1986 Mazda 626, the same age as this car) went more than 170,000 miles with exactly four unscheduled repairs: I had to have the ignition switch replaced at something like 120k on a recall; I put a water pump in it at approx. 150k; I had to put replacement front halfshafts at about 120k; and I had to replace an alternator at maybe around 150k. I sold it with the original clutch and front rotors on it.

      I was in the South so rust was not a concern.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    For some reason the quality control on these was absolutely atrocious, even by very low 1980s VW standards. There’s a reason it’s rusting and fading despite having only 51,000 and clearly one or more devoted owners.

    One of my neighbors growing up had a first-gen GTI (in the early ’90s, so not new) with those wheels and was so, so proud of it. He drove like the typical Dub Scene guy, without any regard for nearby pedestrians or hazards.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Didn’t Car and Driver score a class win in a 24hrs of LeMons race with a Quantum Syncro Wagon? Surely that means it was at least comparable in quality to an Alfa Romeo Milano.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If all you need is a running drivetrain and a bit of remaining metal to weld your roll cage to, it’s probably good enough. Just don’t expect things like rust protection or non-cracked plastic.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Surely that means it was at least comparable in quality to an Alfa Romeo Milano.”

        So much for setting the quality bar high…

        My ’81 VW Rabbit actually ran great. It was the stupid little stuff that went wrong constantly – the most notable stuff was door handles that came off, window cranks that broke a few times a year (I actually began buying a back up supply), trim pieces that fell off, and an A/C condenser tube that got plugged up and filled the right front footwell with condensation water on hot days (which in St. Louis was basically every day from June to August). These were all apparently endemic to ALL Rabbits.

        There’s a reason why these guys got nuked by Toyota and Honda in the ’80s.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        It’s basically an Audi 4000 (aka Audi 80), so it should run OK. A friend ran one of these till the early 2000s without major issues. Seemed a lot tougher than the 5000 (aka 100/200), probably because it was a very basic car.

        This one is 30 years old though. All bets are off.

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      I’ll add to this (used 1983 VW GTI and ’82 Jetta diesel).. the mechanicals of 1980’s VWs were quite durable and simple – probably why they make good Lemons racers. Electrically and trim wise – well that’s another story…

  • avatar
    Stevo

    Oh this is right in my wheelhouse. Seems that Seattle was a prime sales location for Dashers and Quantums so I saw them around often. Since my first car was an 86 Jetta, second a 200 TQ Wagon, both purchased well after date of manufacture, this would tie that era together nicely. I hope it has the upshift light.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    I have no interest in a car like this but I guess I could see a hipster or other eccentric driving one just to be different. It’s kind of a cool car in that sense.

    And while this car is a spectacularly rare unicorn in North America it’s based on the VW B2 platform that sold millions for a long, long time. A quick search didn’t turn up an total global sales numbers but I did see that VW sold over 200,000 Santanas in China in 2016 – a full 26 years after this car was built.

    So the aftermarket is awash in VW B2 platform parts. Things like window cranks may very well break as often as commenters here say. Rockauto has them in stock for $3.29 a pair.

    Similarly, it looks like most suspension, engine and drivetrain components are available fairly cheap. A timing belt/water pump kit is a little over $100, for example.

    It’s not for me, but keeping this thing running as a hobby looks pretty doable.

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    The author is making the mistake of attempting to apply logic to Volkswagen ownership. There are a dozen guys in the country who would do anything for a syncro wagon. This is priced for them, at the high-end of what a pizza deliver guy can manage.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    About 1000 years ago, I actually had one of these, 87 and red as well. It was only offered as a wagon so as not to compete with the 4000 Quattro, which was mechanically identical. These are geared short, so the MPG isn’t great. Mechanical locking diff. Mine came with the optional feature of randomly not starting when the temperature was below 40 degrees, which is a nice feature on an AWD wagon. Replaced it with a 100 Avant, which was later replaced with a 90 Quattro 20V. Sigh. But I learned eventually. Well, sorta. These days I have a XC70 T6. Back to the future, I guess.


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