By on September 26, 2010

You’re driving along, and from a distance it looks like just another one of a million white Econoline vans with ladders on top parked in front of the job site. But wait a minute…

The silhouette alone is all wrong: it sits way too low. That load floor is just a small step from the road.

A VW Transporter; FWD, with a little TDI four cylinder and a stick shift. Where did that come from? It certainly was never sold here legally. I’m guessing Canada, given the tell-tale rust streaks. Well, if Ford isn’t going to build a modern FWD Transit van, one has to take matter into one’s own hands.

The “r” must have fallen off a long time ago, or?

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14 Comments on “Curbside Classic Outtake: The Un-Econoline Illegal Alien Van...”

  • avatar

    Oh, man, Paul? Illegal alien van? You might as well close the comments right now… ;)
    In other news, any TTAC info on the Hyundai “the most important part of the car is the nut holding the wheel” recall?

  • avatar

    Transporte? Must be from Quebec

    • 0 avatar

      Negative, it’s “transport” in French (or “transporteur” if you’re going for a direct translation), and I can’t think of any example of a car model ever getting a Quebec-specific name.

  • avatar

    Every time I sit down to watch the latest gratuituously topless Statham action flick, I expect him to be driving one of these. Instead, I am treated to a disappointing 2 hour commercial for yet another boring Audi. When will VAG ever get it right?

  • avatar

    “Transporte” actually means “transportation” in Spanish, and is often used as in “oh, there comes my bus” —«allá viene my transporte»

  • avatar

    I think this car is from Spain. T3s, T4s, T5s, etc. are sold as “Transporte” in this area.
    Imagine, how much money VW earned by dropping the “r”! No wonder that Piech has trouble now to count his money and his children.

  • avatar

    I love how the location for the sliding door track is  still stamped into the doorless cargo version.

    • 0 avatar

      The sliding door will be on the right side — but it’s a single set of stampings for LHD, RHD and versions with two sliding doors.  Not a problem for commercial customers, and saves tooling and manufacturing costs.

  • avatar

    Looks like a 1996 or 1997 LWB Transporter, likely from BC or Alberta.  VW sold lots of them in Canada from 1993 to 1997, most of them white like this one.  Equipped with a 2.4L 5-cyl. prechamber diesel (i.e., non-TDI) that produced a whopping 77 hp, they all came with a 5-speed manual and no A/C.  They were (and are) very popular with tradespeople up here, but many of them are dying slow, painful deaths due to rust and neglect.  I would venture that the “R” in Transporter simply fell off.  They were all sold as Transporters here, except the passenger versions that were badged as Eurovans.  I had a 1992 EV CL, 2.5L gas with a 5-speed.  It was great when it ran. 

  • avatar

    Hmm, I lean towards Canadian-spec. Or, at least somebody put North American bumpers on that thing at some time. The rear fogs are integrated with the bumpers on Euro versions.
    Can’t find any mention of a “VW Transporte” anywhere on the interwebs, not even in Espana.

  • avatar

    I had a 2002 Eurovan MV. Definatly a love-hate thing.  Loved the MV interior, table, curtains, rear facing 2-nd row.   Tons of space.  Handled well.  I liked the way it drove.  Not the soft flabby mini-van feel.  It felt tight and solid on the road.  I also really liked the way it looked.

    The down side!  Well the list is very long!  It suffered the usual horrible VW reliability.  The VR6 was thirsty, and required premium.  The drive-by wire lag was among the worst I’ve ever seen.  Did I mention realibility was horrible?  Failed a/c compressors in the 2nd year, failed ABS computer board (abs kicked on while the van was parked in the garage.  fortunatly I heard it and disconnected the battery.  A friend had his ford van burn to the ground when the same thing happened to him).  there were other issues.  VW has the most customer hostile repair shops on the planet.  Parts availability … not.  Every repair was a 3 day adventure with a week in between, usually with multiple attempts, and inability to order the right parts, and a week waiting time while the parts were hand made by german monks and shipped to the US by carrier pidgeon.  I’ll stop here before I get myself angry again.

    It was the van I really wanted to love, and also the final nail in the coffin of VW for me.  I would never, ever, EVER curse myself with crap from that company again.

  • avatar

    “Negative, it’s “transport” in French (or “transporteur” if you’re going for a direct translation), and I can’t think of any example of a car model ever getting a Quebec-specific name.”

    Well you could say the Buick “Allure” was Quebec-specific since GM Canada didn’t want to call it’s proper name LaCrosse. They’ve since changed their minds. I guess they had other more important things to concentrate on………..

  • avatar

    Looks like a slammed T1N Sprinter at a glance…

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