1986 Volkswagen Quantum Wagon

The lineup of unlikely VAG survivors continues today with this second generation Volkswagen Passat, of course badged the “Quantum” for the U.S. market. This model replaced the lovely and popular Dasher model which had been available in several configurations. Briefly, the new B2 continued that and if you’ve ever seen a 1982 Quantum 2-door hatchback in person in the U.S., you might be alone. The model was dropped quickly, though continuing on was the Variant (VW-speak for wagon) model. And because the underpinnings were shared with the B2 Audi, things started to get pretty interesting for the upscale VW. And, confusing.

Volkswagen was happy to tout the Quantum as the sole “German engineered Grand Touring car sold in America that was available as both a sedan and station wagon and came equipped with a 5-cylinder, fuel injected engine, front-wheel drive, power assisted rack and pinion steering, four-wheel independent suspension AND cruise control”. You don’t say, VW? Seriously, I think they could have left a few modifiers off that description and it still would have been true. The weird part is that the upscale Volkswagen actually tread on the toes of its even more upscale competition – the Audi 4000. Though early 4000s had the 5-cylinder available as an option, when it came to the mid-80s Audi saved the inline-5 only for the quattro models and Coupe GT/5000 front drivers. The 4000 grabbed the engine from the GTI, instead. But you could still get a 5-cylinder Quantum, and you could get a wagon version. Heck, you could even get a Syncro version of it, but only as a wagon!

Here’s where things get even more confusing. The 5-cylinder is usually associated with the moniker “GL5” – the upscale sedan with alloy wheels. And indeed the base Quantum Wagon in 1985 came with the 1.8.…

1986 Volkswagen Quantum GL Syncro Wagon

Last week’s “Right Hooker” week passed a bit too quickly to allow me to fully explore all of the unique options available to European customers. For example, one car I really hoped to feature was to locate an original Golf Syncro. Starting in 1986, Volkswagen partnered with Steyr-Damiler-Puch and made a unique alternative to corporate partner Audi’s quattro drivetrain utilizing a viscous center differential. Puch was also responsible for design and manufacturing of the T3 Vanagon Syncro, which used a different viscous coupling system because of the rear-drive platform and nature of the Vanagon. In addition to the transmission of power forwards, the T3 also offered a rear differential lock while both center and front were viscous.

But in 1986, there was a third option. Because the Volkswagen Quantum (née Passat) shared nearly all of its internal architecture with the B2 Audis, fitment of the quattro setup from the Quattro and 4000S/CS quattro was possible – so Volkswagen did it. As there was no Audi B2 Avant, Volkswagen offered the new Quantum quattro – also badged Syncro – in Wagon form, and only in wagon form. This meant that there was no competition crossover between the 4000 quattro and Quantum Syncro in the U.S. market. The Quantum also continued to run smaller 4x100mm hubs versus the Audi, which allowed it to utilize the same “snowflake” Avus wheels borrowed from the GTI. Pricing was on par with period 4000 quattros, though – base price was $15,645, but equip the Quantum similarly to the standard 4000 with power windows, mirrors, locks and sunroof and you’d quickly crest $17,000 – about $4,000 more dear than a standard GL5. Unlike the 4000, Quantum Syncro Wagons came standard only with power steering, brakes, cruise control and air conditioning. You had to opt-in the power package to get the other items.…

1983 Volkswagen Quantum GL with 12,500 Miles

A few weeks ago Craig wrote a post in which he talked about Netflix’s Stranger Things, an exhaustively accurate depiction of life in 1983. However, one glaring problem immediately stuck out to me as I watched it. The moment the character Barb appeared in her Volkswagen Cabriolet, I scoffed “that’s not an ’83”, much to the bemusement of my wife, who was turning to me every time a car appeared on screen. As these series often go to great lengths to find era-accurate cars, it was strange for them to have what appeared to be a post-’88 Wolfsburg edition car in the mix, especially considering it’s possible to find plenty of 1970s Volkswagens. Plus, if they had just waited a few weeks, Barb could have instead borrowed her parent’s Quantum GL, which has sat in a loving state of 1983 since…well, probably 1984:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volkswagen Quantum GL on eBay

1978 Volkswagen Dasher Wagon with 23k miles – REVISIT

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The low mileage, mint condition Volkswagen Dasher Wagon we featured for a second time in November of last year has reappeared once again. They don’t get any better than this, so if you want to help clear your mind of recent emission scandal and reminisce about the good old days, this would be a good VW in which to do it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Dasher Wagon on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site January 2, 2014:

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:

1987 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon

The B2 Quantum has always been an interesting car to me. As my first car was an Audi 4000CS quattro, there were aspects of its Volkswagen sibling that I really liked. First, while I wouldn’t say that the Quantum was more handsome than the 4000, it was certainly more distinctive looking. There are some downright odd angles on the Quantum, but somehow the design pulls it off. It’s also more rare to see them, or at least it felt so when I was driving around in the 4000. Then there were more practical things; for example, unlike Audi who ran the odd 4×108 pattern for slightly larger brakes, the Quantum stuck to smaller stock and retained 4×100 mm wheels. That made upgrades a bit easier and gave the Quantum a signature look with the GTi-sourced snowflake wheels. You could also get the 5-cylinder in front drive sedan configuration with the GL5; it was something Audi offered early on but had dropped, instead having only the Coupe GT be the front drive 5-cylinder. But the real trump card for the Quantum was undoubtedly the Syncro Wagon, as there was no Audi B2 wagon available in any configuration:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro on eBay

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

1985 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Variant

I make no pretensions that my 2002 Volkswagen Passat is the most special car that has ever been made; heck, it’s not even particularly special amongst Volkswagens. But to me, it’s a very nice car, very fun to drive, it looks great and it’s very capable. It gets good gas mileage and can carry a huge load of cargo and it’s a rare color combination. I try very hard to keep it in good shape; to me, it’s hard to believe that it’s already 13 years old but time seems to click quickly. My hope is that someday my rather run-of-the-mill Passat will be like this car is; a throwback, a car rarely seen, and one that makes even the modest spec seem quite special indeed:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Variant on eBay

Afternoon Accessories: Volkswagen Dealer Goodies

It’s always cool to see some rare dealer bits; from big promotional posters to service guides, they’re a neat way to relive the past and have some cool details to go along with your automotive passion. Today I have a roundup of Volkswagen dealer pieces. First off is the neat Global Rallycross calendar that is signed by Scott Speed, Tanner Foust and Michael Andretti. There’s a service guide for 1969 which is cool for aircooled folks. But I love the posters – there’s a 1986 Quantum Syncro Wagon original poster and a more modern Beetle RSi Cup poster. And there’s a cool fleet brochure – can you imagine specifying 1988 GTi 16Vs for your fleet? I’d love to work for that company!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Volkswagen Motorsports Signed Calendar on eBay