Junkyard Find: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Four-Door Hatchback

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1980 volkswagen dasher four door hatchback

With the 1986 Quantum GL5 Junkyard Find we had a couple of days ago, we might as well make this a VW junkyard week. With that in mind, I present this icky-looking Volkswagen Dasher today.

I shot this car in Northern California a few months ago, and it showed all the hallmarks of a car stored outdoors for decades: low miles, paint burned off upper surfaces, moss and lichens growing on the shaded areas. Look, not even 100,000 miles on the clock!

This one was a luxurious model with sunroof and [s]air conditioning[/s] a diesel injection pump.

The 1980 four-door hatch version of the Dasher listed at $8,190, which was $2,300 more than the Rabbit four-door hatch. Meanwhile, the far more luxurious and powerful (keep in mind that 1980’s standards for luxury and power differ from the ones we might apply today) Datsun 810 wagon (soon to be rebadged as the Maxima) listed at $8,129. Not that Dasher and 810 shoppers were the same people, but these comparisons are fun to make.

Yes, I bought the MotoMeter clock… and it works!

The car of choice for Kentucky Colonels.

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  • Cabriolet Cabriolet on May 14, 2015

    Back in the late eighties i was shipping a lot of diesel 4 door sedans to Ireland for a local wholesaler. At the auction in the Bronx he purchased a 2 door 1984 VW Diesel in error and to dump it offered it to me on the cheap. Car only had 18,000 miles and ran like a top. The car was a stripper with only a heater and radio. Top speed down hill 85 MPH with the windows closed. Have a ticket i got in Penn showing 85. My daughters other half is a NYC Police Capt so i was able to get the ticket cancelled. I drove that car for 5 years and 85,000 miles with only tires and a battery. When my daughter got married i gave the car to her to drive to work. Of course after another 20,000 miles she got hit in the back by a hit and run truck and ended back in my backyard. My buddies son was going to collage in Ct at the time so he brought the car from my daughter and after 4 years of driving to school and seeing his future wife in Ct the car had another 125,000 miles on it. The car is still on the road with 845,000 miles going between Boston and Bridgeport every day. The owner drives with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver in case the car dies. This way he can walk away with the plates. All this on the original unopened engine. The oil was always changed on time and problems were attended to as they are all engineers. As for the matter of engine shake the front motor mount has to be adjusted every couple of years or replaced. A new mount is only $14.00. I wish i could buy another one just like it today.

  • Autojim Autojim on May 15, 2015

    With the power-to-weight of a Diesel Dasher being what it is, it's possible the moss & lichens grew on the car while it was in motion.

  • Akear The Prius outsells all GM EVs combined, which is really not saying much.
  • Akear The sad truth is the only vehicle FCA sold that broke the 200,000 sales barrier was the 200. I rented one and found it impressive. It is certainly better than the Renegade. At this point I would buy a used 200 over a Renegade. Who in their right mind would buy a Renegade?
  • Akear I just realized 80% of these EV vehicles producers are going to be liquidated within the next five years. It is not possible to survive by selling only 3000 vehicles a year. This reminds me of the dot.com bust of the late 90s and early 2000s. Those who don't learn from history repeat it.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I drove a rental Renegade a few years back. Felt the engine (TIgerShark) was ready was ready to pop out from under the hood. Very crude!! Sole purpose was CAFE offsets. Also drove a V6 Cherokee which was very nice and currently out of production. Should be able to scoop up one at a fair deal.🚗🚗🚗
  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.