You might describe it as the little mountain goat version of Volkswagen´s ûberpopular Golf.
This is a 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country Syncro. Yes, that’s right; it’s not just a car. It’s also a country. It has four wheel drive (syncro, in Volkswagens own vocabulary), higher suspension travel, a skid plate and some intimidating looking cattle pushers (more like bars to protect the headlamps, but the word cattle pushers sounds so much meaner). But hey, it’s not recommended to push cattle, not even with this car.
You might say it’s a car for the adventurous type. Made for bearded fearless blokes, that gladly spends a weekend in a swamp or wants to roam around in the forest. If you get a flat tire while climbing mountains, no need to panic. There is a spare wheel mounted on the back. Guys like Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes would have loved this car (i think).
Unfortunately it is not as powerful as the popular Golf Gti. I guess many owners would have preferred the Country with a bit more oomph. Instead this car has a 1.8 liter petrol engine, with a 98 bhp. It’s not a rocket, but it’s funky and quite charming. A little bit like a posh Lada Niva.
Taking a closer look, this example is actually quite nice. Ok, it might need a little tender love and care, but it’s in ok condition. It has grey leather seats, electric and heated mirrors, flashy graphics that looked old even when new, funky wheels, four doors and a sun roof. What more could you want, back in 1990?
Compared to a standard Golf, this is way cooler. Unfortunately Volkswagen only made 7735 of these. It’s a shame that they only was made in 1990-1991. Therefore tidy examples now are starting to increase in value. When I took this picture at a classic car meet, people loved it, and it got a lot of attention. I actually kind of like it.
Text & Photo - Johan Åhlund
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