From the mid-seventies onwards, the LT -renamed Crafter in 2006- has been Volkswagen’s largest commercial vehicle in Europe. Bigger VAG Group trucks are available alright, in which case they go by the name of MAN and Scania.
The first generation of the Lasten-Transporter was introduced in 1975. With its front engine-rear wheel drive layout the LT was offered as a panel van, minibus and truck chassis. Many of them were converted into camper vans with a raised roof.
The 1996-2006 second generation was developed in cooperation with Daimler-Benz; the new LT was almost identical to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, although Volkswagen used their own powertrains.
The 2003 LT 2.5 TDI (with an inline-5) I caught is owned by a painting business & glass service. There’s a fully enclosed cargo compartment inbetween the big side racks. On the cargo door it says that the Kuypers-company was founded in 1914…that’s certainly a long history of home improvement.
Very close to the LT glass hauler I came across a 1995 Transporter 1.9 D. It could actually use some glass service, as it is missing a complete window. This fourth generation of the Transporter, sold as the Eurovan in North America, was introduced in 1990. It marked the end of the VW bus as we knew it, since the T4 had a front engine and was front wheel drive.
The old, beaten up van is parked next to a fruitautomaat, a vending machine for apples and pears, neatly integrated into a wooden shed. The fruit comes from the orchard in the background. Vending machines of this size were typically used for hot & greasy snacks, but in the recent past all kinds of fresh products have showed up behind the small windows. So far I’ve seen apples, pears, strawberries, mushrooms, potatoes and eggs.
And this is Volkswagen’s current Euro-lineup of workhorses; from left to right the Caddy, the Transporter T6, the Crafter and the Amarok. The latest Crafter model was introduced in 2016, this time without Daimler-Benz connection. The other day Mercedes-Benz unveiled their own new Sprinter.