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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the kind of Syncro Westy that can command the better part of a hundred thousand dollars. We’ve seen some nicely restored and modified examples, but even then they’ve struggled to break $40k. Well, folks, we caught a big one. Let’s see if we can haul it aboard.

Inside out and top to bottom, this Westy is mega. Starting with the mechanicals, there’s no Subaru imposter or rebuilt wasserboxer here – it’s a like-new, $35k 1.8T conversion putting out a very healthy 255hp with custom cooling and exhaust systems. Underneath you also get new suspension and a big brake kit, along with a rebuilt front differential and Porsche 930 axles. I especially like the dual fuel tanks for removing any range anxiety when you’re way out in the woods.

From there, we’re just looking at a no-holds-barred interior and exterior. Inside, there’s an entertainment system with a back-up camera surrounded by a custom houndstooth interior. It has everything a Westy lover dreams about, from the solar system connected to twin auxiliary batteries to an on-board air compressor and front-mounted Warn winch, though I’m rather confused as to why they put the Hella lights in a position where they’re blocked by the winch.

This van goes well beyond what is necessary to live the Van Life. It’s an exercise in how far you can go and how many dream-boxes you can check, but the resulting price tag is similarly fantastical.

Click for details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay

Year: 1987
Model: Vanagon Westfalia Syncro
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 154k mi on chassis, 100 mi on engine
Price: $109,870 OBO

**Please call us with specific questions on this. We are open to reasonable offers. This one is as new as it gets, truly. Read over the list below to understand what when into this and why it’s priced the way it is. The engine conversion alone was nearly $35K. A nice Syncro Westy is at least $30-35K…..then start adding. It gets easier to see how much went into it.**

1987 Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Full Camper CCMS CUSTOM BUILD!! This has been a 180 day INCREDIBLE build out! We purchased this from a private owner on the West Coast because of it’s good history and overall great condition. The Chassis has 154K miles on it. It is finished in White with Painted and Matching Fiberglass. We did a Custom one-off Sewfine Interior in this one using Hounds-tooth fabric for the inserts. Then we added New German Carpet and Custom ABS Door Panels throughout!! After it’s Ohio arrival and some sorting/additions here in our shop, we shipped it out to Stephan’s Auto Haus in Sacramento for one of his infamous 1.8t conversions. There, Stephan and his Crew installed a FRESH 1.8t that ended up pumping out roughly 255 HP and got all the fixings!! This one had NO expense spared! It runs and drives AWESOME! There is NO hill that will leave you longing for more power! The list of Mods is incredibly long, but we will attempt to give you an idea of what was completed. We are happy to talk to interested parties in depth! We have it all documented. This received: 0 mile Fresh Fully Rebuilt 1.8t with all new internals, Rebuilt Front Differential and VC, HD Clutch, Porsche 930 Axles, Water over Air Inter-cooler System with Custom Boost Gauge install, Custom Exhaust and Stainless Steel Coolant Pipes! Features include: Air Conditioning and Cruise Control, Burley Motorsport Suspension, Big Brake Kit, Dual Aux Battery with built in Solar Charging System(So 3 total Batteries on board!) and Go-Westy Solar Panel, Custom Stereo/Navigation/Back-up Camera, Brand New Propex Aux Heater, On-Board Air Compressor for airing up tires in the field, Dual Fuel Tanks(Yes, an extra fuel tank!), South African Grill with High Power lighting, RMW Bumpers with Roo Bar and Hella Lights with Front Mounted Warn Winch, Fiamma F45 Awning in Black with Grey Vinyl, Das Mule Rock Sliders/Step ups, TF-49 Truck Fridge, Porta Potty with Custom Cabinet Enclosure to match the Westy Cabinets, New Propane Tank, Van-Cafe Tinted Taillights and Turn Signals, New 3-window Canvas Tent, 3 Point Seat-belts in Rear, Roof Mounted Basket with High Jack Lift mounted to it and Rear Ladder for access, 15” Euro-look Wheels painted Black with new BFG’s All-Terrain KO’s and MUCH MUCH MORE!!! This one is truly unreal! It is a blast to drive! We are not new to doing Custom Builds here, but this one even blows our minds! Call us for more info. Priced really well for the amount of time and $$$ that is invested and what you as the customer will be getting! We think that the right individual will see the value with ease. You may call us for more information, or even to inquire about us doing a Custom Build for you to suit your individual needs and budget. We are passionate about these Vanagon’s and our one-off builds…..

