Junkyard Gem: 1992 Volkswagen EuroVan CL


Volkswagen is once again in the van-selling business in the United States, after a best-forgotten period of attempting to sell rebadged Chrysler minivans plus the occasional teasing of vans that we never got here. The last gasp for the good old VW Transporter aka VW Bus here was the fourth-generation model, known in North America as the EuroVan and sold from the 1992 through 2003 model years. Here’s a first-year EuroVan, found in a Denver-area knacker’s yard recently.

38 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

The EuroVan had to compete against increasingly popular SUVs plus a huge range of affordable minivans from Detroit and Japan, so not many made it to our shores and they are quite rare in junkyards today. I find quite a few third-generation Transporters (aka Vanagons) during my junkyard travels, as well as the occasional second-generation model, but years go by between EuroVan sightings.

21 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

This one was built for new sale in Canada. I find Canadian-market cars in United States junkyards regularly, including a 1985 Peugeot 505, a 1991 Honda Civic, a 1997 Acura EL and a 2004 Acura EL. It’s legal for a Canadian- or Mexican-registered vehicles to drive in the United States for one year, after which it must return home or get proper registration in the United States. Since 1992 is well before the 25-year federal importation limit, this van might have been imported legally after 2017.

14 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

The instrument cluster was gone, so I didn’t see the telltale km/h speedometer, but the transmission type suggested that the original buyer of this van purchased it across the border. EuroVans with five-speed manual transmissions were sold in the United States, but few bought them.

18 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

The engine is a 2.5-liter gasoline-burning straight-five, rated at 109 horsepower. Since this van scales in at just under two tons, it would have been firmly within the tradition of excruciatingly slow VW Transporters.

05 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

It’s never a good sign for junkyard engine shoppers when you see spare engine parts inside the vehicle.

07 1992 Volkswagen Eurovan in Colorado junkyard photo by Murilee Martin

EuroVan sales in the United States continued through 2003, and these vans still have their devoted zealots enthusiasts in the United States today. There are two of them that park on the street in my Denver neighborhood, though I’m sure those Transporters don’t impress the owners of the half-dozen Vanagon Syncros who also live within a few blocks.

It’s definitely not a minivan, according to VWoA’s marketers.

Nothing mini about it!

When you do some serious begetting, you require something bigger than a Passat.

VW never gave up on the Transporter for Europe.

Just the thing for hard work.



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