When I posted the well-preserved old Mk2 Golf some time ago, I heard the cry amongst the commentariat: “Oh, if it only were the Golf Country!” Today I am able to answer that request, with both a Country advertised for sale and another I saw in the metal.
The VW Golf Country is sort of an oddball. While it does look like a backyard hackjob from some angles, especially with the bullbar up front, it’s an official Volkswagen product with proper Syncro 4WD – so they’re far removed from the Cross models of today, which have nothing else to stand up for them except plastic cladding and some stickers. While the Country has its own share of visual enhancement, it’s a step closer to the spartan, utilitarian Volkswagen Iltis.
We’re starting with this red 1992 Country, with an asking price of 3000 EUR. That’s what clean examples fetch, as they’re sought-after here. Hunters and countryfolk like their sturdied-up Golfs, but a word of warning – not all parts are easy to source. Off the top of my head, rear shocks were relatively difficult to get, but that situation has now been rectified as they’re now available from VW Classicparts.
In addition, this Golf and another that’s also advertised have issues with a magnetic valve in the drivetrain, so they’re FWD only when reverse is engaged.
Inside, there are chunky sports seats, but otherwise the driving environment is identical to the normal, non-Country Golf. The left bolster on the driver’s seat back is worn through and the gearshift’s leather is sagging, but there are not much more marks that the 200 000 km:s on the clock have left on the car.
The red Country also bears the original graphite-coloured wheels, even on the spare tire. Speaking of the spare, having it mounted on the (swivelling) spare tire bar means the registration plate has had to be moved onto the rear bumper, but as they’re still using the same tailgate as the regular Golf, there’s only a plastic section on the tailgate to fill up the indentation.
Moving on to the other one here:
This turquoise Country was photographed on the parking lot where I park my car for the day. I’ve seen it driving around town, but this time I could finally document it with a couple of quick snaps. It was rather icy and snowy, but that just means it’s in regular use and not mollycoddled.
Another thing is that the rear door handle’s either come off or been taken off. It’s common for Volkswagens and Audis to have trouble with door locks come wintertime, but the locks of Mk2 Golfs must be quite a bit simpler than the troublesome ones on Mk4:s.
No graphite wheels under this one, but it’s possible those have been relocated for summer duty.
As with all Countrys, under the hood is an 8-valve 1.8-litre four with something to the tune of 100hp. That is not too much for such a heavy construction, especially with the Syncro system bogging it down, but then again the whole car/truck looks so tall and narrow I’d say that with a craftier powerplant it would be far easier to topple the thing over.
I think I’ve seen a darker blue Country driving around town as well. If I happen to catch it and snap a few photos of it, I’ll be sure to post them in the comments.
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