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Surf Green Syncro: VW Golf Country


There are a variety of cars that over the years have been given the 4WD treatment for no obvious reason. I always go back to the late ’80s Nissan Sentra wagon, virtually extinct today, that could be ordered with 4WD if so desired. This Volkswagen Golf Country is a bird of a similar feather, though the Country actually had some respectable off-road chops. Find this one here on eBay with 40 bids and five days left in the auction.


With only 18,000 miles from new, this already-rare car is made even more so for being virtually new in the wrapper. Since they were never imported to the United States, the Golf Country quickly became an object of great desire for owners of MK2 platform Volkswagens. Now that this car is 25 years old, it’s ripe for importation to the states. It’s also the best color, my personal favorite: Surf Green!


VW only made about 3,000 Golf Countrys, and they were outfitted with the company’s famous Syncro four-wheel drive system. The engine was diminutive and didn’t put out much power, ringing in at 1.8 liters with just under 100 bhp on tap. But of course, with the jacked up ride height that was standard with the Country, you weren’t buying this car for tackling high-speed sweepers.


Here you can see the standard rear-mount spare tire, the rear bullbars and unmarked paint. There’s also a unique subframe to protect the Syncro’s pricey differential. All of this adds up to a rig that was far more than just some window dressing; VW truly intended for buyers to use this car to go over hill and dale, not to just sit at Starbucks. What a wonderful era that must have been. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find.


  1. hhaleblian

    Smurf Green rather than Surf

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  2. Jason Houston

    Twenty-five years today is like five years several decades ago. In other words, nothing important has happened; it’s just another foreign tin can in a yukky color.

    But a good cure for insomnia.

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  3. dj

    La la la-la la la
    Sing a happy song
    La la la-la la la
    Smurf your whole day long

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  4. randy

    I truly like this car and would put it to use here in the mountains.
    It is already at 7K, my bet is it’ll stop just shy of 10K. There will probably be more of these coming over at this price and desire.

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  5. jim s

    it is left hand drive and has a miles per hour speedo. i wonder what country is was built for?

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    • randy

      I would guess Germany, but I do not recall if Germany ever had MPH speedos.
      The importer may have swapped it out for a US cluster?

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      • Bobsmyuncle

        Kilometers only.

        For you guys with the Smurf comments, you DO realize this car is green right? Smurfs were blue.

        Perhaps this a case of blue/green colour blindness as is rampant among men.

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  6. Clinton

    Follow the seller on ebay. He lists these regularly along with Kombi and campers. Pretty cool stuff however some of his ads seem like a typical dealer which is a bummer. Most of his listings include “fresh undercoat” …either way still interesting to look at.

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  7. Dougm

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe these were available at Canadian dealerships,
    have been told by a friend who had one that they’re awesome on trails

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      I was tempted to suggest the same but can’t be certain.

      It would have been metric regardless.

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  8. Ethan

    I’ve always wanted one. Plenty of fun YouTube off-roading videos. These also came with a 1.9 Turbo Diesel I believe, which would be my preference.

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  9. jim s

    sold at $ 12300.

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    • randy

      That is cool. I am hoping high prices will open the door for other non US cars to come on over. It went higher than I expected by a large percent.

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      • jim s

        yes i too think it sold in the right price range to allow importers/sellers a profit without scaring buyers away.

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  10. Dan

    Looks like the sale fell through and it is relisted here.


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  11. Mike

    I’m 95% sure this is the same Golf Country I just bought from NJ. I had it shipped to Houston and aside from the lack of A/C, it’s perfect. But a quick correction: about 7,700 were made.

    Like 0

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