Long before Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, GMC, Toyota, and Nissan filled our streets with four-door pick-ups with seating for six adults, Volkswagen offered an extended cab, six-passenger version of its ubiquitous Transporter. Unlike today’s roomy, four-door pick-ups with powerful V-8s, automatic transmission climate control, and power everything, the Type 265 VW Double Cab Transporter was a pure utilitarian tool, delivered with a 1,600cc, 48 horsepower flat four, a four-speed manual transmission, and few creature comforts. In Germany, the model was called the “doppelkabine,” or double-cab version, but that was soon shortened to “DOKA.”
The roots of the DOKA go back to November 1949, when Volkswagen’s first forward control van was constructed and dubbed the Type 2 model. Initially, it was offered as the Kombi people carrier with two side windows and removeable seats, as well as the Commercial, which was suitable for a variety of business purposes. The following year, a dedicated passenger vehicle was introduced as the “Microbus.” Total Type 2 production reached 9,542 units for the first full year of production. For 1951, a Deluxe Microbus was offered, followed by an ambulance version in December of that year. Production of all available variants amounted to 11,805 units.
A new variant of the Commercial came along in 1952, and it was a single cab pickup, which had handy dropdown bed sides and rear tailgate. Although the payload was much lower than American light trucks of the day, it proved very popular in Europe, and was also sold in the United States. In 1958 a German landscaping company commissioned the respected commercial coachbuilder Binz to convert single cab Transporters to double cab trucks. VW was impressed enough to contract Binz to build crew cab trucks for inclusion as a cataloged model. In early 1959, the Hanover VW plant took over the conversion of the trucks to the extended cap configuration. As with the single cab version, three sides folded down for easy loading, which was also facilitated by the waist-high height of the bed. Without interference from fender wells, the bed was flat, which was convenient for carrying wider loads.
Although popular in Europe, sales were never strong in the North American Market, especially after the retaliatory 1964 “Chicken Tax” which was imposed on light trucks and several other products to counter a tax on the importation of American Chicken by France and West Germany. Like many commercial vehicles, these trucks often lived hard lives and survivors are rare, making great examples like this highly desirable among loyal VW enthusiasts.
This particular 1962 Double Cab Transporter is a striking example that has been fully restored and extensively modified with a fantastic look. The chassis has been radically lowered and it rolls on custom chrome wheels with low-profile tires in front, and meatier rubber in the rear. The red paint is finished to a very high standard and the bed floor looks terrific with its highly polished wood load strips. The six-passenger, 3-door cab is fully restored with custom white upholstery with subtly contrasting Alcantara inserts on the seats and door cards. Cool touches include a Gene Berg T-Handle shifter, banjo steering wheel, and roof mounted tachometer.
Power comes from a high-performance engine, fitted with twin Solex downdraft carburetors, aluminum intake manifolds, and billet pulleys. The hotted-up ‘four will propel this truck at speeds never imagined by the 48-horsepower engine with which it left the VW factory.
With its aggressive stance, boosted power and gorgeous finish quality, this is one striking truck that allows you to haul five friends, lounge chairs, and whatever else you need for a day at the beach, camp or car show.
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