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Passat, my love.

For more than four decades, families throughout the world have been experiencing their travelling and holiday adventures with the Passat. We asked Volkswagen fans on Facebook to share their memories with us. Here we gather their best pictures and stories.

» Even the gravel roads proved no problem for the Passat. «

Wave Rock, Australia

Claas T. Scholz

In January 1990, our parents drove with my brother and me to Wave Rock in the Western Australian outback. My brother was seven, and I was nine. It was very hot, around 40 degrees Celsius. The Passat didn’t have air conditioning but we rolled down all the windows and cranked up the vents to keep from sweating so much. My father would take a concerned glance at the temperature gauge every now and again but there was nothing to worry about.

At an average speed of 50 miles-an-hour, it took us four hours to get there. They were pleasant hours; even the gravel roads and narrow stretches proved no problem for the Passat. It only got uncomfortable when oncoming cars passed and we had to drive on the unpaved shoulders to avoid a collision. Coughing, we rolled up the windows to keep out the clouds of dust that would waft into the car. But then it became unbearably hot, and minutes later we would open all the windows again. The same thing happened with every passing car. When we finally got to our destination, we hired a caravan to sleep in. The whole trip was fantastic.

We kept our Passat for another five years after that and never had any trouble with it. It was absolutely reliable. So much so that I opted for a Volkswagen myself when I started my own family. 

Lac de Longemer, France 

Erich Geiger

The red Passat was my first business car with all-wheel drive and turbocharger – finally no more jalopies! Even back then the thing had about 160 hp and so could effortlessly pull our family caravan to Alsace-Lorraine and other holiday spots. In Greece the Passat even conquered small streams and gravel roads. This picture shows me on 1 May 1992 with my daughter Lisa near Lac de Longemer – I actually wanted to go wind-surfing there, but the weather didn’t cooperate. 

Varel, Germany

Dieter Schneider

I got my Passat by chance. I’d had another used car before that, but it had completely rusted through a short time later. Since I was young and didn’t have much money, I needed a more reliable car. So I got myself a six-year-old Passat. The picture was taken on a spontaneous jaunt to East Friesland. After work on Friday I packed up the Passat for the weekend and drove from Solingen to Varel. There I surprised my then girlfriend, who was holidaying with her parents in East Friesland. Altogether I had that Passat for four years. I’ve driven a Volkswagen ever since, though now I have a Tiguan. 

» Thanks for the memories, yellow one! «

Bibione, Italy 
Brini Volkmann

There are some childhood memories that stick with you for a lifetime. In my case it was “the yellow one”.

There are some childhood memories that stick with you for a lifetime. In my case it was “the yellow one”. As soon as anyone at home mentions it, a thousand images pop into my head, from summer holidays, adventures and long-forgotten memories. “The yellow one” isn’t a reference to a relative with liver spots, but our nickname for our legendary 1975 Passat TS. Its rear was adorned with a sticker with three ducks that indelibly burned itself into my memory. It matched perfectly with the rally yellow of the Passat.

Summer was our big event. Back then in the mid-eighties, my parents packed a mountain of swimming and trekking gear, cool boxes with supplies, and my brother and me into the car and we were off. Six whole weeks in Italy! My place was in the back left seat, safely stowed by mum in the stylish orange Römer child seat. Even today, the memory of the plastic smell of the cover and the way my legs stuck to the material in 30-degree heat makes me feel a bit queasy. But where the pampered adult sees only an endless slog, for me back then the trip from the Rhineland over the Brenner pass to Bolzano, and later down to the Adriatic, in the Passat was a great adventure. After every nap a new landscape appeared outside the window, foreign towns, huge mountains and finally the long-awaited sea. Thanks for the memories, yellow one! 

Olfen, Germany

Nils Lindheimer

The great liberation came on the day of my school-leaving exam. It was silver, took diesel and had so much space that I only needed one trip to move everything from my parents’ house into student accomodation in Giessen. The dog’s name was George, by the way.

 

» The Passat was my ticket to freedom. «

Dajti National Park, Albania
Johan Baguca

Until the fall of the Iron Curtain, my homeland Albania was among the most isolated places on earth. It was all but impossible to visit the country, let alone leave it. Which also meant that there were very few cars. And you could forget about western cars. After the fall of the regime in autumn 1990, that all changed in a hurry. All of a sudden, we saw western cars everywhere on the streets. Buying something “Made in Germany” was proving very popular. 

In December 1991, my father bought a 1986 Passat 1.6 Diesel. The first car in the history of our family. My father drove this Passat for almost 16 years. I was born in 1994. I was six the first time I was allowed to sit in the front. It was love at first sight. Every free minute I had, I sat in the driver’s seat and pretended to be driving the car all around the country by myself. For years, sitting behind that wheel was my favourite pastime.
 

On weekends, we often drove to Mount Dajt near the capital, Tirana. The drive in the Passat followed by a game of football and a picnic became a family tradition. 

My father had some business in Athens. My older brother and I always tried to persuade him to take us along, and were often successful. The approximately 930 miles there and back were not exactly a pleasure cruise – the roads were mostly in horrible condition. But we thought it was great every time. Once, my father returned from Athens with a countryman, whose every possession was being ferried in or on the Passat – from his sofa to his washing machine. 

The day when my father sold the Passat was a sad day for me. I wrote “Johan Baguca, Tirana, Albania, 2007” on a slip of paper. Then I carefully removed the upholstery on the steering wheel, right between the two horn buttons, and stuck the paper to the steering column with some tape. I hope it’s still there today.

» The day when my father sold the Passat was a sad day for me. «