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T3 in Australia

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by syncro, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,470
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Here is a brief article on Australian Kombi history by Phil Matthews, the author of “Knowing Australian Volkswagens”. Anyone with information please add to it.
    by Phil Matthews
    1981
    LNC Industries executives travel to Germany to meet with Volkswagen about the future of the brand in Australia. No petrol or diesel VW car models are deemed suitable or economic, but it is agreed to import the T3 Transporter. A batch of 2,000 Australian-homologated Transporters is ordered, enough to last two years. LNC brings the new T3 Transporter to the Sydney Motor Show in October, but it is parked in the carpark, not on the small VW stand.

    442 Volkswagens are sold – 96 Golfs, 287 Passats and 59 Transporters.

    1982
    The T3 Transporter is released for sale, in Kombi and Microbus versions, with hydraulic fuel-injected 2.0-litre air-cooled engines, and manual or auto trans. Prices range from $10,995 to $14,995, 50% more than the Japanese competition.
    518 Volkswagens are sold – 3 Golfs, 80 Passats and 435 Transporters.

    1983
    179 Volkswagens are sold – 179 Transporters.


    1984
    Later in the year the Transporter is updated to the new 1915cc ‘wasserboxer’ water-cooled flat four engine, replacing the old Type 4-based air-cooled engine. A 5-speed manual gearbox is available for the first time. The nose gets a second, lower grille for the radiator. The new Caravelle is priced at $17,995, some $1545 more than its predecessor.

    262 Volkswagens are sold – 262 Transporters.

    1985
    393 Volkswagens are sold – 393 Transporters.

    1986
    LNC Industries announces that no more shipments of new Volkswagens will be received.

    For the first time since 1953, there is no Volkswagen stand at the Sydney Motor Show.
    123 Volkswagens are sold – 123 Transporters.

    1987
    No VWs are imported; the only sales are clearing of old stock.

    48 Volkswagens are sold – 48 Transporters.

    1988
    Ateco laid the foundations for VW’s relaunch by reorganising the remaining VW dealer network, casting off many former VW agents who were now Subaru, Honda, Nissan or Mitsubishi dealers. Most country dealers were closed down. New VW agencies were established in the capital cities.

    A batch of current Transporters are brought in to keep the product available and to prepare for a major relaunch, which include for the first time the 2.1-litre engine and Syncro 4WD system. Trakka are announced as the ‘official’ camper converter, having purchased Sopru Pty Ltd (the former LNC-owned Motor Caravan Holdings Ltd).
    The first modern Australian colour Volkswagen magazine, the bi-monthly ‘Australian VW Power’, goes on sale at newsagents.
    82 Volkswagens are sold – 82 Transporters

    1989
    Ateco launches the ‘Volkswagen Is Back!’ campaign, with the relaunch of the updated, modern T3 Transporter range. The T3 comes with the 70 kW 2109cc wasserboxer engine and new front grille and rectangular headlights. Prices range from $19,995 up to $46,990. VW ads appear in newspapers, magazines and on TV again for the first time in many years.

    The T3 Pickup and Double Cab Pickup are displayed at the Sydney Motor Show. Ateco also announces that the Carat executive will be introduced, but this doesn’t eventuate.
    1,097 Volkswagens are sold – 1,097 Transporrters.

    1990
    Ateco Industries sells the Australian VW franchise to the large British-based auto distribution group Tozer Kemsley & Millbourn plc (TKM).

    The T3 Transporter Pickup and Double Cab Pickups are released, with the 2.1-litre engine, with manual or auto trans. A syncro version of the Caravelle is available, at $39,000. A luxury syncro 4WD version of the Double Cab is also announced – the Tristar – but only one of these arrive. The T3 Syncro is named Overlander Magazine’s 4WD of the Year.
    1,182 Volkswagens are sold – 107 Golfs and 1,075 Transporters.
    1991
    Australia’s biggest VW show, the VW Nationals, is moved to the Valentine Sports Park at Parklea, home of the NSW Soccer Federation. Two Caravelle Syncros, driven by VW-enthusiast police officers Dallas Tidyman and John O’Donnell, are used to take passengers around a special off-road bush track beside the show area. This dazzling and impressive display of the Syncro’s abilities results in a number of Syncro sales the following week.

    Graham and John Lees again compete in the Australian Safari in a Syncro Double Cab Transporter, again winning their class and finishing 13th outright.
    The last T3 syncro Transporters are sold and the model is discontinued.
    954 Volkswagens are sold – 289 Golfs and 665 Transporters.

    1992
    The last rear-engined T3 Transporter is sold, and the model is discontinued.


     
  2. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,272
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    I knew there weren't hundreds sold in 88, but I didn't realise how few..:eek:

    Maybe the pricelist put people off, considering the top of the line Toyota 8 seater bus, with air, power steering, power windows, central locking........ and wait for it....... yes! A radio & speakers, rather than the VW issue "blank panel", was just $26,000.

