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Junkyard Gem: 1986 Volkswagen Quantum Syncro Wagon | THEVOLKSWAGEN.COM

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The second-generation Volkswagen Passat went by the Quantum name in North America (the first-generation Passat was known as the Dasher on these shores) and sold to a small but devoted cadre of American buyers. Here’s one in a Colorado self-serve wrecking yard after a 31-year career in or near the Rocky Mountains.

All Quantum Syncros sold in the United States came with the five-cylinder Audi engine. On the other side of the Atlantic, many flavors of VW/Audi four- and five-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines were available.

This Quantum appears to have been sold new in Colorado, perhaps spending some time in the even snowier state to the north. Colorado wrecking yards are excellent museums for fans of low-sales-volume four- and all-wheel-drive 1980s vehicles, from the Camry All-Trac to the Tempo All-Wheel-Drive.

These things tended to be finicky and fragile, at least by the standards of maintenance-averse American car owners, so I was not shocked to find the odometer reading an average of just under 5,000 miles per year for the car’s lifetime.

It’s a bit rusty, but nothing catastrophic by the standards of a 31-year-old Volkswagen product.

Was the Quantum copied by all the competition later in the 1980s, as this advertisement implies?