1986 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Wagon – REVISIT

The impossibly clean ’86 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Wagon we featured last month is back up on offer, this time with a Buy It Now price of $4,450. Let’s face it, for not much scratch, this would look a lot better than that anonymous SUV in your driveway, wouldn’t it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Wagon on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site September 16, 2015:

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Beige-off: 1986 Volkswagen Quantum Wagon v. 1987 Audi 5000S Avant

One of the unintentionally funny quotes from Stephen King’s Pet Semetery was the haunting warning from the crusty old Jud Crandall; “Sometimes, dead is better“. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “What, Carter? You’re the biggest Audi/Volkswagen fanboy who writes in complete sentences on a daily basis! And now you want to suggest that these two classic VAG wagons shouldn’t have been buried in the Micmac Indian burial grounds?” Well, I wouldn’t go that far but it does seem that 1980s Audi and Volkswagen products of this ilk are resurrected from the underworld because we see them so infrequently. And for enthusiasts, inevitably they’re not quite the cars we wish had been saved. As a result, besides both being beige in color, these two wagons are completely beige in their totality. Neither was a top-spec car originally though they were both fairly expensive – the Volkswagen stickered at around $14,000 in 1986 without options, while the Audi was the best part of $22,000 base price in 1987. Both come with the long lived but rather forgettable KX-code 110 horsepower inline-5 engine, and both original buyers opted to pay an astonishing $1,000 extra (from memory, it’s been a while) for the dull-witted 3-speed automatic. And then, if that wasn’t enough, both buyers selected their respective marques’ beige tones in a celebration of their mediocrity. Yet here we are, nearly 30 years later, smiling just a bit to see both in overall very good shape. Who wins the “race to watch the paint dry” competition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Audi 5000S Avant on eBay

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Duocorns: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Syncro Variant and 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed

In yesterday’s Audi project post, I wrote up two more-rare Audis with potential, though both would require some work and dedication to get to daily driver status. Today, I’ve got two more “project” cars – though, if anything, these two are considerably more rare these days than either of the two Audis. Both are all-wheel drive wagons from Volkswagen, but if you can quint and see a family resemblance, that’s about all that links them together. The first is the B2 Audi-derived Quantum Syncro – essentially, an Audi 4000 quattro with Volkswagen hubs, wheels and brakes and a unique rear suspension under the Quantum body. The Passat W8 also shared Audi A4 all-wheel drive components but essentially was a completely different offering, from the 6-speed manual transmission this model sports to the unique W8 motor stuffed into the discreet Passat Variant package. While there were considerably more Quantum Syncros produced than W8 6-speeds, finding one today can be quite hard – many succumbed to poor residual value, rust and neglect; though not complicated cars, the were more expensive to work on than the standard 4-cylinder models. The W8 is at the verge of falling into the same fate, with the exception of original production numbers – with only a handful of W8 Variants imported originally, both of these cars are serious unicorns these days. Which is your style?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 Syncro Variant on eBay

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1988 Volkswagen Quantum GL5

Love the recently featured Audi Coupe GTs and Audi 4000 Quattros? Well, if they’re quickly getting out of your price range there is an option few think of that combines the GT and 4000 into a unique package. Although the 4000 front wheel drive was offered early on with a 5-cylinder engine, after 1982 if you wanted that rally-bred inline-5 you had to get a Coupe GT – or did you? The revised and slightly restyled Quantum offered the 5-cylinder engine as well in “GL5” form, both front and all wheel drive. They’re rare to find in good shape and most hold out for the Syncro wagons, but if you’re looking for a unique daily driver Volkswagen this GL5 in Tornado Red may just fit the bill:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 on eBay

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1988 Volkswagen Quantum GL5

Long before Volkswagen started its march to market dominance, the 1980s were a bit of a patchwork in terms of the US product offerings. While the Golf, Jetta and Cabriolet were relatively decent sellers, there were other cars in the lineup that lagged behind the competition in sales, even when they were competitive when it came to equipment and driving fun. Case in point the Quantum, or what is now known (and always was to the rest of the world) Passat.

These sedans and estates offered a bit of upscale engineering at Volkswagen prices, with the Audi 2.2 liter five cylinder engine under the hood. In 1986, Volkswagen unleashed the Syncro Wagon, which, contrary to its name did not share the Golf Syncro four-wheel drive system. Rather, this five-door had the Quattro four-wheel drive system from the Audi 80. The Syncro Wagon has a dedicated if small following, whereas the sedan is kind of a lost soul in the history of Volkswagen. This Quantum GL5 for sale in New York represents the final year this car was sold in the US, leaving Volkswagen without a mid-sized offering in the US until the B3 Passat arrived in 1990.

Year: 1988
Model: Quantum GL5
Engine: 2.2 liter inline five
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 88,836 mi
Price: $3,600 Buy It Now

1988 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 on eBay

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1988 Volkswagen Quantum GL5. 88,836 Original Miles
Engine: 5 Cyl, 2.5L
Transmission: Auto
VIN: WVWFB0323JE031913
Exterior: Red
Interior: Grey
Body Style: 4 Door Sedan

This very rare VW Quantum GL5 has GL trim, automatic transmission, power brakes, cloth seats, power windows, power door locks, power sunroof, tachometer, cruise control and air conditioning. Engine is in good shape, does not smoke, does not leak, nice and quiet. Transmission feels perfect, shifts without any problems, without delay, and without noise. Suspension is in excellent shape, car tracks nice and straight. There is no evidence of any electrical problems.

The exterior is in Excellent shape for a 1988. Cloth seats, carpet floor and glass are all in great shape. Interior of this car is nice and clean. This Quantum has four matching tires that are mounted on good straight aluminum rims. Our mechanics have replaced fuel pump as well as rotors and pads. It will be sold with a clear title and it will be sold as-is, where-is.

You just don’t see late model Quantums in this kind of shape roaming the streets anymore, making this auction a very unique opportunity. One glaring problem with this Quantum, for me, is that it is an automatic. It certainly would be a lot more fun with three pedals. But considering the gearbox and the price, this car might wind up as a comfortable commuter for someone or perhaps a first ride for a kid looking to stand out from the crowd. That is, if someone in the VW enthusiast community doesn’t snap it up first.

-Paul