Junkyard Find: 1994 Volkswagen Passat GLX

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1994 volkswagen passat glx
There was a time when many American buyers of family sedans — particularly European family sedans — ordered their cars with manual transmissions and didn’t think such a choice was a big deal or weird in any way.Those days are gone, forever, but a trip to your local U-Wrench-It yard is likely to turn up something like this 22-year-old B4 Passat, complete with VR6 engine and five-speed manual transmission. We’ve had trucks for our last four Junkyard Finds, so it’s time for a car!
I spotted this car in a Denver self-service yard a couple of weeks ago, and its 172-horsepower VR6 engine is still there. It’s very rare for anyone to pull these engines from junkyard cars, so its presence did not come as a big surprise.
Someone added a Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe badge to the decklid, for some reason.
The third pedal is likely one factor contributing to this car’s demise because shoppers for cheap, high-mileage cars can’t or won’t consider a manual transmission. Volkswagen enthusiasts tend to be the worst cheapskates in the entire used-car-shopping universe, so trying to sell this car to one of them would have been approximately 10,000 times more frustrating than just feeding it straight into The Crusher.
When doing the early-1990s version of online dating (that is, using a 45-pound analog cellphone), it turns out that specifying your Volkswagen year and model is helpful when trying to find your prospective mate.
“It comes from the belief that driving is passion.”
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  • Augie the Argie Augie the Argie on Oct 19, 2016

    Had a 91 GL model with sun roof in Metallic Light Green, loved the way it drove for an unusually large Veedub, nice torquey 2nd gear. Nobody mention the enormous back seats with a reclining feature! Until as it was mentioned before the leaks of antifreeze, oil and all started... All the happiness turned into disappointment after another, gave it many chances as the car looked good and drove well. I know by now these were the malaise era for VW but my dad and I never considered one anymore. It lasted only 90k and when I crashed it I had a guilty sense of relief.

  • Macmcmacmac Macmcmacmac on Oct 30, 2016

    When I worked the VW lot back in the early 90's, there was one Passat that always had a wet carpet after a rainstorm. The owner told my brother and I to find the leak, which we did, after basically stripping the entire interior of the vehicle. Someone on the line neglected to install a rubber gasket around one of the tail lights. The head mechanic was furious, telling us we had removed some parts he had never laid eyes on in his entire career.

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  • Alan I would think Ford would beef up the drive line considering the torque increase, horse power isn't a factor here. I looked at a Harrop supercharger for my vehicle. Harrop offered two stages of performance. The first was a paltry 100hp to the wheels (12 000AUD)and the second was 250hp to the wheels ($20 000 (engine didn't rev harder so torque was significantly increased)). The Stage One had no drive line changes, but the Stage Two had drive line modifications. My vehicle weighs roughly the same as a full size pickup and the 400'ish hp I have is sufficient, I had little use for another 100 let alone 250hp. I couldn't see much difference in the actual supercharger setup other than a ratio change for the drive of the supercharger, so that extra $8 000 went into the drive line.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 ( Bronze or Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • ToolGuy Last picture: Labeling the accelerator as "play" and the brake pedal as "pause" might be cute, but it feels wrong. It feels wrong because it is wrong, and it is wrong because Calculus.Sidebar: I have some in-laws who engage the accelerator and brake on a binary on/off all-in basis. So annoying as a passenger.Drive smoothly out there. 🙂
  • Johnny ringo It's an interesting vehicle, I'd like to see VW offer the two row Buzz in the states also.