If you’re looking for a unique daily driver without shelling out for one-offs, customs, and supercars, it’s hard to find something more unique than this 1992 Volkswagen Passat. Where else are you going to find Syncro all-wheel drive mated to a G60 supercharged engine with a 5-speed manual gearbox? You’re not, is the short answer. I’m in love with this thing, but I already have too many cars and don’t need any more. Ergo, you should buy it so I don’t have to. Please.
The B3 Passat was a stylish car for the times, cribbing many of its styling cues from Ford’s revolutionary Taurus. The car pulled its cooling air from below the bumper, meaning it could run without a grille, giving it a look reminiscent of Volkswagen’s earlier aircooled designs. The unique Syncro-G60-manual combination was only available in Canada in small numbers, so you aren’t likely to find another one any time soon.
This particular car was originally sold in coastal British Colombia, Canada where it remained until it was imported to Georgia in 2018. It’s got 271,982 km on the clock and shows some of that daily-driven wear, though it wears it well. A decal is missing, the interior is worn but not tattered, it’s missing its wheel center caps, and the air conditioning isn’t functional, but it is said to otherwise drive and operate well.
The 1.8-liter supercharged 4 puts out a whopping 158 horsepower, which was admittedly quite a lot of power for a family wagon in 1992. That engine was only available in the U.S. market aboard the Corrado sports hatch. It’s a lot of fun in a Corrado. I imagine it’s neutered a bit with the Passat’s 3251 pound curb weight, but could make for a sprightly daily driver to rip through the gears on your way to the office.
I wouldn’t call this a collector car, and it’s not likely to ever go up in value, but I just love quirky runabouts like this. It would be just the perfect kind of thing to bring to a Radwood event, of course. There are a ton more photographs and a better description on the car listing over on Hemmings Auctions. As of this writing, the high bid is only $501, which is far too low for this delightfully eclectic car.
Seriously, I’m trying to downsize my collection of junkers, I definitely don’t need this 28-year-old Volkswagen kicking around my garage.