Quantum Mechanics: 1984 Volkswagen Quantum Turbo Diesel Wagon

Quantum is defined in physics by Merriam-Webster as “the smallest amount of many forms of energy (such as light).  Passat is a made up word by Germans for a large family car produced by Volkswagen.  Dasher was Santa’s main reindeer until that upstart Rudolph with his nose so bright came along to guide the sleigh.  Find this 1984 Volkswagen Quantum Turbo Diesel Wagon for sale in Bellingham, WA for $3,300 via craigslist.

The original Passat was introduced in the U.S. in 1974 as a either a 3 or 5 door hatchback or as a station wagon.  For some reason the Germans renamed it the Dasher for the American market.  When the second generation Passat was introduced in 1978, again Passat was thought to be too strange for the New World, and it was called the Quantum in North America.

Our ad car says it is powered by a 1.9L turbo diesel, but in my cursory internet search, the only diesel Quanta (plural of Quantum) came with in the U.S. was a 1.6L turbo.  At any rate, either way it promises to be slow, noisy and stinky – the 1.6 turbo diesel was rated at 68 hp.  Road & Track measured a five-speed, turbodiesel Quantum sedan doing zero to 60 mph in 14.3 seconds and finishing the quarter-mile in 19.7 seconds at 69 mph.  But fans of the Fuel of Satan tell me it’s all about the torque, which was 98 ft-lbs for the Quantum, so I dunno.

As with any old Volkswagen, the ad lists many recent things done – “motor mounts, tires, breaks, bearings, struts, shocks, suspension groments” (sic) plus things needing to be addressed and some spare parts including a transmission.  My guess is that battle fatigue has set in.

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Gianni is Daily Turismo’s Pacific Northwest correspondent.  He is in agreement with Jeremy Clarkson that diesel is the Fuel of Satan – especially when he’s driving his Miata.