When certain dream cars end up way more expensive than you ever thought they’d be, you’re forced to decide if you’ll wait until you make tons of money (which may never happen), or make some compromises and try to get an example you can enjoy as soon as possible. Maybe it’s just a high-miled chassis with a rebuilt engine, but when those are going for as much as a brand new GTI, what do you do? The ultimate value-killing rebuilt title is a big gamble, but with 70k miles enjoyed post-rebuild and a reserve of “well below $30k,” it may just be the best overall value for a Westy Syncro out there.
All posts tagged VW
It’s hard to believe, but it’s approaching two decades that the “New” Beetle has been with us. What debuted as the Concept 1 at the 1994 North American International Auto Show begat the New Beetle for the 1998 model year. This revival of an entry-level motoring classic was offered with a 2.0 liter inline-4 or a 1.9 liter TDI engine initially, with a hotter 1.8 liter turbocharged petrol unit arriving shortly thereafter. Everyone from college kids to retirees began snapping these up in their quest for a little bit of nostalgia. These were not the most reliable of Volkswagens, suffering a lot of the same trim and electrical glitches that plagued the car they were based on, the MkIV Golf. A few years on, you could buy one for a song on the used market, and demand for new ones started to wane.
Enter the A5 based Beetle which debuted in 2011 for the 2012 model year. This was a larger, more powerful and feature laden car than its predecessor. Its appearance was meant to ape a bit of the cues from the original Beetle, with a modified roofline and available steel wheels with chromed trim rings and hubcaps. We’re a few years now into the current generation of Beetles, and this 6-speed manual example with low miles comes to us by way of our friends at Euro Automotion in Happy Valley, Oregon.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at EuroAutomotion
We’ve seen some great diesel Westies here, but today’s brings the added benefits of a biodiesel conversion. Built by a reputable Bay Area VW mechanic for himself, it’s clean through and through and has a nearly-new TDI swap. Now you can get over 30 mpg in your camper AND have the delicious smell of french fries follow you wherever you go! A solar roof adds to the green credentials, and some other nicely refreshed parts like a new tent make it a pretty great package. Bidders are going a bit wild, with a huge amount of bids pushing this up into top non-Syncro territory.
Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Biodiesel on eBay
In my continuing exploration of the extremes of the Westfalia spectrum, today we have an extremely inexpensive aircooled model with a recently rebuilt engine and transmission highlighting its plausibility as a great starting point for an enthusiastic but frugal Vanagon enthusiast. The refrigerator and the stove don’t work, but for just $6,500 you get a decent looking, strong-running van and can improve the camping functionality as you go. Compared to most of the Westies out there, the buckets of money you’ll save on this one should leave plenty for the fix-it fund – or for a nice cooler and kerosene camping stove.
Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
My one main complaint with my 1981 Rabbit Pickup was that the passenger compartment was a pretty tight squeeze between the low roof and too-close rear wall – beyond that, it was a hilarious, competent, unique, and fun-to-drive car. Today’s oddball Frankenstein monster fixes my one gripe by melding a Rabbit Hatchback with a Pickup, creating a Crew Cab Caddy reminiscent of Rutledge Wood’s limo on Top Gear America (I don’t blame you if you haven’t seen it). While the extra legroom and seating for four are nice additions and it allegedly runs and drives, this is clearly a half-baked project with many, many needs. The seller thinks its rarity makes it as valuable as a top-notch Caddy, but it would take a lot of time and money to make it even presentable.