Find of the Day: Retired THW 1990 Syncro Transporter Doka

Part of the fun owning a classic is that it’s kind of a time machine. Thanks to its history and livery, this Transporter is sure to take you back in time.

This 1990 Syncro T3 would be an interesting enough car on its own, but what makes it really special is that it used to be a service vehicle for a German federal organization called the Technisches Hilfswerk (THW).


In the most German way possible, Technisches Hilfswerk roughly translates to the Federal Agency for Technical Relief, whatever that means. Founded in 1950, the THW was originally conceived as a civil defense organization, but now it’s basically used for disaster relief, working with the fire department, the police, and other governmental organizations.

So, this Vanagon, in its day, would have been filled with radio equipment, rescue equipment, and efficient Germans in uniforms saving lives. Plus, it would have had the THW’s bad ass logo on it.


Nowadays, the T3 is in Saint Paul, Minnesota, so there’s some rust and it sounds like there will still be some work to do before it looks like it did in the ‘90s. The owner claims, though, that it has a new clutch, a new 2.1L engine, new front brakes, stainless cooling pipes, an aluminum expansion tank, OME shocks, and a rebuilt front suspension.

Prices for Vanagons always surprise me, so it shouldn’t be a surprise if the $35,000 being asked for sounds surprisingly high to me, but on the other hand this is some pretty excellent VW esoterica.

Check out the ad at The Samba.


Example of a THW T3
Example of a THW T3