After trying a few times to get it to boot, I impolitely pointed out that they had a Mac Professional Troubleshooter in their midst who was infinitely grateful for his aforementioned rescue from the wilds of Sunnyvale to a place where there was high speed net access and a willing (and extremely attractive)
The problem was the classic "stiction" problem some of the older small hard drives fell prey to, the fixing of which involved the application of appropriate force (read: I done banged the thing against a knee in just the right spot until the drive heads floated free once again).
It's a little scary when you see what was once "state of the art" of a bygone era (1991!) after a long absence. No PC card slot, ethernet, a built in trackball instead of the now ubitquious (and yet in itself dated) trackpad, and a 1-bit LCD display (that's black and white for those of you who are tech impaired). Yet I realized that, with some effort, I could probably get it on the 'Net anyway. Browsing would look funky dithered in black pixels on a low res screen, but it would WORK.
Anyway, I should get back here... the VW place was supposed to call back by now.