1989 Volkswagen Transporter DoKa

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Most of the DoKas we see come with a healthy patina and air of “roughing it.” Today’s is more an exercise in German modification, and wouldn’t be out of place carrying some baddies in Run Lola Run. With a redone interior, pickup bed cover, and newish black paint over late-model Jetta wheels, there’s nothing utilitarian about this. The interior does look decent (if you can handle the orange accents), but the GPS system currently only has European maps on it. That kind of caveat seems to be a theme here, making it funny in a very German way.

Click for details: 1989 Volkswagen Transporter DoKa on eBay


Year: 1989
Model: T2 DoKa
Engine: 1.6 liter diesel inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 230,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction

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1989 VW Doka, 1.6L diesel with updated custom interior. If you are looking for style and a very well equipped cockpit this is the Doka for you. The interior is equipped with power front seats, power windows, power door locks/keyless entry/alarm system. Also installed is a GPS Nav (NAV Gear) system with Bluetooth for hands free mobile devices. The interior lighting has also been upgraded with LED and blue lighting to add a unique style. The exterior has new paint and holds a great shine, the bed has been upgraded with diamond plated steel floor. The tires and rims have been updated with late model VW alloy rims and all season tires with approximately 75% tread remaining. This is a real find and is a solid VW with a rust free body and frame. The motor and transmission are in perfect working order and with the 1.6L diesel you expect the great fuel economy. Currently registered in Maine with clean title and NO SMOG required in California!

The overall condition of this Doka is good and has been customized in Germany. The exterior paint is in great condition with two small areas that require a touch up. The original paint color appears to be orange and can be seen in the engine compartment. The GPS/Nav system needs to be updated with US maps, it currently has European maps installed. I have replaced the battery, but there is an electrical draw on the battery that will deplete the battery over time….just haven’t had time to troubleshoot. It has only happened when I haven’t started it for over a week. It was inspected by a German mechanic prior to shipment to the states and there were no major findings.

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I get the feeling the seller imported this from Germany and was really stoked, but then realized that the practicality inherent in the DoKa has been all but run out of this one, and now he’s trying to recoup his investment. If this work had been done to a normal Vanagon, I’d probably think it were a little cooler. Conversely, if this were a patina’d and beat 230k-mile diesel DoKa, I’d probably be a bit more enthusiastic too. Instead, it runs a weird middle ground with too many issues, too much “personality,” and too high of a reserve for me to think much of.


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  1. Weird the second paragraph is now missing from the description on eBay.

    Cool truck but I think you’re right @Nate, probably lots of sorting and little issues still going on. As it sits, just 4 pics and a pretty generic description? Come on!

  2. Wow…that is the busiest, most convoluted custom interior I’ve seen in a Vanagon. Over the years there have been many attempts to “improve” the vanagon interiors. All of them unique, some of them rather creative, none of them successful.

    Be wary of aftermarket seats in a Vanagon, especially if they’re power seats. The over-the-wheelwell positioning of the front seats is very high to begin with and the factory seat bottoms are low profile to compensate. I had seats out of a Porsche 993 C4S in my van and it took a lot of finagling to get the seat mounted low enough to be functional. Otherwise the top of the steering wheel blocks your view of the instruments and you have to operate the pedals with your tippy toes. I managed to avoid these issues but I still had to scoot the seat back every time I got in/out of the van so my legs would clear the steering wheel. Totally worth it though!

  3. @markiteight…true that on the busy interior. My two favorite parts are:
    – the golf club cover shift boot
    – the mount for the GPS screen that makes it look like a cieling mounted TV in a limo circa 1985

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