The Truth About Cars » dasher http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:05:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » dasher http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1980-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1980-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 13:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=817145 The original Volkswagen Passat, which was essentially an Audi 80, was sold in the United States as the Dasher. We saw this two-door diesel Dasher at a Northern California wrecking yard last year, then this first-cousin gasoline-burning ’75 Audi Fox a couple months back, and now we’re heading back to California for a super-rare four-door […]

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24 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe original Volkswagen Passat, which was essentially an Audi 80, was sold in the United States as the Dasher. We saw this two-door diesel Dasher at a Northern California wrecking yard last year, then this first-cousin gasoline-burning ’75 Audi Fox a couple months back, and now we’re heading back to California for a super-rare four-door diesel Dasher.
02 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car was slow even by generous 1980 standards, but diesel fuel economy must have made diesel VW buyers feel smart. I took my driver-training classes in a Rabbit Diesel, and I’m pretty sure the top speed of that car was about 52 mph.
13 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car appears to have been driven down from Alaska, judging from the body rust, moss growing on the trim, and these parking stickers.
14 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is packed with damp Alaska Airlines aircraft shop manuals, probably a couple hundred pounds of them.
15 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI’m sure I could have picked up a Boeing manual for cheap or even free, but I decided that I’d be able to live without it.
09 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWas it still running when it got scrapped? Who can say?
16 - 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIt’s hard to use up a car this thoroughly.

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Junkyard Find: 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1979-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/junkyard-find-1979-volkswagen-dasher-diesel/#comments Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=491017 Having taken my driver-training classes, circa 1982, in a VW Rabbit Diesel, I thought I’d experienced the slowest car available in the United States during the second half of the 20th century. I was wrong! The oil-burning Dasher (which is what the V.A.G. called the first-gen Audi 80 aka VW Passat in North America) had […]

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15 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinHaving taken my driver-training classes, circa 1982, in a VW Rabbit Diesel, I thought I’d experienced the slowest car available in the United States during the second half of the 20th century. I was wrong! The oil-burning Dasher (which is what the V.A.G. called the first-gen Audi 80 aka VW Passat in North America) had the same 49 (!) horsepower diesel as the Rabbit, and it weighed between 100 and 400 pounds more. I hadn’t seen a Dasher of any sort for at least a decade, and I don’t recall ever having seen a Dasher Diesel, so this find in a San Jose-area self-service wrecking yard was startling.
17 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe entire spectrum of Malaise Era signifiers may be seen here, from the brown-and-orange tape stripes over tan paint to the rear-window louvers to the gigantic 5 MPH crash bumpers.
06 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSince the Rabbit Diesel could be purchased with an automatic, I must assume that the same power-robbing option was available on the Dasher. This one has a 4-speed, which meant that its 0-60 times were probably around 150 seconds instead of 180.
10 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeone bought the diesel engine, for reasons that probably made sense at the time.
04 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust 119,341 miles on the clock, which is only about 3,500 miles per year… or 20,000 very economical miles per year followed by 28 years of sitting in a driveway.
08 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSuch luxury!
07 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWait, the engine— or at least the long block— is still there!
01 - 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWe laugh at this car now, but the owner of this Dasher almost certainly did a lot of gloating as his ride cruised right past the gas lines caused by the Iranian Revolution-triggered energy crisis.

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Junkyard Find: 1977 Volkswagen Dasher http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1977-volkswagen-dasher/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1977-volkswagen-dasher/#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2011 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=412892 When Volkswagen finally decided to try this newfangled water-cooled engine idea, their first effort was the Audi 80-derived Passat. In North America, this car was badged as a Dasher, and it didn’t exactly break any sales records. Prior to finding this example in a Denver junkyard earlier in the week, I hadn’t seen a Dasher […]

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When Volkswagen finally decided to try this newfangled water-cooled engine idea, their first effort was the Audi 80-derived Passat. In North America, this car was badged as a Dasher, and it didn’t exactly break any sales records. Prior to finding this example in a Denver junkyard earlier in the week, I hadn’t seen a Dasher for at least a decade.
The ’77 Dasher two-door hatch listed for $4,510, which was about $450 more than the Datsun 710 hardtop, $850 more than a six-cylinder Chevy Nova hatchback, and $700 more than a Plymouth Volare six-cylinder sedan. With front-wheel-drive and generally more modern design, the Dasher was somewhat more sophisticated than much of the competition, but on the expensive side for car shoppers accustomed to paying under three grand for a Beetle.
DPD air conditioning! That must have presented a challenge for the Dasher’s 78-horsepower engine. I’m going to see if my friend with a ’76 Audi Fox has any use for parts off this thing.

