Many of my current escapist daydreams involve Vanagons, and while it’s fun to imagine going huge and having a low-mileage Syncro Westy, we all know those are some of the most expensive 80s Germans out there. In the face of that extreme investment, I’m ok bringing my expectations back down to earth and just looking for a decent, inexpensive van that can serve as a home away from home for a while. In that case, finding a lower-mileage example that has good bones but could use some love seems like the pragmatic starting point. Despite some cosmetic blemishes, everything on this aircooled Westy works and it’s only covered 92k miles. Sounds like a lot of fun for well under ten grand!
All posts tagged Westfalia
While most clean Westfalias come on the market with strong asking prices, today’s is an exciting no-reserve auction. This provides an opportunity to get a nice van for a good price, but it’s also going to attract a lot of attention. Early in the auction there are already well over 50 bids as some VW-friendly adventurers minds start churning. It’s covered a decent amount of miles, but 141k shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent. The rebuilt automatic transmission makes for easier cruising but not as much fun. Swaps and upgrades are always an option with these great vans, but this should be a solid starting point without needing any big-ticket items any time soon.
Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
While the insane VW vans available these days are a fun fantasy, I much prefer finding the undervalued drivers that have significant upsides. This Campmobile model has a few foibles that should be addressed before it’s a really great self-contained adventure machine, but the low price gives plenty of room for some redemptive reconditioning. In brown, it’s nicely average and original, save the well-chosen South African grill and less attractive wheel covers.
Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
Like the spotting of the Ivory-billed woodpecker decades after it was declared extinct, we have a Vanagon Syncro Westfalia today that is in nearly perfect, all-original condition. The 4WD Westies are rare enough, but nearly every example has been well used, with the nicer ones having undergone swaps and restorations (often by the great but pricey GoWesty guys). This example is the only one I’ve seen that spent most of its life in a garage and has never gone camping. Little items such as the sink sticker and vinyl drip tray cover are still intact, as this was apparently just used as occasional transportation by an older lady for 17 years, then parked after a small fender dent.
Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia on The Samba
The Vanagon Weekender is a nice alternative to the full-on Westfalia treatment, lacking the fluid, electric, and gas inlets/outlets, but still possessing great campability with a pop-top, table, and folding rear bed. Today’s Weekender has undergone the popular Subaru flat-4 conversion, bringing a little more power and reliability compared the old VW wasserboxer. You could see the Weekender and non-turbo Subaru engine as compromises, or as very capable options that keep costs down. That’s the lens I choose to see this Vanagon through; it’s not a high-powered, fully-optioned and mega-expensive model, but it has the right bits to get the job done.