7k: Olive Oil Burner: 1985 Volkswagen Passat Diesel, 36k miles

The Volkswagen Passat first debuted as the Dasher, then the enigmatically sophisticated Quantum, and finally the Passat in 1990. A well-bronzered Dasher may never be collectible. However, a stick-shift diesel-drinking Quantum wagon certainly would, except that America never got that version (par for the course, America). Some brilliant specimen of a human being scratched that forbidden itch by importing the car you see here in 2010. With a scant 36,000 miles and no evidence of rust, it’s again up for grabs at a reasonable price. Find this 1985 Volkswagen Passat diesel wagon for sale in Portland, ME for $6,500 via craigslist.

This Passat spent the last three years and 11,000 miles shuttling potential tenants around rental properties. Along the way, it was christened “Olive,” and probably sat at the dinner table with its owners. In its people-moving duties, it usurped a Jeep Wagoneer, and is now being replaced by a Honda CVCC four-wheel-drive wagon. This reveals quite a bit about the seller. If you had to trust someone with having keys to your home, why not an unapologetic car nut?

These non-turbocharged diesel four-bangers are slow. “How slow are they?” Well, they came with an analog clock in the instrument panel so you can measure its acceleration by the minute hand. Fifty-four horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque will at least feel entertaining through the four-(or five-?) speed manual transmission. A fresh feel and unfiltered driving feedback will likewise make for a pleasurable commute. Someone could easily justify paying $6,500 to get in this thing. “But how much would they pay to get out of it?” These are the jokes, folks.

If you weren’t interested in meeting the seller already, you will be after reading the thorough and refreshingly candid description. Everything works except the odometer, but the mileage has been verified and is supported by this 2010 blog posting that documents the car’s arrival into America. That paint job is new because the paint code for the door couldn’t be found after a minor incident, and it was easier to paint the whole thing in Split-Pea Soup green. Given its lofty (40 mpg) efficiency figures, ample cargo space, and low price, being green has never been easier.  

See another well-kept German rarity for cheap? Email us at: tips@dailyturismo.com.

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.