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

Legend has it that years after the end of WWII, Japanese soldiers were still turning up on remote Pacific islands, unaware of hostility's end. Similarly, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe diesel Dasher is a refugee from another era, but does its price mean war?

Yesterday's 1989 Cosworth Sierra may have been right-hand drive, but 54% of felt it was wrong-hand priced. The rest of you were packing your bags and practicing your ‘eh's in hopes of trip up to the hockey capital of North America. Sadly, it was not meant to be, eh?

Today, we're keeping our steering wheels on the left and our hatches on our backs as we take a look at the nicest - and greenest - VW Dasher diesel you're likely to find, and this one's American, dammit. While there are lots of websites that rah-rah over a particular brand or model, few are quite as rabid in both ardor and defense as are the VW Vortex and Samba when it comes to Volkswagens. Offhandedly tell a Vortexan that you think the VW Caddy was kind of a dumb-ass truck, and you're likely to get a response that's like a verbal blow torch to the nards. They seriously have a sort of passion for the Vee-dub that borders on the jihadistic, even considering the VW Fox not to be ass. In Corrado we trust is their motto.


The Samba isn't quite so uncompromising, and that's where we find today's 1980 Volkswagen Dasher diese, that looks like it stepped out of Bill & Ted's time traveling phone booth - whoa indeed. The seller claims that the car was originally purchased by someone who collected German cars in the same way Howard Hughes collected jars of his own urine. The Dasher proved too small for his Goldilocks tastes and so he parked it, inside, for 24 years. The present owner bought it in '04, and has been driving the freakin' wheels off it doling out the miles in it like it was his last bag of blow. He claims to have been sticking to a strict regiment of maintenance since buying it, and that everything - right down to the 31 year-old freon in the A/C is in primo working condition. As of today, it sports less than ten thousand miles on its clock, and looks primed and ready to do at least ten thousand more.


It also looks green - both inside and out - and while the exterior metallic onyx is subtle if not a bit dated, the vinyl and velour interior is so verdant that driving the car would be like getting a lap dance by Kermit the frog. That'd take some getting used to, and is a grim reminder that you shouldn't necessarily ass-cones the eighties. Still, all that green is in great shape, and even the rubber accordion for the 4-speed stick looks factory fresh. The gear change on these cars is equally rubbery, but with all the torque the diesel engine provides, you won't need to be doing all that much shifting. . . oh, wait, this is VW's 1.5-litre diesel four, forget what I just said.

While fuel efficient - the seller claims 42MPG around town, this VW will be a dasher in name only. The 48-bhp that the EA827-based diesel farts out manage to move the Dasher to sixty in a languid 19.5-seconds, and unlike its modern descendants, does so while sounding like someone is juggling half-full gumball machines under its hood. Still, if you're a hemp-wearing peacenik like most old VW diesel owners are, you probably won't care how slow it is because you don't really have any place to get to now do you, hippie?


Unlike modern Passats (and by the way, what other car name sounds that much like a fart sound?) that prefer their engines sideways, the B1 Passat (Dasher in the U.S.) stuck its motor out ahead of the front wheels like Cyrano de Bergerac's schnoz. The reason for that is because it's nothing more than an Audi 80 (Fox in the U.S.) with a jaunty fastback body. That's not a bad thing - hell, even I used to have a Fox - and it sure is a whole lot more interesting than the Tennessee-built new Passat (can somebody open a window here?) that VW just introduced.


So, interesting but slow, incredible condition but green, hippie-attracting, but $9,800, this survivor Dasher is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, swaddled in a swathe of velour that's regurgitatingly green. And, now it's time for you to decide if it's worth $9,800 of somebody's green. So what do you say, is that a price that would make you give the thumbs up for someone to dash out and buy it? Or, is that too much green, even for so much green?

You decide!


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