1999 Volkswagen Caravelle Westfalia Syncro TDi

Update 9/12/18: The seller has updated their asking price to $54,000.

For decades, I’ve had a pipe dream of taking a Westy van cross-country. When I was a teenager, a family member had a late 80s Vanagon Westfalia, and we went on a camping trip in it. It was great! And while I’m certain time has diminished the drawbacks of our method of transport on that trip, the knowledge of that isn’t enough extinguish my desire.

Unfortunately for me, it seems like I’m not alone. #VanLife has pushed the value of these clever boxes on wheels up substantially. Clean T3 campers regularly hit the market in the same territory as late 70s 911s. Even the replacement T4 Eurovan Weekender – which just has a bed, and none of the real camping gear the earlier Westfalias had – command a substantial premium over a non-pop-top T4. By far, the Volkswagen vans are the most expensive products from their catalog.

So you can imagine that if we get a rare Euro version of the T4 over here, it’ll probably be worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Volkswagen Caravelle Westfalia Syncro TDi on eBay

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Double Euro Content: 1991 Volkswagen EuroVan

As much as I like to talk about the high prices being fetched for Corrados, GTIs and Sciroccos, the reality is the biggest numbers being asked and pulled from 1980s and 1990s Volkswagens are the vans. They’re not something I generally cover, but once in a while one pops up that is surprising and worth note. Today’s is no exception.

What attracted my attention first was the year – 1991. Of course, the main problem there is that in the U.S. market, the Eurovan didn’t launch until 1992. Volkswagen of America was still selling the niche and expensive T3 at that point. So was this a case of a transposition error or just an uninformed seller?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen EuroVan on eBay

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2001 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Weekender

I’ve always been intrigued, and a little confused, by the Volkswagen Van. I first learned to drive on a neighbor’s T2, and I grew up in a period where vans were as cool as it got. Vans were ambulances. Vans were campers. And vans even carried the A-Team. Sure, the GMC Vandura wasn’t a Countach, but to kids in the 1980s it had nearly as much impact, fool!

But it’s not the appeal of these vans that I find confusing at all. The first thing I find hard to follow are the various trim levels. Especially when it came to the T3 and T4 models, things get a bit complicated. You could buy, for example, a Wolfsburg Edition Vanagon in the 1980s and early 90s. This was not to be confused with the Westfalia model, which was notable for having the pop-top. However, there was also a Weekender model, which sometimes had a pop-top but didn’t have the camping accoutrements of the Westfalia. That these were further available in two- and four-wheel drive made things even more confusing, and then – of course – there was a Wolfsburg Weekender for a short period. I don’t even know what came in that model. Well, I do, actually, but the point remains that it was confusing.

The switch to the T4 was pretty revolutionary. Gone was the antiquated rear-engine layout, and cylinder count went up to five as Audi’s 2.3 liter motor was massaged into 2.5 liters with a short stroke for lots of torque in the new Eurovan. These came to the U.S. starting in 1993, and there were two configurations – the Eurovan and the Multi-Van (MV for short). The difference was the seating configuration, in that the MV had rear-facing seats behind the captain’s chairs and a table in the middle. Easy, right? Well, then there was the Westfalia model. Volkswagen hadn’t forgotten how successful the T3 was with the pop-top, so a new aerodynamic folding roof arrangement was added to the MV. But here was the catch – the new Westfalia didn’t have the camping gear, but instead was effectively the same as the previous Weekender. It was called the Weekender, too. The full campers were only converted by Winnebago and based on a lengthened chassis. These started being produced in 1995 and replaced the Westfalia in the lineup but were not called Westfalias. Winnebago produced an extra-fat and extra-expensive camper, too – the Rialta – which was half VW and half short bus. The Westfalia, and the pop-top Weekender, disappeared for a few years.

The next big change in the lineup was one more cylinder for the 1997 model year, as the narrow-angle 2.8 liter twelve-valve VR6 replaced the inline-5. Power was up a bit (but only just at 138 horsepower) and was accompanied by a light restyle outside. Further changes came with the reintroduction of the MV Weekender in 1999 following the all-but-disappearance of the slow selling and ridiculously priced Winnebago, and finally, more power in 2001 with the 24-valve VR6. Despite upping power with dual cams, adjustable intake and double the valve count to net over 200 ponies (46% more power than the prior VR6!) Volkswagen also substantially cut the price – nearly 20% – of the T4, meaning the late models are probably the ones you’re going to find since they sold in greater numbers. Out the door, a GLS model sold for about $26,500 – nearly exactly the same sticker price as my Passat, but with much more space and utility. Move up to the MV, and you needed to pay about $3,000 more – but you got the folding bed, curtains, removable seats and flip up table. Another $3,500 paid for the pop-top Westfalia model, which now included screens, dual batteries and a refrigerator in addition to the signature pup-tent roofline.

