Check Out This 1988 VW Doka For $27,000

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

VW never officially sold the Vanagon-based Dokas (Double Cab) in the U.S., but like so many forbidden fruits today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender proved desirable enough for somebody to do it on their own. Will its present price prove equally desirable?

So, last Friday 52% of you unapologetically voted Crack Pipe for a running and reasonably tidy 1993 Acura NSX that asked less than twenty-six grand. Geez, if I had a rolled up newspaper, you’d get such a smack!


Seriously though, you had motivation. The car did exhibit some aesthetic issues, and it rocked some serious miles. More importantly, it was located in O’ahu Hawaii, and who the hell wants the hassle of a trip to an island paradise just to test drive what is possibly one of the enthusiast community’s most chubby-inducing rides ever?

Okay, I’m just going to let you stew on what you’ve done. Or instead, maybe we could look at this 1988 VW Doka Tristar which is also a vehicle that many of us lust after. This one is even more expensive than last week’s NSX, but its actually here within the 48 contiguous States, where it’s even more rare than that Acura.

For those of you who have stumbled over here from Gawker or Kotaku and hence are wondering why this Volkswagen Vanagon’s back half seems to be missing - first off, welcome - and secondly, it’s alright, they built them like this. No shit.


This is a Double Cab work truck, sort of Germany’s version of our F-Series pickup. They go by Doka and most of them are three-door, rubber-floor, get it done and go get a beer, no-nonsense affairs.


This one is a desirable Tristar which means it has four doors, wall-to-wall carpet, cruise control, front seat armrests, and a number of other quality of life upgrades. VW never offered any of them, nice or not, over here.

The seller says he bought it in Germany last year and since then it’s apparently been living on the West Coast gleefully emptying out that owner’s bank account. The work done includes a flat four rebuild by none other than GoWesty, a new exhaust, new suspension bits, brakes, and fancy wheels with tires on them. All in all the seller claims over seventeen-grand has been dropped on it. And that was before he put a stereo worth sixteen-hundred in it because why the hell not.


There’s a lot more to like here, starting off with the fact that it’s a Doka and those are as awesome as sexy unicorns and animal style Double-Doubles. The interior looks like someplace you’d want to be, and there’s all that mechanical work that has already been completed including an wasserboxer that’s style under warranty.


On the downside, this 124,000-mile truck has some aesthetic flaws. There’s a bullseye in the windshield (which is shared with the standard Vanagon) and a pretty ugly dent in the curb-side rear fender arch. The seller seems pretty forthcoming when it comes to the truck’s description but calling a “fist-sized” dent small is a pretty substantial bit of literary license.


There’s also some wear showing on the wheel arches in front where years of legs sliding in and out of the seats have done their job on the paint. Other than that, damn this looks like it would be a ball to take to the DIY store to pick up this week’s home improvement essentials! Alternatively you could be the coolest dad in carline with this five-passenger four door, or the most awesome mom if that’s how you zip your trousers.

The asking price is $27,000 and the truck appears to have a clean Washington State license making it potentially legal everywhere but most likely California. These do show up here from time to time, but rarely with so much work already undertaken or without road rot dampening their desirability.


What’s your take on this Tristar Doka and its $27,000 price tag? Is that a deal to get your Doka on? Or, is this a work truck with a price that’s just not working for you?

You decide!


Seattle Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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