    Here's the pricelist I was handed back in 1988:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,272
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    1989, also saw the $10,000 factory discount from VW, seeing Transporters leave the dealership for around the $20,000 mark to encourage sales - which it obviously did!
     
  4. OberonViking

    OberonViking Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Location:
    Bathurst, NSW
    You don't need to be a Maths Teacher to see the improvement in sales there.
     
  5. Zed

    Zed New Member

    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    Melbourne, Vic
    I wonder how collectable the T3s will be in years to come?
     
  6. OberonViking

    OberonViking Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Location:
    Bathurst, NSW
    Less than 4,500 were brought in to Australia, and only a quarter of those were air-cooled. That makes for collectable, doesn't it?

    With that in mind, think about how many T3s you see on the road compared to Bays, which sold 64,229 from 1968 - 1980.
     
  7. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,798
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    If anyone ever offers you a drive of their T3 - take them up on it. Be warned though - you might not want to give it back ;) LOL
     
  8. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,679
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    I would have to agree the two are streets apart when it comes to driveability - but there is still something about the old bays and splits that is alluring. I still will never part with my T3 syncro though there a even fewer of them around than the 2wd T3's.
     
  9. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,272
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    So by your calcs, (I've not done the tally) - 3375 T3's were water cooled?

    Excellent, just 3373 more to find, to complete the collection! :lol:

    Wonder how many of those are still registered, and not squashed and metal recycled? :eek:
     
  10. Zed

    Zed New Member

    Messages:
    168
    Location:
    Melbourne, Vic
    You're right Melissa - after my first drive of a T3 I was hooked. Even after 5 months of owning my own T3 I still look for any excuse to go out and drive it.
     
  11. gazman

    gazman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    Location:
    Perth WA
    Your not gettin mine, it's too much fun to drive :p
     
    Jurgen Grossmutter likes this.
  12. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,467
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    Yep. Even though the wife stated that my '82 is not a real kombi it certainly has grown on us. I can't see us ever getting rid of it any time soon. With the few mods that I have done to it I can vouch that it will go almost anywhere. With it being just that couple inches wider also makes the double bed a couple inches wider which makes for a very comfortable nights sleep.
     
  13. kombi rescue

    kombi rescue New Member

    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    sydney
    Just a few extra facts ...the last T ordered was a single cab ute ..it arrived in australia late 92 was regoed in 93 and used by vw at the time ...all T3's after 1990 were built in Austria........Australia was the last customer for the T3...as the sth African models were local assy.I sold the last T3 new in Oct 93 which was a Caravelle CL.....One of the last syncro sold was June 93..it was a dlx window van...Telstra had bought close to 400 syncro's....6 single cab syncros were only ever sold in Australia and roughly 80 d/cabs 4x4 sold.As Phil stated I lived for these in the late 80's-90's....I remeber Phil and I picking his syncro from the importer direct...Phil drove it home on a trade plate and not too many people after that can say they did this .Bit of history for you Phil as you still own this bus. more to come
     
  14. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,470
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    I remember Steve letting me drive a s/c with twin diff locks. How many of them came to Australia? (That was when he was trying to sell me a syncro)




    Here it is at the importers;

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Adamhadam

    Adamhadam New Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    northern rivers, nsw
    So who has/where is, "The Tristar" .........sounds collectable.
     
  16. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    19,272
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    Phil or Steve,

    Do either of you know how many of those 1,075 transporters sold were T3 Double Cabs? :rolleyes:
     
  17. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,470
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    Hartmut from Comboyne, near Pt Macquarie, NSW.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. kombi rescue

    kombi rescue New Member

    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    sydney
    a Total of 288 double cab t3's sold less than 80 were syncoros..there were 3 3door d/cabs 1 was a white syncro with front and rear diff locks lives on the central coast ...met blue [pigoen gray metallic] auto deluxe now in newcastle the other is tistian red 5sp lives in sydney.I know of 4 d/c destroyed over the years and about 6 s/cabs also gone to the scrapers. there are two australian 165in buses..a d/cab and a sunroof van both used in the australian safari...there are also a few private imports...d/door diesel 1.6 caravelle another disel caravelle 3x utes 2x diesel syncros campers a few factory hiroof t3' a 6cyl oettinger d/cab auto..just a few ..will remember more and post up.Lynsy FOX orded a top line syncro caravelle with every assy available x factory was grey in colour. cheers steve
     
  19. btc-er

    btc-er Member

    Messages:
    370
    Location:
    Ferny Grove, QLD
    Just been looking at the For Sale threads - better make that 3371 left to find.
     
  20. wirrah

    wirrah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,006
    Location:
    Lower Hunter, NSW
    87 Gl

    In December '87 I purchased a 2.1 litre Caravelle GL although the history here says they didn't appear until '88. It had an Ateco plaque attached.

    Purchase was made from Lanocks at Camperdown (just before their Herbert St, St Leonards yard closed). I traded my '84 CL for $22k. It had 60k on the clock and cost $18k new in '84 (last and only profit made on a trade)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009

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