1980 Volkswagen Dasher 2-Door Hatchback

In the early 1970s, a major change swept through Volkswagen. For some time, Volkswagen attempted to create unique ways to fit more people into a Beetle. The Type 3 abandoned the Beetle’s 2-door, fixed sloping roof profile for a (slightly) more conventional sedan, fastback and even variant wagon platform. That developed ultimately into the Type 4; the 411 and 412 again further moved VW “mainstream” with their Pininfarina bodies and more practical 4-door layouts.

Still, the writing was on the wall. Corporate partner Audi’s launch of the B1 chassis 80 model complete revolutionized both marque’s lineups over the next decade as rear-engine, air-cooled products were phased out and steadily replaced by new front-drive, water-cooled efficient and cheap to manufacture designs. The Audi 80’s design was refined by Giugiaro, so VW turned again to him to work his magic on the 412’s replacement.

What emerged after brief flirtation with the NSU-based K70 was the Passat. Unlike the traditional sedan that Audi got with the 80, the B1 Passat featured a dramatically sloping rear hatchback which picked up styling cues from both the Type 3 and Type 4, but of course was much more angular. Volkswagen offered three configurations for the first Passat; 3- and 5-door hatchbacks, and a 5-door variant wagon. These were introduced before the A1 Golf debuted in the U.S., and like the Golf, the Passat was given a North America specific name – the Dasher:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Coupe on Orange County Craigslist

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Meet Ur Father: 1974 Audi Fox

Update 9/25/18: Price on this clean Audi Fox has been dropped from $10,000 in July to $7,000 today.

For such an important vehicle, there’s very little fanfare that surrounds the Audi B1. Badged the 80 in Europe and the Fox in the United States, Audi’s small front-drive sedan was a complete transformation for the brand which was emerging from the reshuffling of DKW and Auto Union. Mercedes-Benz had a hand in bringing 4-stroke engine technology to Auto Union in the 1950s and early 1960s, and but freed of their reigns, the Audi engineers produced an all-new motor for the clean-sheet B1. It was the EA827, and it (and the B1) would go on to be the basis for basically every Audi/Volkswagen product since 1972. The 80 was the first to launch, but quickly the 80’s platform would be used to produce the first Volkswagen Dasher (née Passat) and, engine turned transversely, then the Audi 50. The 50 was then the basis for the Golf and Scirocco, and the all-new Volkswagen lineup was complete. So while most internet comments will sometimes dismiss modern Audis as little more than re-badged VWs, you can now remind them that historically it was the opposite. The 80’s traditional longitudinal engine layout ended up being convenient a few years later to help spawn the might Quattro, too.

Motor Trend (and notable automotive historian Karl Ludvigsen) called the 80 the “best new affordable small sedan in the world” in May 1973. Horsepower was modest from the 1.5 liter version of the EA827 at only 75, but then the weight was quite modest, too – curb weight of the sunroof-equipped model was still under 1,900 lbs and fully laden the 80 weighed less than an empty B2 4000CS quattro. Capable of over 30 mpg, the Fox sold surprisingly well in the gas-crunch era as a result – Audi sold 142,511 of them here. While that number sounds modest by today’s standards, consider for a moment that Audi sold only 123,764 of the Fox’s successor, the 4000, in total.

Yet today, finding an Audi Fox seems like something of a minor miracle – never mind when it’s in great condition!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Audi Fox on eBay

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1979 Volkswagen Dasher Hatchback

Like the Scirocco duo from earlier this week, Volkswagen’s “large” chassis has become an obscure name long gone from these shores. The Dasher premiered VW’s use of the shared B1 platform. Marketed in the rest of the world as the Passat (a name, like the Scirocco, for a type of wind), Volkswagen opted to use a name closer to its stablemate Rabbit and came up with “Dasher”. From 1974 through 1981, the B1 laid the foundation for larger watercooled Volkswagens in three configurations; two-door hatchback, four-door hatchback and wagon. Also like the Scirocco, the design came from Giogetto Giugiaro and was forward-thinking. Power came from the EA827 derivatives, with a relative modest 1.6 inline-4 gas motor and later diesel options available. In 1978, the B1 was refreshed and gained quad-round headlights and other light revisions, visually matching the Scirocco lineup a bit more. They’re obscure and relatively rare to see at all these days, but this survivor has popped up on eBay in a no reserve auction:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Volkswagen Dasher Hatchback on eBay

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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:

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1978 Volkswagen Dasher Hatchback

The Volkswagen Passat [née Quantum (née Dasher)] has always been a bit of the odd-man out in the Volkswagen lineup, but each successive generation has offered something special – even in the U.S.. As Paul wrote up last week, in the B7 you could get a TDi manual – something of an oddity in the marketplace last year, as automatic whirring hybrids have ruled the minds and pocketbooks of middle management for the last decade. The B6 had a fantastic hidden gem in the 3.6 4Motion; an unappreciated car in general but perhaps the car Audi should have built. The B5? It was the car that finally made the Passat successful in the U.S., and introduced the cool if too complicated W8 4motion package. The B3/4 had the you-can’t-kill-it-unless-it-rusts 1Z diesel and sonorous VR6 motors. The B2’s trump card over the Audi 4000 it closely resembled was the Syncro Wagon. And the B1? Well, if you wanted a 4-door Volkswagen hatchbach that was a bit more substantial than the Rabbit on offer, briefly your wish could come true:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Dasher on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Wagon

