Feature Listing: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

Feature Listing: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Cleveland Craigslist

1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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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

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Multivan

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Multivan

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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

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

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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

1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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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.

Click for details: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Here’s a nice Weekender for your weekend with just 71.5k miles and a lot of potential. Actually, to be pedantic, the Weekender option was just a third-row bed on tin tops, but it’s come to be a colloquial name for any Vanagon with a folding bed but no kitchen. So, technically, the Multivan is a tidy little package that offers the comfort and sleepability of the full Vanagon camper without the stove, fridge, or sink. With a camp stove and some Platypus bags, however, you could whip up a fresh batch of great time camping with some friends in this thing. Bidding has been extremely hot for this kitchenless Westy despite some paint and minor electrical defects.

Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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This Burgundy Westy has covered some ground – 156k miles in its life – but it’s been pretty much completely refurbished mechanically with some great cosmetic touches too. Outside, its been repainted in its beautiful original hue and has the perfect (if ubiquitous) GoWesty wheels. The South African grille is another popular mod, but the quad-round setup just looks so darn good. Inside, the front seats have been replaced with blue and grey cloth Recaros from a Jetta GLI that don’t quite match the rest of the just-grey interior but are still quite sharp. All seals and the tent were redone at the time of repaint (a few years ago). The engine and transmission were rebuilt and the suspension and brakes are redone. So yeah, pretty much everything. The market is strong for nearly-perfect, well-tended Westys like this, so the seller is probably feeling pretty confident in their $29.5k price.

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1980 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

1980 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

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Last month we featured a rare Sven Hedin edition of a VW LT28 Westfalia. It had a lot of style and promise, but looking deeper past the Playmobil-esque lines showed a van that needed serious love and effort inside and out. Today’s 1980 model look to be cleaner throughout, though the single exterior shot leaves plenty of opportunity for hidden blemishes. The interior while still heavy on the 80s style, is notably better and doesn’t have the saggy-bags on the wall. Under the hood it has a recent turbodiesel heart transplant from a 96 Volvo. Despite originally living in the other Vol-car, these DT24T engines were actually built by Volkswagen from 1982-1992 and are as close to OEM+ as you can get for the LTs. With both the turbo and the intercooler, it pumps out over 120hp, a big improvement over the original 74hp. With highway capability, a dated but ready-to-use interior, and a simple, clean exterior, this is a great plus-sized alternative to the standard T3 Westy.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen LT28 on eBay

1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia

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We’ve posted some interesting variations on the Volkswagen LT vans, the plus-sized Vanagons that never came to the US. From firetrucks to zombie defense vehicles to race team vans, they’re like VW’s Sprinter. Today’s LT28 model, indicating the lightest gross vehicle weight available (they went up to the LT55), is a special edition form Westfalia called the “Sven Hedin,” the Swedish world explorer. The bigger size of the LT allows for more amenities than would ever fit in a T3 like a shower, while the hightop makes standing up much more comfortable. The size and rarity are definitely the main draws here, as it’s showing some wear after its 125k miles and 28 years. The interior looks original but droopy, especially the wall-mounted cloth storage sacks. The exterior shows some cracked and possibly redone paint areas, and the incredible blue stripes have seen better days. All of the thick plastic Westfalia interior bits look great though and the turbodiesel inline-6 should be just getting into its prime, so as long as there aren’t a bunch of rust spots hiding, I think it has a lot of potential as a plus-sized camper.

Click for details: 1988 Volkswagen LT28 Westfalia on eBay

1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Late-model burgundy Vanagons were the first to ever catch my eye, and even as I’ve spent the last several years exploring the many variations and degrees of modification available for this versatile van, it’s still the look I find most appealing. This 1991 model has steel bars instead of the clean fiberglass, body-colored bumpers available at the end of the lifecycle, ostensibly to protect your legs and engine from the natural weak points of the cab-over design. They may not be sleek but they don’t look bad, and it seems practical to protect where this guy has put most of his money – the engine. It doesn’t say how long into its 198k-mile life it received the rebuild, but the engine was redone into 2.2-liter form and apparently all engine parts were specially hardened before assembly. The original interior is in great shape for having covered almost 200k, and the upper bed has only been used once. This no-frills, all-business Westy is available for a reasonable $18,300.

