The very first water-cooled Volkswagen sold in the United States after a quarter of a century of exclusively air-cooled vehicles shipped from Wolfsburg, it was the 1974 Dasher (the Rabbit aka Golf did not show up here until model year 1975). Known as the Past elsewhere in the world and brother of the Audi Fox aka 80 (not to be confused with the next Volkswagen Fox aka Gol), Dasher sales continued in North America until model year 1981. Here’s one of those last year Dashers, with five doors and an oil engine, found in a self-service backyard in northeastern Colorado last month.
Sales of the Passat continued here for 1982, of course, but the Past B2 received Quantum badging on our shores. Not sure what the additional switches bolted above the dashboard nameplate do, but this car has a lot of them Red green“Kludges” style for another day.
For example, the clever glue and adhesive tape repair of the radiator hose.
The gasoline-powered Dasher had a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 76 horsepower, which was quite adequate for a 2,181-pound car of this era. This car has 52 horsepower diesel, however, and I can tell you from bitter personal experience that the VW diesel this period they were pure misery on the road. Calm, fuel economy for the Dasher Diesel it was extraordinarily good for the time, pushing 50 miles per gallon on the highways in slow motion of the Late period of malaise.
The gold old quattro manual gearbox on the floor kept it simple. If you wanted a truly simple manual moved to the ground in 1981, GM you had covered; Camaro and Malibus could still be bought new that year with a three-deck manual gearbox.
This car came to a final 156,184 miles, a long life for a car of its time. Check large MotoMeter dashboard clock, a nice standard feature for such an affordable wagon.
The Dasher was available here as a Two- or four-door hatchback and as a station wagon. The list price of the 1981 Dasher Diesel Wagon started at $ 8,740 (about $ 27,555 today). In the meantime, a new ’81 Honda Civic the wagon cost $ 5,749, while an ’81 Datsun The 510 wagon was priced at $ 6,689. If you wanted a sturdy Volvo 245 wagon that year, the cheapest one cost $ 10,210. All new 1981 Dodge Aries wagon started at just $ 6,471, but lacked German engineering and style.
That AM / FM radio probably cost a lot of money in 1981.
What do you buy with all the money you save on fuel? Food!
Don’t miss the Silver Anniversary Sale on your VW dealer.
Here is the official story.