The Porsche B32 does not look like a Porsche at all.
Every car exists for a reason. That reason can be an endless search for perfection. Or building on success. It can also just be a very simple solution to a problem you have as a car manufacturer. In the latter category we find the Porsche B32.
We write 1985 when the Porsche B32 is born. It is the period that Porsche is seriously working on the Paris-Dakar rally and is using the special 959 for that. The Porsche 959 was once, along with the Ferrari F40, one of the fastest road cars in the world, but what has always made the 959 bizarre is the fact that it was originally a rally car. Suspension that you can lower and raise at the push of a button, a gearbox with one creeper gear, you name it. The car had to prove itself in the Paris-Dakar rally in 1985.
The Paris-Dakar rally is tough and that's why support teams always ride with the rally drivers. Usually in vans or trucks. Porsche was also looking for a suitable support vehicle. This vehicle had to have space for spare parts, but also be able to stand its ground in the unpaved. Porsche saw the prospect of using a Volkswagen Transporter (T3) Syncro. In principle, this resembles the 959: four-wheel drive including a 'Gelände' gear (creeper gear). As a pack mule for a mountain trip, such a T3 is really fine. But if speed matters, you've got a problem. Such a T3 Syncro can never keep up with a 959.
As mentioned, the solution is very simple. Porsche spooned the 3.2 liter flat-six from a 911 Carrera into the back of the T3 to create the Porsche B32. The T3 was quite slow, but the B32 version could do 185 km/h! So it became a bit the bus equivalent of a 959, because this T3 developed for the rally could also keep up with quite a few fat cars on the Autobahn. Dieter Steinhauser, Porsche's boss of bodywork and aerodynamics, writes:
In the 80s we used prototypes of this model as VIP-Shuttle from Stuttgart Airport to Porsche R+D in Weissach. This car was real fun on the Autobahn. GTI drivers couldn't believe their eyes …
Why have you never heard of the Porsche B32, the coolest bus of the 80s? Because they are very rare. Serial production never came and the copies eventually used by Porsche itself are the only ones that exist. Only seven were built.
One of them is this gray. Secretly, it's perfect. It looks like a normal T3, only the Fuchs rims would betray what you really have. It concerns 231 hp and 284 Nm. And forget the Volkswagen logos: this Porsche B32 has a Porsche VIN number.
You have to be lucky to find a Porsche B32, but this one is for sale at Porsche Centrum Gelderland. So it is one of the seven and it looks great. This one is extra special because it was built for the CEO of Porsche from 1981 to 1987: Peter W. Schutz. Unfortunately, it is not possible on a gray license plate, because it concerns the personal version. Saving money is going to be difficult anyway. Because what it may cost is not known, but don't count on them wanting to get rid of it cheaply. Then take all your friends along in the best top-speed run on the Autobahn you can have.
Photos: Porsche Centrum Gelderland.