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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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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1985 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon

My love for obscure cars dictates my leaning towards one of my favorite Volkswagens of all time: the Quantum Syncro Wagon. Known as the Passat, Santana, Corsar and Carat in other markets, the Quantum was the choice for someone seeking German engineering in a mid-sized package on a budget. Curiously, Volkswagen only offered Syncro four-wheel drive in the Quantum Wagon, as it was the bigger seller. This car shared its drivetrain with the Audi 80 and required a completely new floorpan which relocated the gas tank and deleted the spare tire well. Mated exclusively to the 2.2 liter inline-5 engine, this was a very versatile machine popular with those in the snow belt.

Few of these Quantum Syncro Wagons survive in good condition, but they have a rabid following of enthusiasts. Rarely do you see a pre-facelift Quantum Syncro Wagon but here is one for sale in Seattle. A few items need doing but nothing too terrible to put off those handy with a wrench.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon on Craigslist Seattle

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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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1987 Volkswagen Passat Variant GT Syncro

The 1980s marked the first time since its inception that Volkswagen was without its bread and butter vehicle in the lineup, the Beetle. This wasn’t as bad as it would seem, as sales of the Bug was waning as the 1970s kicked off, with consumers leaving the lovable compact for larger, more advanced vehicles, especially those from Japan. While models like the Jetta, Golf and Cabriolet proved popular in the states, one model languished in its class: the Quantum. This mid-sized sedan and estate offered German engineering at a lower entry point, and towards the end of the production run, gave buyers of the Variant (estate) the option of Syncro four-wheel drive.

Sharing the mechanics of the Audi 80 Quattro, this required the car’s floor to be reengineered to allow room for added mechanicals and a revised rear suspension. Equipped solely with the 5-cylinder engine in North America, the Quantum Syncro was an Audi Quattro on a budget. This Passat Variant GT Syncro for sale in Bavaria is the Quantum’s European cousin and rarely do these five-doors surface in such well-preserved condition.

Year: 1987
Model: Passat GT Variant Syncro
Engine: 2.1 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 268,000 km (~ 166,500 mi)
Price: €4,999 (~ $6,662 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volkswagen Passat Variant GT Syncro on Mobile.de

Absolute rarity! Passat Variant Syncro 5-cylinder. This car has had three owners and the last owner had the car for 19 years from 1994. This car has a service book that was regularly filled out, the last repairs/maintenance was: battery, chassis, belts and water pump, wishbones, undercoating, differential and transmission. A long trip with this car is not a problem, it is in full working order. For fans a genuine opportunity! ATTENTION: We have several Audi Quattros in different models such as sedans, wagons and coupes with different motors, V6, 5-cylinder, 20V, 200 20V, Typ 85, Audi 90 etc. on offer. If you are interested, contact me!

Given the price, this Passat would be a little steep for someone to import to the US, given the mileage that is a bit over 150,000. It’s asking price puts it close to the top of what these Quantum Syncros are fetching stateside, when you can find them in decent condition. The Passat badge and euro headlamps do make for a good conversation piece and in an era of look-alike crossovers, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what sets this estate apart.

-Paul

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

1984 Volkswagen Passat CL

Badged the Quantum in the states, the early Passats are some of the most awkward VWs from the 80’s. As awkward as they are, they are some of the clearest examples of the Audi lineage that these cars share. These B2 models share the same longitudinal driveline configuration as the Audis and the parts bins for the rest of the cars are basically interchangable. This clean example of VWs ugly duckiling for sale in the Fatherland is something we could never see here, as these cars were often used, abused, and discarded.

1984 Volkswagen Passat CL on eBay.de

Vehicle is a two owner car, enthusiast owned! The car is rust free, its maintenance log is up to date. The log is available. The timing belt was changed 1,000 km ago. In the photos, you can see this vehicle is in pristine condition!

-Brian

1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon

In the spring of 1987, my father bought a brand new Volkswagen Golf GT. For those that forget, this was a warmed over version of the base Golf with GTI trim and the 1.8 liter engine. The car proved highly tempermental. My father blames this on the fact that this was one of the last VWs to be built at the Westmoreland, Pennsylvania plant before it closed its doors in 1988. But who really knows? I do, however, remember seeing a brand new Quantum Syncro wagon on the showroom floor when he went to pick up the Golf GT. Even as a kid, I was intrigued by these big VWs as much as I am today. Using the same mechanics as the Audi 80 Quattro, these were very versatile haulers that have a strong, close knit following. Today, these Syncro wagons are rarely seen, especially one in this kind of condition. This example for sale in Oregon has over 160,000 miles on the clock but I haven’t seen one this mint in years.

1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Estate on eBay

Really good example of a QSW! 161K but looks like 61K. 2 owners, bought new in Palo Alto, California before moving to WA State. Always garaged, the wagon has original paint that still looks great, NO RUST issues anywhere, it’s super solid top and bottom. Never hit, body is very straight, no dents, a few small dings here and there but overall presents very well. All original glass, good trim, straight bumpers. Factory roof rack, cross bars are still in their original pouch in the back. Lights, signals, horn, wipers, washers – all working, no electrical gremlins.

Interior has held up great thanks to its garaged life, seats are still firm, upholstery all good with the exception of some minor fraying on the seat piping in spots. Driver’s seat shows no wear, amazing for the mileage of the car. Locks all work, windows wind smoothly. Unused ashtrays, never smoked in, car has no bad odors. Watertight in the rain and the drivetrain doesn’t leak oil. The car starts easily, doesn’t smoke, has good power, shifts well, I just took a 3 hour freeway drive in this car and it did great all the way. All gauges work, the temp gauge overheat light will blink on cold mornings but gauge shows normal readings and I verified with a infrared temp gun at radiator hose to confirm the car is running cool. No blinking at the gauge when warm so it must be some weird glitch when cold. Climate control needs looking into as it seems to be stuck on warm. 4WD indicator lights don’t come on when you pull the switch, I can’t say if the system is working or not, seems to drive fine the way it is and I haven’t taken it off-road to test. The car comes with all original manuals, a Bentley service book, and some service records.

