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The arrival of Frank

It looked like Frank hadn't been out of his garage in some months. TLC definitely needed!


The arrival of Frank

It looked like every panel needed work, too. And two bits of body trim were MIA, lost in the accident. The trim is a different shape and style to the Golf, and earlier Passats.


The arrival of Frank

The green paint job had not been done professionally and was flaking off. And they hadn't even removed the trim etc to do it. Nor was it a VW colour. So that had to go.


The arrival of Frank

The arrival of Frank

Both tail lights were broken. Neither would pass a road worthy and needed replacing. And I was soon to discover that this style taillight was only used on Passats for about two years tops, for the crossover model from B1 to B2. Not on the wagon, either, only the hatch.

However, Frank was 95% intact. A good start. I set to reading about Passats online and in VW books and studying Ebay for parts. Then I discovered how rare Frank is in Australia: back in 1980, when Frank was born, the German Mark was very high against the Australian dollar. So buying a Passat then (as they were German assembled, VW Australia having closed their Clayton factory down in 1977) was something only rich people did. An import would have been quite expensive and luxurious, and I imagine people may have opted more for a Mercedes or BMW than a VW in those days.

Frank's shape is different to earlier Passats; the folded nose was only used in this model. The twin round headlights only came on this model. The earlier Passats had chrome bumpers, not plastic. The tail gate with the tapered down section was another feature that only existed with this model. I soon began to realise that what I had was not only a rarity but a pain in the ass when it came to some parts. I couldn't fit any other Passat bumper to the car as the bumpers are moulded into the lines of the car. Nor could we use any other tail light without some modifications. Great.


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