While our author Nate has been on sabbatical, I have to admit we’ve had a dearth in coverage of his favorite subject – the Vanagon. Slow, boxy and rust prone, there is plenty to poke fun at every time a Vanagon comes to market. But to me what’s amazing is the package that the Vanagon offers. There’s a simplistic utility to the model which belies its near-universal appeal and recognition. And it’s hard to argue with the adventure aspect which comes with ownership, but also opens new possibilities to life. Over the past few years my wife and I have discussed touring the country and visiting the National Parks with an Airstream. They’re seriously vintage-chic these days, so buying a good condition one can be prohibitively expensive to being with. Then, you need a vehicle to tow it with, quite literally doubling the complexity of your journey. This makes the Vanagon an interesting alternative for many adventure seekers, as you get a different version of camp couture in a package capable of bring you to the next site on its own. Today’s 1989 Vanagon Westfalia is just that sort of package:
All posts tagged Westfalia
I’d imagine all Westy buyers imagine themselves picking up and traveling the world in their van, adventuring and accruing a healthy stash of stories. Most probably end up lucky to get the occasional overnight, lugging the pop top to sailing practice. The previous owners of this van have lived the dream, the first taking the van from Florida to Britain to New Zealand as he moved. The sellers then shipped it to Chile, where they drove it up the Pan American Highway to the northeastern US, where it currently resides. The seller is hoping for $12k but hasn’t seen any bids at the opening $8k. Perhaps it’s the conflicting info in the description versus the data frame; the difference between 100,000 miles and 1,000,000 seems worth clearing up.
Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
A lot of the imported Volkswagen T3s are megamachines, like Syncro DoKas, Syncro Westies, and Tristars. This sweet little red van looks pretty basic without the pop-top, but actually brings a lot to the table with specs not available here in North America. It’s not quite a tin-top thanks to the power ragtop sunroof, and it’s not just a people-mover thanks to the full complement of Westfalia interior items like the sink, fridge, stove, and storage cupboards. It looks pretty stock other than a “sport suspension” and 16″ 5-spokes that help it do its best impression of a ’70s American cab-forward van. It looks great, is fully road trippable, and only has 23k miles on it; someone is going to be a happy camper at the end of this no-reserve auction.
Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon on eBay
As Syncro Westies become the Holy Grail of campervans, a lot of the ones for sale are all kinds of crazy. Crazy colors, crazy upgrades, and crazy values have characterized the auctions, but today we have a 4WD pop-top Vanagon that flies under the radar in all the right ways. It’s in great condition inside and out, including a repaint last year, but the color brown over tan with black steelies keeps its true value hidden from all except those who can pick out the subtle “4WD” emblems on the front doors. It’s had a recent full tuneup, GoWesty exhaust, cat, and bumpers installed, and all new rubber seals and pop-top canvas. BFGoodrich All-Terrains complete the subtle but eminently capable package. The unknown mileage will raise some questions, but if you know what brown can do for you this no-reserve auction is a great chance at a Syncro Westy that doesn’t break the bank.
Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay
This drop-dead gorgeous Westy looks like a brand-new late-model example but is really a completely restored and OEM+ upgraded 1982 model completed just last year. Reading through the long description inspires empathy for the restorer as you hear about taking everything all the way down – interior, exterior, pop-top, running gear, camping equipment – and building it back up with new or redone parts beyond factory spec. The new bumpers, mirrors, and later sunroof pop-top were all done in the same factory Pastel White to perfection. As it only has 53k total miles on it, the interior fabric was all perfect, but they decided to go in and redo the foam and bolsters. Dynamat was installed throughout the van, ensuring a quiet and solid ride. You’ll be able to hustle up big hills thanks to a rebuilt AAZ 1.9 liter turbodiesel, manage corners on new shocks, and bring it all to a halt with new brakes. As you’d imagine, this is no bargain Westy, but it’s damn near the nicest you’ll find.