Military Transporter: 1988 Volkswagen Doka Double Cab

This actually seems like one of the better deals I’ve seen on Facebook Marketplace in some time – a genuine 1988 Volkswagen Doka Double Cab that’s been imported from Greenland and is offered up for just $12,000. I’ve loved these trucks for a while and have seen prices climb into the $20K-$30K range for a good one, so the asking price here strikes me as more than fair. These are agricultural rigs at best, but they actually have great presence in person and a ton of utility – plus, it will always draw a crowd at your local cars and coffee gathering. This one is said to be a good runner and equipped with a 1.9L liquid-cooled engine. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace in Grafton, Ohio.

I’ve never thought about looking at a country like Greenland for its version of a municipal auction, but it’s probably a great place to find European-spec vehicles like this without as much of a journey down into the United States. I realize it’s still a sizable trip, but every mile counts when trying to save money on transport. The orange body screams former highway department vehicle, but Semco doesn’t appear to be a reference to any place in Greenland. Given the seller’s location in Ohio, it appears Semco is a machine shop in town that the seller likely owns or works for – and what great advertising this Doka would provide. I would swap out the later-style wheels for a set of grey OEM steel wheels if it were mine.

Now, the Dokas that go for absolutely crazy money tend to be the four-wheel-drive Syncros, so that may play a part in this truck seeming reasonable price-wise in comparison. Still, not having to deal with the hassle of importing and hiring someone to perform an inspection from afar represents savings of both the time and money sort, and it looks like you’ll be getting into a relatively intact Doka with no obvious rust issues. Now, I don’t know what sort of road salt mixture (if any) Greenland uses on its roadways, so asking for a few photos from underneath would be wise, but oftentimes highway departments or other municipal vehicles like this are parked indoors and hosed off after getting covered in road grime. As someone who used to work for a bridge authority, I can tell you we washed the trucks damn near every other day.

The bedsides all fold down on a Doka like this, making it incredibly easy to load and unload. The interior is surprisingly cavernous, so you really do get the best of both worlds in terms of utility and comfort in a pickup-style arrangement. Some of the parts will certainly be difficult to track down, and I’d want to avoid risky situations for body damage at all costs, but the rest of the components should be pretty consistent across the Vanagon line. While a Syncro is the most desirable model by far, any Doka is a smart buy as an appreciating classic you can enjoy every day while getting a wholly useful vehicle in the process. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim C. for the find.

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Comments

  1. 4spdBernie 4spdBernie Member

    Darnit…SOLD!! That would have fit perfectly in my barn located on Oddball Alley, lol. Thanks for the post, Jeff Lavery, much appreciated!

    Like 4
  2. Tamale

    I never heard of Greenland before

    Like 1
    • Francisco

      Interesting fact I learned while traveling: Iceland is actually pretty green, while Greenland is covered in ice.

      Like 4
  3. Mike

    Seems kinda cheap for something that someone went out of their way to import. I’ve imported two 4x4s from Europe and that price just barely covered the cost buying it and shipping it here. Then there’s the cost of getting it to daily driver status which might take a couple years and more $$$.

    Like 3
  4. Nick

    I believe SEMCO is a Danish company – SEMCO Maritime. It would make sense since Greenland is part of Denmark. Anyway, nice truck!

    Like 3
  5. chrlsful

    what’s Syncro, how different from Doka (both 4WD or 1 AWD?)
    U can C I’m not in the market for 1…

    • Jeff

      Syncro’s are the 4×4 versions of the Vanagon/Dokas(CrewCap)/Pickups –

      Like 1
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    If only more pics were posted when this was advertised. I’ve always felt that the more pics posted the better.

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