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1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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

s-l1600 (3)
Year: 1991
Model: Vanagon Westfalia
Engine: 2.2 liter flat-4
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 198,001 mi
Price: $18,300 OBO
s-l1600 (4)

SAFE, Rare and unique 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia MULTIPURPOSE/WEEKENDER. This vehicle is safe and reliable and has Super Heavy Duty front and rear custom bumpers TO PROTECT YOUR LEGS (Front) and your BUS MOTOR (rear). (After DRIVING VW BUSES FOR 50 YEARS, I WOULD NEVER DRIVE A BUS WITHOUT THIS PROTECTION). Powered by a rebuilt 2.2L, (not 2.1) 4-cyl engine and rebuilt automatic transmission. All motor parts have been professionally hardened and tempered before being assembled. This vehicle is in very good condition, has passed California Emissions, very clean, never smoked in, and runs well. Factory installed features and options include: CD/DVD Player, Power Windows, Power Brakes, Power Steering, Pop Top Bed (only used once) Alloy Wheels, and a host of other amenities. This vehicle has a new Bosch Battery, Changed Oil (Mobil one Synthetic) Transmission flush w/ Valvoline Max-Life Full Synthetic ATF, and California approved new Catalytic Converter.

s-l1600 (2)
Care and maintenance are paramount in the Westy market, as some mid-mileage examples may have blemishes and unknown histories, whereas some have gone to the moon and back but can account for every detail being covered. This one seems to be in the middle – the history isn’t fully known but it seems like a van that has been loved and smartly cared for. For mid-teens, it’s a good value in the Vanagon market right now.



  1. markiteight
    markiteight February 25, 2016

    I’ve never quite understood the obsession with tubular or box steel bumpers on vanagons, especially late model ones where the rest of the fiberglass body molding is retained. Looks like ass. I understand the desire to do something about the faded, peeling, cracked, and generally hopeless state that most vanagon fiberglass bumpers are in these days, but spending hundreds of dollars on mismatched, bulky, heavy, ugly steel bumpers isn’t the solution. For ~$150 and two weekends worth of elbow grease I returned my cracked/faded/peeling bumpers and body cladding to like-new condition.

    Oh…and by the way: 3 speed, Nate. 3 speed. Vanagon automatics are 3 speed.

  2. Dingpitted
    Dingpitted February 25, 2016

    The fiberglass bumpers are fragile objects unfortunately. Strong metal bumpers are a good fix if you use the bus in the city or roughly outdoors.
    A black van would be bomber. Not good for solar summers but sharp looking.
    I like this bus.

  3. Carter
    Carter February 25, 2016

    @markiteight, corrected, thanks. If I’m not wrong, the 3-speed is actually the same one used in the Audi GT/5000/100 and 924S/944, among many others. I’m hoping to have mine working again soon.

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