Other than the light positioning, there isn’t a single piece of this van that I wouldn’t like. But the sum of the parts ends up looking more like the vehicle of a spoiled person who knew their G500 4×4² was too bougie but still wanted a mega off-roader beyond the reach of normal folk. Rolling up to a Westy convention in this might get some oohs and ahhs, but I think most Vanagon lovers would hold strong assumptions that the owner is a rich d-bag. I’ll keep aspiring to one of the awesome $20-30k Syncros we’ve featured and leave this one for the one percenters.



  1. markiteight
    markiteight September 24, 2015

    Say what you will about sellers’ delusions of grandeur, out of market pricing, pie in the sky fantasies, etc…this van actually sold! It didn’t sell for the ~$110,000 asking price and I’m really curious to see what the “best offer” was that ended the listing.

    Modifications are a very personal thing and rarely enhance the value of a vehicle unless the seller is fortunate enough to actually find a buyer who’s taste agrees with theirs. In this van’s case it has the wrong engine (spending THIRTY FIVE GRAND on a 1.8t is a considerable challenge…especially if the result is only 255 hp), wrong door panels (any vehicle that had its perfectly functional and relatively attractive door panels replaced with flat sheets of black plastic is automatically denied entry to the 6 figure club), wrong bumpers (I don’t understand the appeal of ditching the well integrated factory bumpers for ill-fitting slabs of box steel), and ugly interior. With all the effort put into restoring and upgrading this van, why didn’t they update the ventilation system to the later, much more effective style? And what’s going on with the fender flares?

    I wanted to send you a link to another van I thought might pique your interest but I can’t find any way to contact you through GCFSB, or any way to submit suggestions. Anyway, here it is:

    That’s still crazy strong money for an old van, but at less than half the price for a low mileage, apparently pristine, and all original (except the radio) Westy Syncro it may actually be appropriately priced. Reminds me of the clean, original Orly Blue Westy Syncro I walked away from 15 years ago. I thought it was over priced at $14,000. I was an idiot.

  2. kenny
    kenny September 24, 2015

    I guess I do not share the grand images others do.

    One can buy a Westy with a blown motor,/or having some mechanical needs under 5 grand, buy a low mileage Subaru motor for $2000 or less, have a shop install the Small Car kit for under 7 grand… maybe update a few other things..
    Voila.. well under 20k for a REALLY nice and reliable Westy.

    The Syncro is a nightmare. The parts are expensive and hard to locate. They have added weight from the 4WD, and are already taxed as it is. People who buy them should not use the word “budget” at anytime in their life.

    100 grand? I guess if you have a totally disposable income…? But I would consider a Sprinter (incredibly nice, low mileage or NEW camper one…) 1st.

    Crack Pipe.. (if it was that site)

  3. Rennman
    Rennman September 24, 2015

    “…but I think most Vanagon lovers would hold strong assumptions that the owner is a rich d-bag” – speak for yourself, I personally feel that’s an asinine comment. Where is written that you have to be a broke hippy to own a Westy? In my experience “rich d-bags” don’t spend their money in this way. My bet is a successful ex-hippy that like you said, is checking all the dream boxes. Good for them, and shame on you for the classist remarks which come across as nothing more than sour grapes, and yet seem strangely absent on the $450k 993 Turbo S listings…? You don’t get it both ways, get over yourself.

  4. AdmGriff
    AdmGriff November 23, 2015

    Marketeight, how do you know it SOLD? It’s still listed for sale on their website.

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