By on September 22, 2015


What remarkable times these are. A week ago, a Volkswagen diesel was a sensible choice for a reliable, fuel efficient family vehicle. Now, those same cars make their owners pariahs in the green car community.

The devils’ advocate in me tells me to embrace the newfound hatred for VW — and diesels in general. After all, I live in an area without emissions regulations. Sadly, there are plenty of brodozers around here, rolling coal between suburban roundabouts. Let’s combine the two. Here’s a Braudozer!

Of course, a bed-mounted, ash-spewing exhaust stack would look a bit silly in a rear-engined vehicle, but you get the idea.

This privately-imported VW T3 DoKa (double-cab) looks to be in excellent condition and — save the Porsche-aping, too large alloy wheels — looks absolutely perfect. The diamond-plate door panels are a bit too much on the interior, however. Surely replacement door cards wouldn’t be too difficult to source from the Fatherland?

Bidding has cracked $10,000 on this truck, surprisingly. The ones that seem to sell for the most money are either Syncro all-wheel-drive models, have powerful Subaru or Porsche engine swaps, or both. This would be cool for a local Porsche/Audi/VW tuner shop truck.

Once they swap out the oil-burning bits, of course.

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19 Comments on “CrapWagen Outtake: 1989 VW T3 DoKa Diesel...”

  • avatar

    Nice .

    But , $10K for a pink VW ? .


  • avatar

    Isn’t Bruder German for brother? Shouldn’t it be der Brudozer?

  • avatar

    Why does the entire rest of the world understand this but not the US? THAT is how to do a light truck bed when the bed is actually going to be used for work.

    Some keis even have that with dump capability.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I would put it down to two reasons that the; “Why does the entire rest of the world understand this but not the US? THAT is how to do a light truck bed when the bed is actually going to be used for work.”

      The first reason is many pickups in the US vs the globe are used as daily drivers and not as a vehicle for commercial use.

      The second is, the size of the US full size pickup tub is quite large. So, to gain the same capability a midsize or these small FWD control trucklets use a tray or flatbed.

      VW have traditionally made their flatbeds as this truck is manufactured, with the use of the lower part of the vehicle chopped of to make the bed.

    • 0 avatar

      The rear engine/trans forced sides that need to drop, or they’d be too high to reach over. That setup may be better for certain situations/cargo, but the US style ‘pickup bed’, used/loved/preferred throughout the world, is way more useful in many more work scenarios, with the added benefit of a very handy tailgate/bench. The lower floor means less lifting of bulky/heavy items, like appliances, air compressors, engines, etc.

      But what had to seal the deal was our love of ‘cabover’ campers, shells and tonneau covers. None are possible with transporter style decks.

      Now you could theoretically put a deck on top of a pickup bed, having upper and lower decks, but no one would find that more useful, over all.

      • 0 avatar

        The “lower floor” you mention of the US style pickup has gone the way of the dodo bird. The top of the bedrails on most half-ton pickups sold today is higher than the roof of both my 1990s Passat and Civic.

      • 0 avatar

        This floor is at least a foot, possibly 18 inches, lower than the floor of current full-size 4×4 truck beds.

        Except for the camper use case you mentioned, I don’t see any downsides to drop-side beds, except maybe lower side height — although that’s good at least as often as it’s bad.

        • 0 avatar

          There is such a thing as “too low,” but the only way to get to that point is to have an old 2WD minitruck. For some reason, all the 2WD trucks today are just as tall as 4WDs in the back.

      • 0 avatar

        I dunno, I’m pretty sure everyone who’s done that to their pickup finds it more useful.

      • 0 avatar

        They’re taller now, but let’s not get crazy. The bed floor of my 4×4 F-150 is about 3 inches above the 30″ tires. That’s between the wheel lip and bed floor of the Transporter.

        I’m 5’9″ and though I can’t reach small items on the bed floor, wearing sneakers, I don’t leave small items loose in the bed.

        The Transporter is midsize anyway, from decades ago. Compare it to ’89 compact and midsize pickups and its bed floor a good foot higher. Not really ideal in its day or today.

        • 0 avatar

          Honestly, I’m happy with half-ton beds where they are (I’m 5’10” with my boots on, 5’9″ with shoes). It’s the HD pickup beds being literally at eye level that’s the problem! And yes, I know there’s a very good reason for that. If our F-350 was as high as our F-150, it’d be dragging on the ground when it’s fully loaded. But I’m not going to be all jumping up onto the tires and leaping off the bed sides, young and spry forever. Surely there’s a happy medium somewhere!

    • 0 avatar

      I personally love the look and function of a dropside bed. There is a company near Seattle that makes them out of aluminum, they look great.

  • avatar

    One of the most useful truck beds of all time, the Corvair Rampside, is no longer with us, a great shame!

  • avatar

    Also no longer with us is the earlier double cab VW pickup, rear engine, RWD, drop sides. Mine blew a recently rebuilt engine (just out of warranty) on a vacation trip a thousand miles from home.

    The only option I could afford was to part with it at fire sale prices.

    The vehicle had panache…everyone, or at least every VW aficionado who saw it, wanted one. The only small workhorse truck-like vehicle that got more style points in its day was a Pinzgauer pickup with dropsides.

    Mine looked it like it belonged to a German tradesman. The Pinzgauer looked like it belonged to the Army of the German Democratic Republic, in spite of its being parked in a local Dunkin Donuts in the Cherry Hill NJ area at the time.

    Its owner said its home was down in the DC area.

    As to why we don’t get any small German or other foreign pickups, I will whisper “chicken tax” so as not to arouse the economics-challenged lurking among us. Still, I guess I expect they will arise at the mention of the two words juxtaposed.

    Oh well…it’s still true, whether everyone gets it or not.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve had a few VW pickups over the years , for general delivery work the raised bed with drop sides was fantastic ~ no bending over to reach the freight .

      On the other hand , I often transport old Motocycles and the higher bed makes loading and unloading a bothersome chore so off went the cool old VW Typ II’s , including the two first year crew cabs with the ‘ suicide ‘ third door…..


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