It’s hard to believe, but VW actually made a couple of multi-color “Harlekin/Harlequin” models over the years. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Passat may not one of those factory Rubik’s Cubes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. Let’s see if its price is too.
Porsches have always been classy cars, and for the longest time, they have been cars that cater to a certain economic class, i.e. rich people. At one point in time, a Porsche executive was asked why the company didn’t offer an “entry-level car,” to which he replied, “there is an entry-level car, it’s called a used Porsche.”
The 1990 Porsche 964 we looked at last Friday most certainly is one of those used Porsches. And with a $52,000 asking price, it is indeed a lot more obtainable than any new Porsche model on the market today. That being said, it wasn’t all that long ago that a used 964 with the miles weighing down our car would have been $20K at best. That, and a few other niggling issues, left both the car and the price wanting, ending up with a 72 percent No Dice loss.
There has always been a close relationship between Volkswagen and Porsche, the former’s initial offering even having been designed by the founder of the latter. However, it’s safe to say that while Porsche’s products continue their inexorable rise to superstar status in the price tag department, few of Volkswagen’s offerings outside of some permutations of its Type 2 Bus have done likewise. That, of course, is wholly appropriate for a brand named “the people’s car.”
This 1992 VW Passat GL wagon is a car for people with a sense of whimsy. Its multi-hued harlequin paint job is the work of the present owner, but there is precedent for such a zany application of color, although interestingly enough, actually on later VW models.
It was in 1995 that the company offered the Harlekin Polo and Harlequin Golf models, each model showing off its bolt-on parts painted in different colors. This Passat pays homage to those cars with the same multi-color paint job and the exact panel color match.
There seems to be more to this wagon than just a new multiple-choice paint job. It also sports a decent drivetrain. That’s made up of a 2 liter 16-valve aba four and, next to that, a five-speed manual transmission. The seller says that negotiations between those two are handled by a recently-installed clutch from ECS Tuning paired with a lightened flywheel. Seeing as this is a Euro-spec car that was liberated from its home country of Germany, it’s likely not able to be registered in California or any other state that follows that region’s emissions rules. Everywhere else, however, should be reasonably welcoming.
The bodywork and interior look to be in really nice shape and the use of a kid’s city map play rug for floor mats is a nice touch. The cloth seats seem serviceable as do the dash and interior plastics, albeit a bit dusty in a few of the pics. That’s no doubt from having been parked in the seller’s shop for some time with the windows down.
Being a B3 edition, this Passat has the funky hidden grille face, a design taken from the VW Auto 2000 concept of 1981. Here, that factory-style has been accented with a substantial ride height drop made possible by an added coil-over suspension. Filling the now-tightened wheel arches are low-profile tires wrapped around white-painted Turbomac alloys from Fifteen52. If you don’t like the ride height, it should be a reasonably easy task to pop the coilovers up a notch or two. The only real issue evident with the bodywork is a funny fit to the rear bumper which apparently necessitates external quick-connects to keep it in place.
There are 180,000 kilometers on the car or about 112,000 miles, but the seller says that number will grow since the car is being used for its intended purpose. That, the seller claims in the ad, is to put a smile on the faces of both the driver and those who see the Passat as it passes. The title is clean and the car carries Ohio plates so the import paperwork must be complete.
What should a colorful car such as this cost in good old greenbacks? The seller asks $10,000 to transfer the title and it’s now incumbent upon you to comment and vote on whether or not that transfer ought to happen. It should be noted that the Audi-branded roof-coffin costs extra, according to the ad.
With all that in mind, is this Harlekin Passat worth that $10,000 asking in its reportedly smile-inducing present state? Or, does that price mean there will be no turning a frown upside down?
H/T to Peter McCarthy for the hookup!
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