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Curbside Classic: 1978 VW Dasher/Passat Diesel (B1) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/curbside-classic-1978-vw-dasherpassat-diesel-b1/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/curbside-classic-1978-vw-dasherpassat-diesel-b1/#comments Wed, 06 Jan 2010 18:17:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=340881 We have so many facets of VW history to cover, and in the inimitable randomness that defines CC, we’ll do it non-linearly (except for Honda). But the Passat (and that’s what I’m going to mostly call it) plays a very pivotal one. It marks the beginning of VW’s successful entry into the modern world of […]

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black on black

We have so many facets of VW history to cover, and in the inimitable randomness that defines CC, we’ll do it non-linearly (except for Honda). But the Passat (and that’s what I’m going to mostly call it) plays a very pivotal one. It marks the beginning of VW’s successful entry into the modern world of light, roomy FWD cars, and it presaged the Golf, the mother of its category. But before we give VW too much (any) credit for this brilliant car, let’s not forget that the Passat was nothing but an Audi 80 (US: Fox) with a sloping hatchback rear end.

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Now that’s the car I would really like to be writing about, because in the early seventies, the Audi Fox/80 was perhaps the most influential and desirable compact car available in these parts. Its perfectly clean and uncluttered design was a profound contrast to the heavy baroque styling theme that hung over the seventies like an old wet shag carpet. But I have been unable to find a B1 Fox/80, although I know inevitably I will. In the meantime, let’s throw some of our Foxy adulation the Passat’s way.

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Before any VW/Audi historians in the cyber-house yell K 70!, we do need to acknowledge that VW began building and selling NSU’s FWD sedan in 1970, after VW’s takeover of NSU in 1969. We can’t do that interesting car full justice here, but let’s just say that it was typical of the very advanced yet compromised designs the smaller European companies. It was very roomy for its size, but it suffered from rather mediocre fuel consumption and performance, and it was expensive to build. It died after a few years, but gave VW the heart to jump into FWD with both feet.

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The Audi 80 was a natural evolution of Audi’s existing range, the larger 100 and the older 90, and it used their well-proven longitudinal FWD arrangement, with the engine canted  a bit for a low hood line (the K70′s high hood due to its different engine-over-differential arrangement was one of its detriments). Audi designed the superbly compact and efficient 827 series engine that has powered a gazillion VW-family cars, and was also successfully converted to diesel as in this Dasher.

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The B1 80/Passat was nothing like its current successors today: it was a delicate, compact and very light (2400-2500 lb) car, yet remarkably roomy. It was efficient, well built, and best of all, fun to drive. It opened a huge number of eyes to what advanced design and engineering could do, especially compared to Detroit. Just think Pinto and Vega, if you want to compare this with what Detroit’s B&B came up with in terms of a modern small car.

The more I write about this Passat, the more I realize this CC should really have a “Revolutionary Car” or some such grandiose title. We’ll save it for that Fox I will find. Back to the Dasher at hand: This is a ’78 or later car, because it sports the modified front end; the earlier ones looked like this. Also, this Dasher is a diesel, which first came out in ’78 too. With 48 hp on tap, the zero to sixty (un)dash took almost twenty seconds. My sister had a diesel dasher Wagon, and she loved that car; getting mid-forties mpg during the second energy crisis was the cat’s meow.

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Non-diesel US Dashers shared engines with the Golf; using a 1.5 L 70/75 hp four, which was supplanted by the much more desirable fuel-injected 78 hp 1.6 after 1976. The FI 1.6 was a willing partner in the pursuit of Fahrvergnügen, as was the excellent steering, handling and brakes. The 1.6 B1 could give a heavier 98 hp BMW 320i a hell of a run for its money.

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It’s a good thing I stick mainly to older cars, because I’m pretty clueless when it comes to current trends, like these Ronal teddy-bear wheels. I thought for sure they were cheap plastic wheel covers at first glance. Would someone please clue me in to their origin? Stephanie almost talked me into coming back late at night with a lug wrench and jack when she saw them… I find it a rather unlikely combination; the wheels must have cost more than what this venerable Dasher is worth today. Or did his wife talk him into a late night outing?

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