The VR6 in today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Passat has a reputation for silky smooth power delivery and an exhaust note of which you should take note. Let’s see if that engine makes this wagon worth its asking price.
Do you remember the old TV ads for mustard in which one rich old white guy would pull next to another rich old white guy and ask if he had any Grey Poupon? It was like it was some sort of rich old white guy secret code for soliciting clandestine meet ups to have weirdo sex or something.
You’d never do that in yesterday’s 2004 Maybach 57—not because its throne-like massaging rear seats wouldn’t make for prime locales for busy-getting—but because who’d want to be bothered with mustard when you had so many marvelous toys at your disposal? Plus it had a fridge in it so you’d be the mustard-carryng mo-fo anyway.
Sadly for the Atlanta dealer trying to un-Maybach themselves, few of you thought the toys or even the fridge were worth the car’s just over sixty-grand asking, and that 57 was 86’d to the tune of 65% Crack Pipe loss.
Okay, enough with the German cars for the few, the powerful, and the rich. Let’s turn our attention today to a German car that pretty much anybody could afford, a “People’s Car” if you will. That car is this 1993 VW Passat GLX and it sports not just the company’s interesting 15° scrunched-up V6 but also a five speed as well.
Like “fetch” the VR6 was something that Volkswagen tried to make happen, but that never quite caught on. Today the engine is something of an anachronism. Why VR? Well, the V is for the angle of the cylinder bores, however narrow they might be, and the R is for Reihenmotor which is German for in-series like an inline engine. Those terms may seem to run counter to one another for those of us who sprechen sie English, but VW somehow made it all work.
Here that engine put out 172-bhp from its 2.8-litres of displacement, and that brings up another reason you don’t see the VR6 around all that much any more: turbo four cylinders can produce more power in about the same amount of space. At least you get to make the most of those ponies (or whatever number is left in the corral after 23 years) in this Passat with a five-speed stick. The car is only FWD but for most people that’s good enough.
There’s only 64,000 miles on the clock, and the car presents well, at least in the ad. The gunmetal paint still seems to hold a shine and while the wheels look a little beat on, at least they’re OEM BBS units. This is the top-o-the-heap GLX so there’s some bells and whistles in there too. I should also note that, in my humble opinion, these grille-less B3 Passats were some of the VW stylist’s best work.
Inside things are even better, the dash and seats looking to be in perfectly serviceable shape. Yes, you do have to deal with the Federally-mandated at the time mouse belts to get in there, but after a while you’ll only hate them moderately and not with the heat of 1000 suns as you probably initially will. Maybe the modern stereo head unit will help quell the anger.
The ad notes that the seller is also the car’s primary wrencher and hence the maintenance records are all in his head. I mean he’d have to tell you what he’s done, not that he’s making it all up or anything. He says that the car is in “great condition” and describes it as 8/10 on the outside and an impressive 9/10 once you get past the belts.
He had the car up for sale a while back at a $4,900 a price, and that was interesting enough for the car to make it to Bring a Trailer. That price didn’t make it interesting enough however, as nobody over at BaT felt like springing for it then. Now it’s being offered again, but at a much more reasonable $3,000 and we’ve got it here for our own discussion and judgement.
What’s your take on this VR6-rocking wagon and that now $3K price? Does that seem like a number that should have this VW VR6-ing its way to a new owner? Or, is that still too much to get someone to bring a checkbook?
H/T to Beer-light Guidance for the hookup!
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