Long before “Dieselgate” and the unceremonious admission of Volkswagen about cheating on emissions testing, Volkswagen struggled with the image of diesel. The problem wasn’t as much air pollution – there was plenty of that – but it was that diesels were noisy and slow. How slow? Well, consider today’s 1980 Dasher Diesel Wagon, whose 1.5 inline-4 mill produced a twig-snapping 48 horsepower. Despite the relative light weight at only 2,500 lbs, the Dasher Diesel literally and figuratively lacked spark as it’s near 20-second 0-60 time proved. As gas prices fell and fuel injected gasoline engines became ever more efficient (and powerful), the gap between the fuel mileage to the diesels narrowed as the perceived benefit gulf of purchasing petrol widened. However, nearly 30 years before the introduction of the “Sport Wagon” TDi, you can still see the spiritual basis for Volkswagen’s popular 5-door diesel configuration.

The other day, a gentleman pulled up to me right after I parked my Passat. He rolled down the window and asked if I liked the car, then mentioned that it was lovely. I thanked him and said that I loved the car. Sure, even over a decade on B5.5 generation Passat Variants are a dime a dozen around the streets of New England. But while the B5.5 was by far the most popular choice for German wagons in the early 2000s, it wouldn’t be possible without the B1. Styled by Giugiaro, the new chassis completely redefined the platform for Volkswagen. It was followed by the niche but popular B2 (Quantum in the U.S.), then the odd-yet-cool B3, the more traditional B4 and finally the popular B5/5.5 chassis. With some sadness, the B6 would be the last wagon form of the Passat for U.S. customers, but it went out with a bang – being offered in 3.6 VR6 with 4Motion all-wheel drive. It was about as far from the original B1 as you could get, but the mission of each was the same and they were representative of their times. “We think you’ll agree Dasher is setting new standards for roomy wagons, with elegant appointments and fittings” touted the 1980 brochure, and it’s hard to argue that for some time the Passat was the best value not only in German wagons, but perhaps in family vehicles in total. While they were loved by their respective owner pools, they were also used, and each subsequent generation is steadily becoming more infrequent to see. B5s have already started to disappear while B4s rust away. B3s are downright rare, but not nearly as much as clean B2s. But a clean B1? I’d bet you could count the number of examples in this condition remaining on one hand:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel Wagon on Cleveland Craigslist

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Wagon Week: 1980 Volkswagen Passat L Variant

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As we round off another Wagon Week here at GCFSB, we’ll take a look at something a little bit different. The original Volkswagen Passat, otherwise known as the Dasher in the US market, would replace the Type 3 in the lineup, ushering in a new era of larger, front-engined, water-cooled vehicles. Successive generations of the Passat would see the car grow further in size, with four-wheel drive as an option on some models. The fifth generation would go on to be quite a success and help drive Volkswagen’s comeback in the US. This early Passat L Variant for sale in Hamburg, Germany isn’t fast, luxurious or flashy, but in Manila Green, is rather eye catching. Rarely do you see them this nicely preserved.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Passat L Variant on Mobile.de

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One-owner 1979 Volkswagen Dasher

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My late-70s VW knowledge and interest usually circulate the Rabbit and the Vanagon, but today we have an impressively-kept example of the first water-cooled VW sold in the US – the Dasher. It may not be much of a prancer, but if you’re into brown 35 year old, 35mpg everymans cars with hubcaps, today is your day. It’s only covered 49k miles in those 35 years, leaving it crisp and clean inside and out.

Click for more details: 1979 Volkswagen Dasher for sale on Craigslist LA

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1979 Audi Fox

When it rains, so the saying goes. From zero Audi Foxes to two in two weeks, unlike the rare but in need of some work Fox Avant comes this ready to drive Fox sedan. Not often do driver-quality Foxes come up for sale at all, and this one looks great in white over tan. With some later 14″ Audi Coupe alloys fitted, this is a smart looking alternative to a 320i for the Volkswagen or Audi faithful:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Audi Fox on Houston Craigslist

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Heap of the Week 2 – Ur-Avant? 1976 Audi Fox Wagon

How rare is the VW Fox these days? As an aside, I went looking through the last several years of posts for the last time we featured one. Can you guess when it was? Never is correct. Though they do come up for sale from time to time and we’ve seen a few of the Fox’s bigger brother 100 and cousin Passat, we have never featured a Audi Fox. So that should tell you they’re quite rare, if nothing else does. Then, on top of that when you add in that this is the original Audi Avant – the first wagon Audi imported to the U.S. – you’ve got one seriously rare bird.

The Audi 80 was really a bit of a revolutionary design for Audi. Handsome, compact and reliable, it shared heavily with Volkswagen Passat underpinnings. It replaced the multi-engined F103 model (which was itself a DKW) named for their engine horsepower outputs – hence the Audi “80”. The 80 was brought to the U.S. in “Fox” form and sold in small numbers. The Avant was certainly the most rare of the offerings though, and it is downright rare to see one in any shape today. This particular offering has some needs, but is amazingly mostly rust free and comes from only its second owner:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Audi Fox Wagon on eBay

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