CC For Sale: 1980 VW Dasher (Passat) Diesel – A Historical Milestone Car, So What Are You Waiting For?

In the market for a CC, but looking something a bit different than that low-mileage 1990 Mark VII LSC we featured the other day? How about the polar opposite? This 1980 Dasher is old, has a 54 hp diesel, has over 250k miles, gets 35-40 mpg, has four doors, and is sitting in front of a very Eugenian garden gate. And it even has an asking price: $1600. Tempted? Or want to run away as fast as you can?

Have we done a Dashher/Passat CC over here yet? Umm….no. But I have a better one than this to use, if that’s possible. Yes, the other one has the earlier front end style, not this facelifted version. For that matter, this 1980 is the last year for the Passat Mk1, and they’re hardly common anymore.

It even has the more powerful 1.6L engine from a 1985 Jetta (rebuilt 15k miles ago). I’ve been a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but these engines have a rep for being mighty tough. I’m assuming the original engine went for about 225k.

If it had the turbo engine (70hp) it would really be compelling. All diesels really wake up with a bit of boost, and the difference in the VWs was pretty dramatic: it actually had a little mini-surge of power when the boost came on, unlike the normally aspirated one. And it felt and sounded better too, as the turbo smoothed out its exhaust pulses.

The interiors in the cars were high quality for the times. Excellent materials, and well put together. Actually, when these came out in the early seventies, as the Audi Fox (80) or Dasher/Passat, they were in a class to their own; a very stark contrast to the Broughams that dominated the streets then. They literally defined the modern lightweight-but-roomy fwd car, particularly so in the US, where there was a profound vacuum of such things then. A genuine milestone car; what are you waiting for?