Rare Rides: A 1987 Volkswagen Doka, Hailing From Forbidden Manual Diesel Land
A familiar German visage greets the casual onlooker. “Ah yes, this is a Vanagon,” the American viewer thinks to himself. But once the eyes have scanned beyond the upright frontage and to the side of this white rectangle, a problem comes to light. Those eyes dart to and fro in disbelief. What should be there — the rest of the Vanagon — isn’t.
That’s because this is a Doka, and it’s the verboten manual diesel van-truck of your dreams.
What's Missing In Volkswagen's New "Rain" Warranty Commercial?
This commercial is not a circa 1970 follow-up to 1969’s infamous Woodstock Music & Art Fair. It’s not a the result of marketers in the 1980s looking back 10 or 15 years. It’s not Volkswagen’s late-to-the-party retro take on counterculture. No, this is Volkswagen’s People First Warranty commercial from 2017. Today.
It is a wholehearted embrace of Volkswagen’s history. The Microbus. An original Beetle. Hippies.
“I think what’s powerful about it,” Volkswagen of America’s marketing director Greg Tebbutt says, “is we’ve got a heritage story that is unique to us and only we can tell.”
But there’s something conspicuously absent from the 60-second “Rain” spot.
Junkyard Find: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia
Junkyard Find: 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Camper Type P22
This being Colorado, I see quite a few Volkswagen Vanagons on the street and in local wrecking yards. Mostly I ignore them for this series, because their local popularity means examples that show up at a Denver self-service yard get stripped immediately and aren’t very interesting photographic subjects. So far, we’ve seen just this exquisitely stereotype-reinforcing Steal Your Face Edition ’83, and that’s it prior to today’s find. An ordinary Vanagon with most of the parts gone, I’m not shooting it. A Vanagon Syncro (which I believe to be the most unwise money-pit available on four wheels or a Westfalia Camper, on the other hand, I’m always willing to photograph those rare birds. Here’s a squalid ’81 Westy that I found at a Denver yard last week.
Junkyard Find: 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Steal Your Face Edition
I usually don’t pay much attention to VW Transporters in the junkyard, but I have a friend with a Vanagon (he’s an industrial designer and decided that this VW— which I believe to be one of the worst motor vehicles ever built— says positive things about his sense of style and appreciation of good design) who needed a bunch of parts for his hopeless project van. So, when I found this ’83 at a Denver self-service wrecking yard, I grabbed a few bits and took some photos.