I’d like a $500 paypal deposit within 2 days and the balance within 7 business days of auction end. Please, only serious bidders that are ready to follow through with this purchase. Reserve on this wagon is reasonable and the car offers very good value for the money. As you know, VW didn’t import very many of these Synchro wagons, they’re even harder to find in this condition.

If this were a perfect example of a Quantum Syncro, I’d probably estimate $4,000 or even a little bit over that would be reasonable, but with the climate control issue and the issue with the Syncro indicator light, there may be some repairs lurking. In that case, somewhere around $3,000 to $3,500 might be more of a reasonable price point. Still, I’d wager to say there are few Quantum Syncros out there without their mechanical faults, so this example would be as good of a place to start than any to feed your affordable all wheel drive wagon cravings.

-Paul

1987 Volkswagen Passat 1.6 GL

The Volkswagen B2 Passat, known as the Quantum in North America, has finally been put out to pasture. You read that correctly. It was announced recently that 2012 would be the final year for this venerable platform in China, where it is known as the Santana. When you think about it, though, there have been other cars with similarly long production runs. The Peugeot 504, Fiat 124 and Ford Falcon were designs that had a normal production span in their home countries but lived on for many years; their designs being licensed out in various other countries. This particular Passat represents the last year of the B2 chassis sold in Europe and has covered a scant 57,000 miles over the last 25 years.

1987 Volkswagen Passat 1.6 GL

One owner Volkswagen Passat. Ideal car for collectors and enthusiasts. Air conditioning and leather interior.

One advantage to buying a used car in Germany is that those which are roadworthy are usually in good nick. This is because the vehicle inspections administered by the TÃœV (Technical Inspection Association) are quite stringent, in typical Teutonic fashion. At around $6,500 USD, this is a lot of money for a Passat or Quantum of this vintage. By the time you would import such a vehicle, you might be looking at around another $2,000 in shipping and fees. A pipe dream for most, but for the dedicated Volkswagen enthusiast, it could be just the ticket. With its unique body style and condition, you’ll be the only one at the next VW meet with one.

-Paul

1986 VW Quantum Syncro for sale

It’s time to kick it old school a bit, going back to my VW roots with a clean, daily-driven Quantum Syncro. Much rarer than the ubiquitous Jettas and Rabbit/Golfs of the era, the Quantum has always perked up my wagon-ears by extending lines of the aforementioned VW staples and being offered with Syncro. 80s 4-wheel drive systems, pre-computerized limited-slip auto-braking nannies, have always intrigued me, especially with VW’s being merely a renamed version of the original, world-changing Quattro. The Audiness doesn’t stop there, with the 4 rings of the Auto Union stamped on the 2.2L five-cylinder. The example coming to us today from the Samba is cleaner than its 176k miles would suggest, and looks inside and out like it could continue being an awesome and capable daily driver.

1986 VW Quantum Syncro Wagon for sale on the Samba


A good rundown from the seller:

Details:
1986 Vw Quantum Syncro Wagon
White exterior
Grey / Brown interior ( Maybe its black )
5 speed
A/c converted to r134a ( needs charged )
178,000 + still going ( its my daily )
Stock motor – 5 cylinder 2.2
CIS –
Runs great, get in start, drive and go.

Manual windows – all of them work
No sunroof
No cruise control

Very clean – rust free body
Interior is also in very good shape
Rear area – has the speaker pods instead of the cargo cover.
I installed 4×6′ Polk in the front doors
New Alpine cd / XM ready head unit
Old School PUNCH 80 in the glove box with a single sub speaker wire ran over through the headliner to the back for a sub ( not included ) I havent found one yet i like, i have a BIG box 12″ Sony that if you really want it, i can include it.
Rear speaker pods also have NEW polk 4×6’s installed ( i also have a spare set of rear speaker pods )

Original 14″ snowflakes with OK tires –
I also have 4×100 14″ Steel wheels with SNOW TIRES – that could be included.

The rear cover that covers the spare tire in the back, just cracked this weekend – i was so mad – i had camera bag and light stand in the back and took a corner too fast i guess and it hit and cracked the cover – other than that interior is FABULOUS

I didnt really get much maintenance history with the car – it doesnt seem to need anything – starts everytime, goes and stops. I have drove it on a few 1 hour each way road trips.

Since i have bought the car – i replaced the speedo cable with a one piece
Installed the stereo system and wired it up so it turns off when ignition is turned off.

As an extra 10v Turbo motor with lots of extras – its a factory brand new block – with all new internals – Ac compressor and other goodies still attached. Have spare CIS stuff from Turbo Audi 5000, turbo manifold, bad turbo and downpipe – valve cover, head without cams rebuilt – lots of stuff…

I hunted for a very long time for a clean QSW – this is it… even at my starting price of $4000 i am losing money due to shipping this car from PNW to Nebraska.
I have another $600+ in all my spare stuff.

Considering the condition of the car and care of the seller, not to mention the extra parts coming along with it (I’d want to learn more about the extra motor?!), it seems deserving of its $4k price tag. If you’ve got the 80s bug like me and are looking to offload an A4 wagon, maybe you could work out a great deal. Regardless, I have a feeling this seller is going to find a good home for this Quantum.

-NR