Spotted around Silverlake the other day, this late 80’s Volkswagen Vanagon is the essence of the free spirit- so versatile.
Some more information via Wikipedia:
Examples built between 1979 and 1985 featured round headlights and chrome-plated steel bumpers with plastic end-caps. Air-cooled models (1979 to mid-1983) lack the lower grill above the radiator of the water-cooled models, except on models with factory air conditioning. 1986 model year vehicles received revisions including a tachometer, more fabric choices, redesigned air conditioner, larger water-cooled engine with a more advanced engine management system, and redesigned transmissions including an optional Syncro four-wheel drive. Exterior changes include rectangular headlights (on selected models) and different paint options. Alloy wheels, larger and squarer plastic bumpers with trim along the rocker panels were optional, and standard equipment on Hannover Edition vans. For 1990 and 1991 model years, a “Carat” trim level was available which included all available options (except Westfalia conversion and 4WD).
All 1979, 1980 and some 1981 models had eight welded-in metal slats covering the engine ventilation passages behind the rear windows. Later models had black plastic 16-slat covers that slotted in at the top and screwed down at the bottom.
During the 1980s, the U.S. Army and Air Force in Germany used T3’s as administrative (non-tactical) vehicles. In military use the vehicle’s nomenclature was “Light Truck, Commercial”.
Porsche has created a version called B32 in a limited edition. The van, based on the luxurious Carat model, was equipped with the 231 PS (170 kW) 3.2 liter Carrera engine and was originally developed to support Porsche’s testing activities in Algeria. Ten of these were built, with some sold by Porsche to special customers. Porsche themselves also used the Porsche-engined bus to transport staff rapidly. Top speed was around 135 mph (217 km/h), although Porsche only claimed 116 mph (187 km/h) to ensure that the numbers could be replicated with nine people in the car and with the air conditioning on full.
Oettinger has developed a six-cylinder version called WBX6. The engine is derived from the “Wasserboxer” engine and has many common parts with it. The development of the engine was originally contracted to Oettinger by VW. Oettinger bought the rights when VW decided not to use it.