Don’t let the badges fool you, this T3 B32 is one of the rarest Porsches of all time

Don’t let the badges fool you, this T3 B32 is one of the rarest Porsches of all time

As cool as cab-over vans are, it’s pretty hard to justify a €364,900 ($364,553) price tag on a used VW T3. However, this example is not a typical van, because under the VW skin there is actually a Porsche – and a fairly rare one at that.

The history of this van began in 1985 when Porsche engineers needed a quick way to transport spare parts for the 959 rally car during the Paris-Dakar campaign. The deadly slow VW T3 was deemed unable to keep up with the fast-paced rally, so they made a number of modifications.

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The most important was the addition of a rear-mounted flat-six engine from a Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera, which produced 228 hp (170 kW / 231 hp) and allowed a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). Power was sent to the rear axle via a Porsche gearbox, while new suspension and beefier brakes completed the mechanical upgrades.

Visually, the B32 was characterized by front and rear aprons, a set of 16-inch Fuchs rims, additional side air intakes for engine cooling and a larger tailpipe. The interior has been upholstered in leather, with the highlight being the Porsche emblem on the steering wheel and the additional instruments at the bottom of the center console.

It is believed that only seven examples of the VW T3 B32 were built in the Porsche workshop in Welerath. The van offered for sale by the Porsche Classic Center Gelderland in the Netherlands is a real example, specially made for Peter W. Schutz, then CEO of Porsche. That makes it a lot more valuable than the many self-made Porsche vans that followed.

According to the advertisement, the van has a Porsche VIN and is classified as a Porsche vehicle in its German papers. It was produced in 1985 but not registered until July 1988 and has 130,770 km (81,257 miles) on the clock. Despite its age, the T3 B32 is overall in good condition, although the special ‘Pearl Nut’ paintwork needs some maintenance, the tailpipe is rusty and the front door panels need reupholstery.

Small-series models from Zuffenhausen usually command high prices, but asking €364,900 ($364,553) for a special-edition LCV-based used Volkswagen minivan sounds a bit excessive. For comparison, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Tribute to Carrera RS Package costs $312,550. In any case, Porsche collectors should appreciate the rarity of this piece and the bragging rights to own the fastest factory-specific variant of the VW T3.

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