Rare Transporter Pickup: 1968 Volkswagen Drop Gate

Well here’s one you won’t see every day, a 1968 Volkswagen Type II drop gate pickup, based on the well-known Transporter. This example is in nothing short of excellent condition and presents beautifully. Let’s take a close look at this restored rarity, it is located in Miami, Florida and is available, here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $41,000.

Offered between 1952 and 1967, the VW Transporter pickup was offered in both single cab and double cab configurations such as this subject vehicle. It’s called a drop gate because the side gates drop and allow cargo to be slid on and off from either side – it’s similar to a Chevrolet Corvair “Rampside” that was offered in the early ’60s, a pickup that was probably based on this unique VW design. While I couldn’t uncover the total manufacturing volume, Hemmings claims that about 38K VW pickups were produced in 1962 alone – considerably more robust for a single year than I would have thought!

The seller of this 1968 example states, “Pristine condition…mechanicals done by a professional VW restoration shop“. It looks it, as it shows as new and there is no sign of this truck’s previous work-a-day life, one that probably involved the type of exercise that wears out a truck mechanically and aesthetically. There is nothing amiss with this unusual pickup.

While not stated specifically, the engine should be a 47 HP, 1.6 liter, flat four-cylinder engine working through a four-speed manual transaxle. The seller doesn’t elaborate to any degree regarding this pickup’s operating dynamics other than to suggest, “Drive it home“. One interesting tidbit about the low-end pulling power of this transporter-inspired truck was gleaned from Hemmings and it states, “Despite being chronically underpowered, the Bus and its variants’ curb weights were kept down, and VW engineers equipped them with reduction boxes. These boxes contained two extra gears on the ends of both rear axles that reduced the transmission’s final drive ratio to a basement-level 5.73:1” It is assumed that this drop side pickup would so be equipped. And that’s important to know as top speed is supposedly limited to about 60 MPH which may make that drive home more time-consuming than originally anticipated.

The interior is typically spartan, as one would expect on such a vehicle, but it’s actually not as austere as I would have guessed. The supplied image is a bit limiting but the seller claims the interior to be “excellent”. The image of the back seat is better than that of the front buckets and it does appear to be excellent.

It’s unlikely that this Type II pickup will do a lick of commercial work in its future, it’s much too nice for that drudgery and there are way better options for that sort of servitude today. But this pickup would make for a notable car show entry and garner much attention in the process. I know I haven’t seen one of these in years, much less in this fine a condition, how about you?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1960 to 1980 International Scout 4×4 Contact

WANTED 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne Looking for a 1961 Biscayne in decent shape for an everyday driver. Will also consider Bel-Air Contact

WANTED 1988-1994 Toyota Pickup or 4Runner 200,000 miles or less, no rust Contact

WANTED 1977 Dodge Dodge Aspen RT Peferred driver, super PAC edition, fixer-upper. Contact

WANTED 1969 Chevrolet Camaro pace car Looking for a 1969 camaro pace car project . She’ll, basket case etc. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Brock S

    It’s needs a cummins swap, LOL

    Like 5
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    This would be a cool ride to show up with at a local cars and coffee event. There are 2 things I would consider doing. The first is spraying a liner (in the same shade as the body) on the bed and the inside of the side gates. I would also look to install the biggest air cooled Porsche engine that would fit (and any other necessary mechanical upgrades (transmission, brakes, suspension, etc.) necessary to maintain driveability). It would be one bad-ass VW.

    Alas, the spirit is willing, however the wallet is thin.

    Like 6
    • Jon Mcclure

      I have a 1700 Porsche 914 motor in mine. It does a great job getting it up to speed and maintaining on inclines. However I hear the Subaru is amazing swap.

  3. stephan homewood

    No hose clamps on the fuel line, this reads fire big time. Also, I love the knuckleheads that have never worked on a VW that have all the stupid stuff on motor changes..I don’t like my girlfriend so I am going to have a nose job a top-end job and a tummy tuck..Married the wrong girl!

    Like 7
    • Brock S

      Yes sir cummins swap it and lmao about the girlfriend

      Like 4
    • Mikefromthehammer

      People can be “corrected” without insulting them. But perhaps you aren’t capable of that?

      Like 4
      • Brock S

        The cummins swap was a joke but now it’s not I would really but a 12V cummins in it and make it show truck

        Like 3
  4. JIM BAY

    Obviously VW double cabs were also built after 1967, but the 1952’s to 67’s are what you want–much more valuable. If this one fetches around 40K then what are the pre 67 units going to bring.?

    Like 1
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Correct you are as ’67 was the end of the first generation – I should have been clearer on that point. Also, the “25% Chicken Tax” played a role in the curtailing of both the T2 cargo van and pickup produced in Europe with the real import slide starting in ’65- but that’s another story.

