Since everyone seemed to be so upset by the price of the last VW Van I posted, I figured I’d post a very rare example at a much more reasonable price: just $57k.
1991 VW Vanagon DOKA Tristar Syncro for sale
Before everyone gets their collective leiderhosen in bunches, I’ll let the seller explain WHY this VW is deserving of a such a price. It’s a long but entertaining read, and I highly recommend it to fans of obscure VW knowledge.
These trucks are pretty common all over the world, EXCEPT in the USA. VW technically did not import ANY Vanagon trucks into the USA. This is one of 18 that was brought into Canada under very special circumstances. Indeed, there is a great story behind this Vanagon TriStar Double Cab (DOKA) Syncro (4WD) truck.
As the story goes, there once was an oil exploration company in Canada that ordered 18 Syncro DOKAs just like this one. And, they were not just ANY Syncro DOKAs, but all TriStar models—more on that in a moment. The company ended up going out of business before the trucks arrived. So, VW of North America ended up selling these 18 trucks through their distributors in Canada.
Well, one of the ex-employees of the company snagged two of these, and brought them legally back home to Southern California. Check out the photos of the current California title. That is right: This is one of those 18 DOKAs made with the correct VIN for North America. This may seem like an inconsequential detail—but it is actually quite a big deal in this case, because this DOKA is diesel powered. Currently, it is not possible to bring a diesel powered vehicle into California if the vehicle in question was not a model offered somewhere else in the USA. NO WAY. So, the first amazing thing about this DOKA is that it is a totally LEGALLY REGISTERED DIESEL: That alone would be crazy enough, but it gets better…
Every DOKA ever made, except for these 18, was sold outside the USA. They were sold in Northern Europe and Scandinavia, and were mostly work trucks, put into service in severe weather (especially the Syncro models). Of the 18 that made it to North America, most were sold in Canada. What does this mean? It means that just about every DOKA ever made is now a rust bucket. By contrast, thistruck has lived all its life in Southern California, and has spent its time on the freeway. Therefore: NO RUST. Anybody who has ever spent time staring at a DOKA, like me, is simply amazed by how incredibly rust free this example is. But wait, it gets better…
This is not just any ol’ DOKA. This is a TriStar. So, unlike 90% of all VW DOKAs ever made that were basically 3-door, stripped-down work trucks, the TriStars were built super plush. TriStar means it has every factory option, including:
• Full plush cloth interior
• Padded dash
• Wall-to-wall carpet
• Heated driver’s seat
• Rear window defroster
• Cruise control
• Arm rests on both front seats
• Power windows
• Rear differential lock
• And last but not least: FOUR DOORS
And, that’s not all…
The guy we got this from is a super duper, over-the-top Vanagon NUT. He went totally overboard and did the following:
– Complete repaint inside and out to factory color
– Gray color redone all around the bottom
– Lots of seals and gaskets replaced
– All new carpet throughout
– Syncro.Org springs
– Old Man Emu shocks
– All new brakes
– Driveshaft decoupler (still has viscous coupler)
– Nice stereo with new larger speakers under rear seat
– All new power door lock system with remote entry
PLUS, HE ADDED:
– Air conditioning system (that kicks ass, BTW)
– Fresh transaxle with much taller 3rd and 4th gears, for the…
LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
– 1.9 liter Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine with intercooler
Now, a few words about the AC and TDI engine:
AC in a DOKA? That is not possible…. that is, unless you are some sort of super duper, over-the-top Vanagon NUT. The owner had the AC unit painstakingly removed from an early 80s Vanagon, painted to match the interior scheme, and custom-installed so it looks like it came that way from the factory. Now, we have added NORMAL, FACTORY AC into a run-of-the-mill Westy that did not have it. It was a fairly straight forward job, but still cost north of $5k—all said and done. I just can’t IMAGINE how much time THIS took.
So, again, I admit that this kind of car is highly overpriced for most people. However, there is a dedicated group out there for whom the words DOKA, Syncro, and TDI are holy terms and nearly soul-shatteringly awesome when combined altogether. For someone out there, this rare gem is easily worth its price.