Click for details: 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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I always wonder what people get out of selling advertising space on their cars, a topic Jalopnik provided a point/counterpoint to yesterday. If you really don’t give a damn about the appearance of your car, I guess it’s essentially free money. Company vehicles can be cool – I’m thinking old bakery delivery panel vans – but sometimes some dude just had to offer up his vehicle as a promotional platform. Something like that happened here to this 1981 Westy for Montana’s MOJO 92.5. Considering the recent trend of consolidating small radio stations into conglomerates whose names make me distinctly NOT love radio, I’m guessing Montana just lost one more station beloved by roofers and garbage men. I sure hope the window decals can come off easily, as well as the tiny logos swimming around in the black trimline.

Beyond the glaring weirdness of being a rolling billboard, it’s a pretty nice early Vanagon. GoWesty wheels are the most tasteful choice on the vehicle, which has such anachronisms as a “ceiling mounted DVD player!” Not exactly my type of van camping, but could be a plus if you like road trips but your preferred parenting method is screen hypnosis. The new interior looks well done if overly Halloweeny, but you’re not going to get away from that in this van. The houndstooth is nice and the appliances and cabinets all look outstanding. With a Lamborghini Orange paint job, is this pumpkin worth $23k?

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1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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We often speak of the value of Vanagons here, which has stretched upward to dizzying heights in some cases. It’s worth taking a deeper look at how conservative campers from the People’s Auto inspires such devotion. Today’s seller has touched every piece of this car and tried to do the best possible thing to make it immaculate and/or updated. Leading in with

I will try not to bore you with all the details of my restoration but here goes:

he proceeds to passionately explain rebuilding the engine, then removing it recently and painstakingly clean everything… just because. And this guy isn’t alone. The parts are available through amazing companies like GoWesty to have tinkering on your van for years, meeting all kinds of other people who also like driving a mobile personal campsite. His Buy It Now is big money, creeping towards some decent Syncros, but the fact that he can’t not share his excitement about making the perfect van is convincing. It’s cleaner than clean.

Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

Low-Mileage Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalias

Low-Mileage Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalias

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The strong market for Westfalias should surprise no one by now. What is surprising, however, is finding two ridiculously low-mileage Westies for sale at the same time, in nearly the exact same spec. They’re both late-model, white on grey Vanagons that are looking for high-$30ks. That’s starting to get into decent Syncro Westy territory – are they worth it?

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Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Country Camper

1980 Volkswagen Vanagon Country Camper

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This new year, I pledge to do a LOT more camping. A boat trip to Alaska will guarantee an uptick, but here’s a new Vanagon variant to help lengthen those road trips. This 1980 2.0-liter Vanagon was converted by Country Home Campers, an outfit that did Westfalia-like conversions for some 30 years. It certainly looks like an 80s country home inside, with some nice wood paneling and faux-leather vinyl seats. The air-cooled four has been rebuilt and cosmetically it looks very clean throughout, if not beautiful. The camper top doesn’t reach as far as the Westy’s, allowing for a little moonroof action for those in the front seats. It may not be the most desirable Vanagon, but it has a lot of capability and a low, no-reserve auction.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Vanagon on eBay

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Bordeaux Red Pearl has always been one of my favorite Vanagon colors, and today’s burgundy Westy looks just about perfect after just 113k miles. It’s a good sign when the only blemish the seller can think to list is a missing center cap on a front wheel, which are now the common, perfectly-fitting Mercedes rims. It has a brand new pop-top tent and some post-production Westfalia stickers (of which I’m a big fan) and all the camping gear is functioning perfectly. If you can afford it, this is about as nice a stock, mostly-original Westy as you’ll find.

Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay