Crapwagon Outtake: 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.
Tifighter on Feb 24, 2016
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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