Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

In physics, quantum mechanics theory describes wave function and was first developed in 1925 by the German physicist, Werner Heisenberg. Coincidentally, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe VW Quantum wagon has Syncro mechanicals and can carry your surfboard to the waves on its handy roof rack. It's price however, may be a theory you choose not to accept.

You saw London, you saw France, yesterday's Marseille-located Bizzarrini gave you a pup tent in your pants. . . That rare Italio-American may have been poetry in motion - or even just standing still - but that didn't mean that it's price rhymed with nice, and in fact 55% of you went for the Crack Pipe button for its nearly half-mil demand. Because of that result, I feel the need to step out from behind the fifth wall and let those of you in that majority side know - that in my considered opinion - you are trippin' balls. No intents offended.

Not so crazy, and in fact pretty mundane in appearance, but interesting in execution, is today's 1986 VW Quantum Syncro Wagon. Offered up on The Samba, which is like VWVortex for hydrophobics, this Quantum is not only surprisingly not air-cooled, but its liquid cooled engine sports four onion rings on its cam cover and five cylinders beneath it.


The B2 edition of VW's ‘big car' grew in both dimension and nomenclature - the previous, and smaller, B1- Dasher (U.S.) and Passat (Everybody Else), becoming the Quantum here, and Passat/Santana elsewhere. Over its life it also went by Corsar, and Caret, and enough other names that you might not be surprised finding it floating face down in the Mediterranean with two bullet holes in its roof. Bodystyles expanded over the B1 too, the Santana being a new three-box trunked version of the humpback whale of a Passat 5-door. By the time this ‘86 was built the Quantum had received its mid-life crisis refresh and - in wagon form - had been re-engineered to accept the Audi 80's all wheel drive system, although it was branded with the VW Syncro name.

The changes required to make the Variant a Syncro included the addition of a center tunnel to house the drive shaft, re-location of the gas tank, and the removal of the under-floor spare. Gained back was all-weather traction and the claim of ownership of Audi's Quattro driveline for people who couldn't bring themselves to buy that upscale brand.


This particular Quantum sports Audi's 2.2-litre 5 cylinder engine, which produced 113-bhp and hangs out over the front wheels like a pendulous schlong. That company's longitudinal five-speed manual gearbox is also along for the ride, while behind that, all four wheels get a workout, no slacking here. Now, you might ask yourself, if it has an Audi engine, an Audi transmission, and an Audi driveline, why the hell wouldn't I just buy an Audi? Well, one reason is that Audi, being too busy dropping Quattro badges on everything and defending themselves from trumped up unintended acceleration charges, didn't have time to sell an Avant edition of their 80/90 cars back in the day - leaving the Quantum to fill the gap until the arrival of the B4 A4 in '91. It was an odd exclusion on Audi's part, as the earlier 80/Fox model did do the long-roof thing.

Painted an innocuous shade of white, and claimed both rust-free and mechanically sound, this Quantum pegs pretty high on the cool meter being both nerd chic and representative of a model that you just don't see all that often any more. Not only that, but the seller portends future shenanigans by throwing in an extra turbo 10V engine and related oily bits. Look out Escorts!


The interior on this one - despite its claimed 178K - seems not to have suffered too egregiously at the hands, or butts, of its users. The seats are appropriately mouse-furry, and the steering wheel ( and road wheels) will make you feel like you're rocking a GTI. The seller says that the stereo has been the focus of his efforts since buying the car, but with armstrong power windows and no sunroof, there's apparently not much else that needs tending to.

As noted, this Quantum is advertised on the Samba, which, along with the VW Vortex, is like the Church of Scientology for advocates of the German People's Car. Coming across something interesting here isn't like finding an ad on Craigslist where an elderly widow is attempting to sell her late husband's old Mercedes because she can't lift the gull-wing doors any more, and is willing to take a few hundred to get it out of the drive. Here, the seller knows more about the car than you do, and is likely willing to proselytize at length about it.


This seller doesn't appear to be a Volkshole, and in fact is asking a non-premium $4,000 for this white knight. It's about as interesting an ‘80s Wolfsburg product as you might find these days, and thanks to it being built before VW saw fit to galvanize their cars it's rare, having seen many of its brothers and sisters suffer the fate of the wicked witch due to road rot.

But the question remains, is it $4,000 interesting? What do you think, is this a Quantum theory you could get behind? Or, is this a Syncro, that's out of sync with its price?


You decide!

The Samba or go here if that place scares you.

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