      JO

      Like 1
  5. steve

    I owned the same truck in Dove Blue. What to say? I was going to restore it but they are so darn useful that I kept driving it and working it until I worked nearly to death. My buddy bought it and installed a crane on the rear corner to load the HEAVY stuff and he spent years working it to death until the rear torsion tube broke. He welded it back up, ran it for a while and sold it another guy. I saw it sitting, with plates on it a few years back. They are about the most useful machine to the point that the few that made it here were all abused on a regular basis.
    All this one needs is the wooden slats put back in the bed. Glad I dont have the money for this one. It would be shaking in terror if I were to walk up to it with the keys in my hands…

    Like 2
  6. Malcolm Boyes

    All these were “drop gates”. I have a 66 single cab and they all came this way and it makes for an incredibly useful vehicle..cant imagine why US manufacturers dont do it! BTW..easy to get a few more horses out of that motor..twin Solex carbs..EMPI exhaust and you’ll notice the difference for not a lot of $$. That is the way my 66 is set up although we think my “mystery motor” might be a 1776cc…another great fix if you rebuild the motor..all around gets about 70..above a 356 Normal motor numbers ( I have a 1956 A with an upgraded 912 motor and a 68 912 so I know of what I speak…they both get close to 100hp). These are great, useful fun vehicles and this looks like a beauty…but I still prefer a split scree!

    Like 2
  7. Michael Campbell

    Dose it still have the nine pin flasher relay?

    Like 1
  8. Michael Campbell

    oh why are the side marker not round?

    Like 1
  9. Solosolo Member

    I had an early, split screen model of this VW Transporter, which was a magnificent vehicle for transporting my 1925 Harley JE combination from show to show or to the start of the annual 300 mile rally from Durban to Johannesburg, South Africa. At the completion of the rally I would drive it up scaffold planks and onto the VW and drive the outfit back to Durban and it never, ever, gave me the least bit of trouble. As long as you are not in a hurry they are terrific vehicles.

    Like 2
  10. Ward William

    Damn I love these. Down here in Brazil they got the Argentinian built ones which came with a water cooled 1.8 AP diesel engine. This was the wonderfully reliable 1.8 AP that was used in more than a dozen different VW saloons but with a diesel top end. They just stuck the radiator on the front with a plastic grille. Looked a bit weird but went like stink.

    Like 1
  11. Jeff

    The “reduction boxes” you’re talking about where only installed up to 67 (T1).
    This one here is the first T2 which was built from 68 to 72, than came the T3.
    The T2 and the T3 didn’t have those “boxes” installed.

    All the fuzz about the “drop gates” is kind of funny for europeans to hear.
    Over here in Europe it is totally normal cause all pickup trucks do have such a configuration.
    We find it kind of strange that the americans didn’t get that.

    Like 3
    • steve

      About the drop gates. The US and Europe are two different markets. The drop gates, and for that matter, the curtain-sided box trucks and trailers, are just about required for delivery work in Europe. Loading/unloading boxes crates and pallets is often done street side. It’s a 500 year old building on a narrow 900 year old street. You unload it from the side. Frankly there isn’t room to go around to the back of the vehicle and deal with cargo. In the US we simply have more space. It’s generally no big deal to load from the rear. This leads to lower bed height which also gives a lower center of gravity when loaded as compared to the “deck” on the VW. I have operated both type of machines in the US and the UK and it’s REALLY obvious of the advantages at “home” but also the disadvantages of both types when out of their element. My European friends would be bug-eyed on what gets put in a “half ton” American pickup truck on the weekends…That was after being stunned that the SMALLEST engine was offered was often 5 liters….”Horses for courses” is what the Brits say about it.

      Like 2
      • Jeff

        Hi Steve – thanks for your comment.
        Your declaration for why the truck beds have different configuration sounds comprehensible (I never thought of it that way), although I do not know if this is the real/only reason.
        It looks like both systems have their advantages, low center of gravity is a bonus, loading and unloading from all sites is one too.

  12. Jeff

    Sorry folks – made a mistake

    68 – 72 was the T2a
    72 – 79 was the T2b
    then came the T3

    Like 1
  13. Norm

    Very nice. I have owned a 1971 Single Cab for 28 years. It’s great. In my experience, since all the production model VW trucks had “drop gates”, people in the VW world usually just refer to them as a Single Cab or Double Cab. 1968 was the 1st year of a major change in the VW line up, Van’s & Trucks included. I’m surprised the author didn’t know that VW dropped the reduction box transaxle mentioned in that year, replaced by an IRS rear suspension with larger CV joint drive axles.
    I know this is not a site to go over all the technical details of any car, so I’ll just say to the potential new owner…congratulations, enjoy your new VW, and though mine is not for sale…when it is the price just went up.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      I’m surprised the author didn’t know that VW dropped the reduction box transaxle mentioned in that year, replaced by an IRS rear suspension with larger CV joint drive axles”.

      Well, it’s hard to be an expert on it all. I did hedge on that point by stating, “It is assumed that this drop side pickup would so be equipped”.

      Correct you are, this is not a technical website, and that was never the intention.

      JO

      Like 1
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Jim. I think you do a fine job with the limited time and resources you have. It is easy to be critical, but difficult to be nice. If it was the reverse, we would live in a much better world.

      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        Mike:

        Thanks, maybe a little overreactive on my part but we cover a huge number of topics and time is of the essence. I have my reliable sources but they’re not always correct. Some marques I pretty much know by heart but not many. All of us BF writers are that way, we have strengths and weaknesses within brands and try to do the best we can with the resources that are available.

        If I’m wrong on a topic, I’ll print a retraction, providing that proof is presented – that frequently doesn’t happen, I’m just told that I’m wrong.

        Thx for letting me bend your ear!

        JO

        Like 1
  14. RussT

    Old boy back in the subdivision had a couple VWs. One, a short cab pickup-looking thing, and a Karman Ghia, I think it was. Haven’t seen any life at that house nor the garage door open for that matter in a couple years. Wonder what happened to the old guy?

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.