Kermit’s Other Car: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Wagon

In a strange twist of fate I promise was not entirely planned, we are heading from probably the most expensive and complicated Passat to the other end of the spectrum – the spiritual great-great Grandfather in this 1980 Dasher Diesel Wagon. A few weeks ago, I took a look at a very green 1980 5000 and suggested that it might be Kermit’s commuter. But if Kermit was a family man, something like this Volkswagen might have been the choice he’d make in 1980. The Dasher Diesel wasn’t sporty; you could read a Dan Brown novel in the time it would take you to leave a light and hit 60 miles per and hour at full chat. But it would get over 40 miles per a gallon and if properly (and sometimes improperly) maintained, these diesels are still clacking like new today. However, like the Passat W8, the Dasher falls into a strange gray area of lack of enthusiasm. For every other 1980 Volkswagen model you can find large groups of fans, but the Dasher – despite its unique three different configurations at that time – can’t find much love these days. Like the Audi 5000 from the other day, can this Onyx Green Metallic with matching green velour find a frog fanatic?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Wagon on eBay


Year: 1980
Model: Dasher Diesel Wagon
Engine: 1.5 liter inline-4 diesel
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 130,000 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

Owned by a retired VW enthusiast. 45 mpg diesel retrofitted with an Audi 5 speed transmission. Mostly original paint with some scratches and blisters. Overall nice interior with moderate dashboard cracks. All functions operate properly with the exception of odometer and A/C. Front fenders and tailgate have rust, but I am including nice replacements. Windshield is cracked and I have a replacement which goes with the car as well. I recently installed a gear reduction starter to aid with starting reliability and the purchaser will receive an unused rebuilt starter along with the car. A rebuilt power brake booster has been installed at the cost of $180. Additional extra parts will also be included, as well as a spare 4 speed transmission which I purchased years ago and never used. It currently needs front wheel bearings and I’d recommend replacing the strut cartridges as well ,both of which I will also provide to the buyer. I drove it on a 200 mile trip this past weekend. Where as this is a 36 year old vehicle, no warranty is implied or expressed. Car is for sale locally; therefore I reserve the right to end the auction early if sold. I can be available for your shipper or would consider delivering within a 100 mile radius. Any questions call Kevin @ 908-229-2189


Last fall we featured a 1980 Dasher Diesel just like this car but in dark blue with leathette. Though it had more miles, overall the condition of that wagon was slightly better than what we see here in this survivor. Granted, the seller includes a fair amount of spares, but it’s incumbent on the buyer to do some work to keep this old bird slowly flying. The previous example struggled to find any love at $3,000, but this auction is still trying to find a home at half that amount. For significantly less than what we see among other period VW models, this is a unique classic that looks worth the investment of time – if you like being green.

-Carter

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2 Comments

  1. I had one of these after college in the late 80’s. Silver and black, it looked great and was amazingly comfortable. I purchased it with over 100K on the clock. Unfortunately the diesel was nothing but trouble. I think it had been worked on my someone who knew not what they were doing. After spending a bit over $1K on it over the course of a year it broke it’s camshaft in the the Lincoln tunnel and yellow cab had to push me out. Good times. It went back to the mechanic I had work on it, he bought it and converted it to gas. Maybe that was his plan all along?

  2. This is the kind of car that no matter how well preserved, is tough (impossible?) to get enthusiastic about. Unless you had some particularly fond memories that happened in the car, like a good family vacation when you were a kid or an especially successful date in high-school that ended up in the back seat, there’s just nothing about this kind of car that would make someone “want” it.

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