While rare on these shores, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Single-Cab Transporter has a design that should appeal to many. Let’s see if its price proves just as appealing.
If you’ve seen the movie The Bling Ring, then you’ll know that some people will stoop to damn near anything to get their hands on fancy clothes and accessories — even committing common thievery.
Last Friday’s 2008 Ford F-150 had been blinged out with crazy-big chromed wheels and a Roush supercharger package that put some serious crunch behind all the couture. All that came with a $15,000 asking price, which was not seen as a steal. The truck’s infamous 5.4 V8 came under particular scrutiny in the comments as did the truck’s overall appearance. In the end, that resulted in an unimpeachable 65 percent No Dice loss.
With all of its bling and a fully carpeted and capped bed, Friday’s truck was perhaps too far from the mainstream on the pickup truck utility spectrum. In contrast, today’s 1985 Volkswagen T3 Single-Cab Transporter is joyously free of any such limitations or pretense. What it does have is one of the most amazing bed to cab ratios of any truck, as well as even more storage on hand by way of its lockable under-bed “treasure chest.”
For all its rarity, the ad for the truck goes pretty light on its history. The description does note that the truck comes with a clear Ohio title and 54,000 miles on the clock. This being a gray market import from * gestures vaguely * somewhere, those miles are actually measured as kilometers as the VDO gauges are all metric. Since the odometer has only five primary barrels it’s possible that the actual number is 100k more.
The truck certainly looks like it has done more than 89,000 kilometers. That’s not to say, however, that it looks totally worn out. It just appears a bit rough around the edges. Oddly enough, the seller describes its appearance thusly: “Patina is SWEATY!” I don’t even know where to begin with that. Is that some sort of slang term, like when somebody says something is bad and by that they actually mean it’s good? Is it like saying someone’s girlfriend is thirsty?
Anyway, that patina is made up of what looks to be the original factory Oxford White paint mixed with some rattle can overage and a good bit of surface rust at the weld seams and door jambs. It doesn’t look too bad but should be addressed at some point lest it gets out of hand. Maybe the rust is the result of all that SWEAT.
Power is provided by a fuel-injected 1.9-liter “wasserboxer” flat-four, which from the factory would have produced 89 horsepower. That’s paired with a four-speed transaxle, and a new clutch sits between that and the engine. The seller claims the truck to be well maintained and attests to its ability to be driven anywhere.
We don’t see any of the interior, but this will have three-across seating and the bare minimum of accouterments. The windows and locks are manual, and maybe there’s a cigarette lighter if you’re lucky. The speedo housing does look to have been broken and reglued. That’s owed a bit of explanation. We can hope the rest of the cabin and trim has fared better.
The Doka, short for DoppelKabine, is the T3 truck to have. It has more cabin space and a bed that’s still usable. These single-cab editions are also pretty appealing. This one seems to have been a long-serving work truck and would make for a fun runs to the home improvement center runner, with a side job of drawing crowds at the local cars and coffee. Parts are readily available, if not exactly cheap, owing to the model not having been officially imported, but the internet solves that problem for much of what it might need.
The pachyderm on the premises, however, is that this is a forward-control pickup, and while that allows for the long bed on a short frame, it also means that should you hit anything at speed in it you are likely to fare poorly. That’s not just a people-killer but for some, it’s also a deal killer. This truck’s $9,500 asking price may serve to kill interest as well, but that’s just what we’re going to find out.
What do you think, is this Single-Cab worth doling out 9,500 singles to buy? Or, does that price transport this to No Dice territory?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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