Like the Subaru Outback and Audi Allroad, Volkswagen's Golf Country is a car-based soft-roader. However, unlike those other two, the Vee Dub never officially softened any roads in the U.S.. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe illegal alien '91 Country has a secret that could keep it from being off-road only, but is its price also off the hook?
Not even T-tops could engender much enthusiasm for yesterday's tidy but ultimately too lugubrious 1981 Turbo Trans Am from a 60% Crack Pipe loss, as the consensus was that its Ricky Recaro seats didn't justify the twenty-two large price set by the seller.
The funny thing about this country - meaning the good ol' U.S. Of A. - is that pretty much everybody in the country can trace their lineage back to some other country. Today's candidate is not only from another country, it is a Country - a Golf Country to be exact.
Long before the hard to pronounce Tiguan and Tourag began taxing tongues, Volkswagen offered up a series of all-wheel drive products under the Syncro name. Probably the best known and most beloved here in the states is the Vanagon Syncro, the slightly raised and knobby tired edition of the company's rear-engine people mover. But in addition to that, VW offered all-wheel drive versions of both the Passat and Mk II Golf. We got the Steyr-Daimler Puch co-developed system bolted to the Passat, but the likewise-equipped Golf was never tee'd up for U.S. consumption.
That's a damn shame as the Golf Syncro offered the foundation for the mythical Rallye and today's contender, the Country. There's an old joke about a guy who goes to a shit-kicker bar and inquires of the waitress what kind of music is played there? The perky waitress cheerfully retorts oh, we got both kinds, country and western. In contrast, the VW Country is about as far from achy breaky hair as you can get, despite this one's present home being a southern state - in fact the southernmost state, Florida. Cue Bugs Bunny.
The VW Country takes the Golf Syncro and lifts it like Jersey Girl hair. The car features increased suspension travel and ride height, as well as bull bars and an externally-mounted spare to ease the lives of tire thieves. Over the 1990 and ‘91 model years a little over 7,700 were built. This one was apparently imported first to Canada and then slipped across the border one dark and stormy night, smuggled up the ass of a drug mule. Okay, so I made up that last bit, but still trés exciting, no?
The seller is offering the car for sale on VW Vortex, and the combination of that rabid VW fan site and its present location being in Florida make the consideration of purchasing this VW Golf one full-on crazy train full of insane monkeys all funked up on the Skrillex, and locked and loaded to fling tactical nuclear poo.
Despite that, we're jumping on board.
The ad/forum post has a bunch of before and after photos and show that the current owner has gone a long way in bringing this 114-bhp 1.8-litre, 5-speed Country from bumpkin to beauty. Outside, the decals and all the plastic trim all look to be in great shape, the bull bars have been powder coated, and the skid plate is clean enough to eat schnitzel off of. In-Country, the grey GTI-esque seats and door panels brighten an otherwise dark and typical MKII Golf dash and wheel. Added pluses are a bunch of new pieces from the bolt-on VW parts barrel, and a roof-mounted basket in case you need to take your dog to Canada. Oh, and you also get the title for a second Golf.
That second title is what apparently allows the current owner to motor about in this Country - in this Country - as it was imported as off-road only. That at least will give you the opportunity to flout the law as well when buying this Golf, unless of course your area's DMV requires some sort of visual inspection. If it does, the jig will be up, and you'll probably get to experience not only ownership of a Golf Country but the image of it being crushed in one of America's Federally approved automobile minimization facilities. Hey, no one said buying this car was for the haint of fart.
It's perhaps also not for the faint of wallet, as the seller has currently set the price at $12,500 after dropping it from his original fifteen grand ask. Judging on the forum responses, that earlier price was seemingly too wakka-wakka for even the Vortexicans, and many of the responders to the ad continue to have a hard time envisioning that the Feds won't eventually catch up with this Country. That means while the new buyer may take the car to his or her grave, that grave is going to be a 4-foot by 4-foot metal cube.
Still, we're made of sterner stuff and of course are only interested in weighing on the price, not actually buying the thing! So with all that in mind, what do you think, is $12,500 fair enough to go to the Country? Or, is that a price that puts this Country on your no-fly list?
H/T to Ramsbee987 for the hookup!
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