Syncro Westies are a special breed, but today’s Vanagon is cut from an interesting cloth – or lack thereof. While most Westfalias’ tops popped up with a cloth tent, later models like this example could be had with a plastic high-top. What is lost in aerodynamics is gained in weatherproofness, creating a cozy loft and more mounting space for the rack-loving van crowd. While the top sticks out, the overall aesthetics are upgraded but pleasantly subtle, with upsized steel wheels, the great South African grille/light combo and tough bumpers blending into the colorless white/black scheme. The more I look at it, the more I love this van, and we haven’t even gotten to the mechanicals! Those are as good as they get, with an upgraded turbodiesel and Syncro four-wheel drive. No reserve will make this a fun auction to watch, though the low mileage and strong option and upgrade lists will probably take it out of most people’s price range.
All posts tagged VW
I get wound up at times by Volkswagen of America’s product decisions. The cool cars that helped establish the company in this market are somehow now back burner issues for the company. VW had a perfectly good van in the Transporter (known as the Eurovan on these shores), yet decided to sully their brand by rebadging a Dodge Caravan into a People’s Minivan. Bad move. After a few short years, the Routan was pulled from the lineup and we have yet to see a return of a van with the VW badge here in the US.
If Volkswagen is worried the current generation Transporter wouldn’t work in the US market, maybe they should take a look back at their history and see how much brand equity is tied up in this workhorse. Fewer vehicles these days seem as versatile. A vintage Type 2 Microbus such as this restored example for sale in San Diego is on offer for mega bucks, but this seems to be the new norm for these vans.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1954 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe Microbus on The Samba
Reader and stellar commenter Ry alerted us to this awesome German military medical vehicle over on the Samba, always a cool source for some unique VWs. It may be located in Germany, but it’s a cool combination of military looks, diesel power, and shockingly low mileage. The interior is set up to be a radio vehicle, but as with any T25, it’s easily convertible. We’ve seen some astonishing prices for Vanagons in the US, so while this isn’t a mega-Syncro Westy, it’s a very cool, very clean VW van that could be bought and imported for very little.
Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen T25 Army Aid Vehicle on The Samba
It’s been a while since I’ve fantasized about the R32. For a long time, it was my dream car, packing AWD with a sweet (and sweeter sounding) VR6 in the attractive (to me) Mk4 Golf package. They sound great and are very capable, but have had enough mechanical issues to have some detractors. I’ll continue dreaming though, thinking of the VR6’s terrifying growl, the 4Motion’s capability, and the hatchback sensibility. For a long time they were hovering around $20k, and you might still pay that much if you find a cherry low-mileage example, but today’s has covered 117k miles and is thus an extremely reasonable $13k.