Now that I’ve hopefully helped you (and more likely me) to sort the lineup a bit, let’s take a look at the second thing which confuses me in the VW Vans – the pricing. Here’s one of the more desirable models in the T4 lineup – a 24V VR6 MV Westfalia Weekender, and this one is no reserve:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Weekender on eBay

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1990 Volkswagen T4 Syncro Diesel

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Our love of the T3 Vanagon Syncro has taken up significant blog space here, but sightings of T4s – called Eurovans, Transporters, or Caravelles – with Syncro are exceedingly rare. The only one I’d seen before this was an Executive Package Caravelle boasting private jet-like seating and lots of leather. Today’s T4 Transporter occupies the other end of the spectrum, with a stripped rear interior and metal separation wall behind the two front seats. Judging by the seller’s offer to install a refrigeration unit in the back for $7k, I’m going to guess that at some point it was used for cold transport. The lack of amenities are made up for by options never available in the US: panel sides, 4WD, and diesel power. I don’t need any “REEFER” capabilities (as the seller refers to it) installed, but I see a lot of potential for a go-anywhere camper with great privacy!

Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen T4 Syncro Diesel on eBay

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2000 Volkswagen Caravelle TDI Syncro

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If you’ve visited our site in the last year, chances are you’ve seen me go off about wanting some form of T3 Syncro, whether it’s a Westy or Hightop, a DoKa or even a plain tintop. I give double points if it’s diesel powered.

Well today brings something that we’ve never had here on GCFSB and in fact few of us even knew existed: a Syncro diesel Eurovan, here labeled a Caravelle because Canada. Beyond the fancy 4WD and oil burning motor, this van allegedly has every available option including the Business Package, which features a fold-out table, large motorized LCD screen, and 4 rotating leather captain’s chairs. All that, and yet my favorite part (besides the Syncro) is that it has still has a manual!

Click for details: 2000 Volkswagen Caravelle TDI Syncro on Craigslist Vancouver

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1993 Volkswagen Eurovan MV Westfalia

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Let’s face it. Vans are not normally considered the coolest genre of vehicles. But with Volkswagen forbidding US customers access to their most recent Transporters and the commonality of the SUV, the Eurovan, as it was known stateside, has gained a bit of a cult status in the US. While the version equipped with the VR6 engine might be fresh in our minds, a few were sold here in the early part of the 1990s with a 2.5 liter inline-5 cylinder engine. This Eurovan for sale in Florida looks very 1993 with its shade of green and is one of the early examples equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Click for details: 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan MV Westfalia on eBay

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Volkswagen Eurovans

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As I continue on my van kick, today we’ll look at a couple of clean Eurovans that have a lot of life left in them but won’t break the bank. Maligned as the lamer, less-fun, front-engined descendent of the Bus and Vanagon. They’re a heck of a lot more authentic and European than the Routan, that’s for sure.

The first option is from the final year of the Eurovan, and it comes in the great, Estoril-esque Techno Blue.

Click for details: 2003 Volkswagen Eurovan on eBay

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1993 Volkswagen Eurovan

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The Eurovan may be the least-loved generation of VW vans, but it’s grown on me. Similarly, non-poptop campers have become a new object of desire, bringing simplicity and sleek looks while still providing significant capability. This teal van has a convertible bed out of the rear seats as well as a table in the middle, with a rare drivetrain combo in the inline-5 and manual. All told, it looks like a great deal to be able to tackle all kinds of adventures for well under $10k.

Click for details: 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan on eBay

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1995 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Winnebago

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With Vanagons of all types commanding some very serious prices these days, those looking for economical ways to traverse the continent and sleep in their cars would be wise to consider the lesser-loved Eurovan. Today’s is an early model with a the classic 2.5l inline-5 and a rare 5-speed manual. It’s only had one owner and has covered just over 80k miles in its two decades, making it a great choice for owner #2 who wants to travel in comfort and isn’t too worried about the Vanagon mystique. It’s a comprehensive Eurovan package that combines nice early-model simplicity with world-traveling capability.

Click for details: 1995 Volkswagen Eurovan on eBay

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1993 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Weekender

My proclivities lie in the 80s, especially when it comes to VW Vans. The old buses are cool, but after riding in my brother’s college-edition enough, it’s a little post-war for me. The Eurovan has always seemed like a capable fellow, but I was initially turned off by front wheel drive and less distinctive styling than the Vanagon. A friend is in search of one to someday be the ultimate family vacation vehicle, and despite being the more modern Van, they can be had more affordably than Vanagons. Today’s eschews the bland looks with an amazing original teal paint job. It’s put on some miles, but that’s what adventure vans are for!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Weekender on eBay

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