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History of the T25/T3
10-07-2016, 11:59 AM
Post: #1
History of the T25/T3
Just an article I was mailed from VW Heritage, quite interesting, the link is below.
https://www.vwheritage.com/blog/2016/09/...re-vw-t25/

   
Syncro: The go-anywhere VW T25
Volkswagen developed four-wheel drive during WW2 but it was another four decades before they
revisited the concept. After extensive testing, however, it resulted in what’s perhaps the ultimate
go-anywhere, hard as nails Type 25 – the Syncro. Here’s its story…

.bmp  Syncro T25 Heritage 1st Syncro.bmp (Size: 310.38 KB / Downloads: 10)
   
Its evolution began back in the late 1970s when a member of VW’s R&D department, Henning Duckstein,
experimented by fitting a four-wheel drive system in his Type 2 Westfalia Camper. Duckstein was an
intrepid traveller and frequently took his bus to far off places, including desert regions of
Africa – so at the same time he added 16in wheels so that Michelin ZX sand tyres could be fitted.
He also tweaked the Solex carb, giving them a tilt-proof concentric float chamber, a bit like th
mwagens, which would enable the van to be
driven up and down steep slopes without cutting out.



His creation attracted the curiosity of fellow VW employee Gustav Meyer. Meyer was another
adventurer who was also inclined to take off in his Westfalia to find the most inaccessible parts
of the world and was therefore excitited by the prospect of developing a 4×4 version. Together,
despite limited funds, five prototype Bay Window Buses were built featuring a semi-automatic
gearboxes coupled via a torque converter and hydraulic clutch to a 70bhp 2.0-litre engine developed
for the military Iltis. Extra under body plating was added to prevent it being bogged down and the
exhaust was raised and mad it via the rear bumper to provide extra ground
clearance.

Despite success on the testing ground, the market for a 4×4 utility vehicle was deemed too
limited for VW’s marketing gurus and the project was put on the back burner until the introduction
of water-cooled engines to the Type 25 range in 1983. This time, with new backing from VW
management, Austrian firm Steyr-Daimler-Puch, who had experience in the 4×4 field with its
Haflinger, was approached to develop the concept. The deal, apparently, was for them to do the
development work in return for VW supplying the LT diesel engine for their Pinzgauer 6×6. The 4×4
system used was based on the principle established by Ferguson of tractor fame, who years earlier
had developed an all-w drive system for British sports car company
Jensen.

In early 1985 the first Syncro Transporter appeared, available at first with the 1.9-litre 78bhp
petrol engine and 1.6-litre 70bhp turbodiesel. The 112bhp 2.1-litre was offered from 1986, in time
for the Syncro’s UK debut. Despite their all-conquering ability to travel over basically any kind
of terrain, sales were a flop. It was just too expensive, due largely to the fact that the shells
had to be transported from Hanover to Steyer’s plant in Graz, then back to Hanover to be finished
off. The Westfalia versions, obviously, then had to be taken on another trip to Wiedenbruk. This
meant that in the UK, the Syncro was close to a hefty £4,000 more than the standard Transporter
which was already a pricy vehicle compared to the likes of the Sherpa or Transit. To be brutally
honest, the wasn’t up to scratch either – especially for the
intended military market.

Today, Syncro T25s are hugely desirable – not just for their rarity, but also for their chunky, hard as nails appearance – and we’re big fans.



It wasn’t just full bodied buses that got the Syncro treatment either. The trusty Single Cab, and
the more roomy DOKA also benefited from a 4WD option. In fact, VW Heritage owned a Crew cab example
in 2006, that was sign written and used as a promo vehicle for REMTEC engines, it was featured in
Camper & Bus magazine at the time too.

It wasn’t just full bodied buses that got the Syncro treatment either. The trusty Single Cab, and the more roomy DOKA also benefited from a 4WD option. In fact, VW Heritage owned a Crew cab example in 2006, that was sign written and used as a promo vehicle for REMTEC engines, it was featured in Camper & Bus magazine at the time too.
Which ever version is your preference, or in fact which ever one you can find for sale, it’ll be just the thing, we’d say, for the coming autumn/winter months ahead
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10-15-2016, 08:35 PM
Post: #2
RE: History of the T25/T3
Thanks for the post. I met Gustav Mayer 2010. His storys about the engineering of the 4WD bus were very interesting. Unfortunately Gustav Mayer died 2014.


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