And Prancer and Blitzen – 1980 Volkswagen Dasher Wagon

Thanks to some unusual marketing decisions including positioning and drivetrain choices, VW’s Passat was not a great success through its first few generations. The B1 Passat, known as a Dasher here, shared its name with a reindeer from a Christmas song, following the Rabbit and the Beetle in VW’s effort to corner the animal-lover segment. And the B2 Passat, known as the Quantum, referenced a form of physics, or computing, targeting the often-overlooked nerd segment of the North American car market. So if your tendency is more animal lover than nerd, you should take a look at this 1980 Volkswagen Dasher wagon for sale for $3300 in Orenco Station, OR.

1980 Volkswagen Dasher wagon right front

It’s a fairly functional design, but hey, it’s a wagon. This one looks to be in good shape for a surviving Dasher, and sports a fuel-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 76hp, getting you to 60 in about 14 seconds. It’s said to have no rust, good shock absorbers and brakes, a stack of receipts, new tires including the spare, and a new exhaust and catalytic converter. It also has a new stereo system including speakers, which is good considering how flimsy stock VW speakers were back then.

1980 Volkswagen Dasher wagon rear

You have to love the 1970s angularity. For the animal lovers, there’s a tailgate that opens down to the bumper level and a large loading area for your full-size dogs, miniature ponies, or a family of rabbits. On the down side, the car has a cracked windshield, dash cracks, and later hub caps from a VW Fox. The latter problem should easily be covered by the aftermarket, though a set of widened period steel wheels is pretty good all by itself.

1980 Volkswagen Dasher wagon left side

Hopefully that cloudiness is just the result of forgetting to wipe the camera lens, and not smoke pouring out of the car. With 164,000 miles, it’s said to start easily and run well, and all the accessories work properly. Unfortunately, no pictures are given of the interior or engine compartment – expect some grease and grime underhood, and the original upholstery won’t be intact after 34 years and that many miles. That said, these old watercooled VWs are pretty thin on the ground. What would you do with this one? Perhaps the 1.8T conversion, often seen on Rabbits and Jettas, would be a fun way to make a sleeper out of this when the engine expires.


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