My recent project of converting an inherited minivan into a camper has reinforced my interest in tin-top Vanagons. The Westy is certainly the way to go when a whole family is involved, multiplying the available sleeping space – and the price too. Besides affordability, tintops bring a much sleeker look, especially with subtle upgrades like today’s 1990 Carat Weekender. With a South African grille and 17″ Audi wheels, this Vanagon looks like it could be a Porsche Racing support vehicle. Alas, this is no Vanagon B32 (the Porsche-produced and -engined monster) but it’s still a sweet van that shows few, if any, signs of its 279k miles. Thankfully it won’t feel that well-traveled either, as it had an engine rebuild and transmission replacement 100k miles ago; it should have many roads and adventures ahead. While a lot of the Vanagon-love out there is steeped in overindulgence, this is a great example of how minimalism can still provide great versatility.
Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Weekender on eBay
Model: Vanagon Carat Weekender
Engine: 2.1 liter flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 279,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction
Volkswagon classic, rare find in excellent condition! Seven passengers, fold-up table and a back seat that converts to a bed! Original paint with minor touch-ups. Vintage style with modern amenities! Engine completely rebuilt at 179,000 miles. Transmission replaced at same time. Most of the service records and receipts from early days, all records since purchase in February 2012. Fastidiously maintained throughout the years. All locks and windows are power and working. Cruise control and air conditioning working like new. Radio updated with new speakers and iPod jack. Thule roof rack included. Wheels and tires upgraded to 17″ Audi wheels. Almost $10k invested since purchase in 2012. Almost everything upgraded or refreshed!! Radiator replaced, AC condenser upgraded. The list goes on and on! Feel free to contact me with any questions or for more specifics. Car is being sold as-is, with all records and clear title. Local pick-up only, but will assist with transport.
A lot of work has gone into keeping this van alive, and with an enthusiastic owner it can keep going for another quarter million miles. The Weekenders are a great camper option, providing a bed and table without adding undue weight or complexity. Carry seven or camp with two, you’ll look sharp with whatever adventure you choose. The well-rolled odometer will likely keep bidding pretty conservative, so with a healthy appreciation for keeping this classic running this could end with a very approachable entry price for the next owner who wants some easy camping fun before (or after?) kids complicate things.