1989 Volkswagen Vanagon with Subaru 3.3 flat six

It seems to be a growing trend to take a run of the mill, underpowered Volkswagen Vanagon and swap a Subaru engine in it. We featured a Volkswagen T2 Transporter with a Subaru 2.5 RS motor last month, however, here is a different beast. A Vanagon with the Subaru 3.3 liter flat six motor. While the body has high mileage on it, the owner has clearly invested the time and money to make this a special van.

The seller states:

1989 Volk Wolfsburg 3.3 liter Subaro 6 cyl 235 hp. Over $35,000 invested to build this one of a kind van!

70,000 miles on Subaru motor, approx 15,000 on all new suspension brakes and transmission

Interior upgrades:

Speaker upgrades
New carpet
Newly upholstered front seats
Absolutely no rust, an original california car!

Exterior:

Tinted windows
Keyless entry with alarm

Mechanical:

All upgrades done by EuroTech San Diego, The Vanagon Subaru Engine Conversion Specialist.
Big brake upgrade: Cross drilled front rotors with audi 200 turbo quattro front break calipers and Mercedes ML 320 brake rotors. Rear disk brake conversion using Audi 200 turbo quattro break calipers and rotors. Both front and rear brakes have akebono ceramic brake pads for improved braking and low dusting.
Stage 2 heavydut clutch
Short shifter kit, Go westy
White face gauges
Taller 3rd and 4th gear ratios
HID headlight conversion
17′ Audi wheels. Custom machined center caps
Tires, 5,000 miles

I’m not a van guy, but I like off beat vehicles and this one fits the bill. While Porsche made a version of the Vanagon called the B32 with a flat six, the Subaru engine would no doubt last a good while longer and quite possibly could deliver better gas mileage. If I had a family to haul around, SUVs be damned. This refridgerator-esque van is just what the doctor ordered.

-Paul

Rare find: Stock, clean 1993 VW Corrado for sale

I used to be more enamored with the Corrado. It’s a great looking car, a clean and worthy successor to the Scirocco. It’s supposedly a hoot to drive (Car magazine named it one of the “25 Cars You Must Drive Before You Die,” I haven’t yet) and came with the then-powerful VR6 or G60 supercharged 4. All in all, a pretty great package. Unfortunately, its small production numbers and pioneering appeal as a European ricerocket have resulted in examples for sale falling into two main categories: beat to hell, or highly modified. Some bridge the Venn Diagram and are highly modified AND beat to hell. A dearth of clean examples has made me sadly disinterested in finding these cars as they are, at their core, truly special. Today then, a breath of fresh air in the form of a daily-driver special, not beat to hell and not modified within an inch of its life.

1993 Volkswagen Corrado for sale on Craigslist Seattle

Brevity from the seller:

Dark green with tan leather. VR6 5 Speed. 130K miles. Runs well- daily driver. Power items all work fine: windows, sunroof , mirrors, retracting belts, door locks, spoiler, A/C & heated seats. Recent replacements include: clutch, transmission, starter, timing chains, serpentine belt, heater core, engine mounts, wheel bearings, ignition lock, battery. Upgrades include stereo w/custom sub & amp installation, MP3 player cable, Eurowires headlght harness, billet coolant pipe, and Curt trailer hitch. Includes clean title, receipts, & Bentley shop manual.

Stock wheels, ride height, and a beautifully clean interior make this the Corrado equivalent of finding a dealer-stickered Porsche 356 in a barn. The permeating normalness of this Corrado is what makes it special, and with 130k miles and all of the recent work done, it’s deserving of its $4800 pricetag. Not cheap, but it, like all clean Corrados, deserves a little more respect.

-NR

Unrestored 1970 Volkswagen Squareback

Just before I was born, my dad had a yellow Squareback. Once I was born, the affinity for wagons continued with a Peugeot and a few Subarus, but I’ve always been disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy the Type III. This 1970 model jumped off the page at me, looking like it’s ready for a Hot VWs photoshoot or the classics section at a Dubfest. My jaw dropped when I found out that it’s not an expensive restoration or detailed show car; this thing is original. It is in full, unrestored glory with only 86k miles. There are small modifications like the tires and roof racks as well as a CD player, but beyond that this a 1970 German Time Machine.

What the seller has to say:

This is a beautiful one of a kind unrestored 1970 VW Type lll Squareback. It would be hard to find a 41 year old type lll this well kept. The vehicle has always been garage kept and maintained. At 74,000 the heads were redone, tune up, and new belt / alternater. Lite modifications have been done, the car has been kept close to it’s original condition. New Coker Tires and crome rims were added last year, along with a roof rack. The interior was left completly stock. New seat covers were recently installed. A CD player was hung under the dash with carefull attention not to damage or modify the dash.

This car is a weekend driver, but could be used as a daily driver. I would drive this car from coast to coast with out any fear of a mechanical break down. Bid with confience, this car looks and runs like a 6-8 year old car, not a 41 year old car.

I love the tan, and the clean chrome, and the old school interior. All serve to underscore the beauty and simplicity of this car, four decades on. And seriously, what’s cooler than a 2-door wagon? In the dream stable, this would be the designated car for taking the kids to school or the grocery store. Hats off to the seller for taking such amazing care of this Squareback. I’d usually say it’s a little steep, but he deserves his $8,200 buy-it-now price.

-NR

No-Reserve 1965 VW Karmann Ghia for sale

Clean and curvaceous, the Karmann Ghia is one of the most attractive cars ever built. They range from beaters to show queens, but they always put a smile on my face when I pass one on the road. Today’s Ghia falls in between the extremes; it may not be very far away from show-worthy, but the few imperfections are what keep it reasonably-priced and daily-driver ready. What a gorgeous daily driver this would be!

The brief note from the seller:

THIS IS A TRUE NO RESERVE AUCTION!!!! Here is the Ultimate COMMUTER!!!

Engine recently rebuilt. 1835 cc Dual 40 Weber Carbs.

New professionaly installed salt and pepper carpet, seat upholstery & windshield.
Recent work on engine, receipts available. Character dings and dents for a 45 year old classic.
New professionally reinforced floor pans.

The interior and engine are nearly flawless, and I kind of like that the exterior is pretty but not perfect. Two-tone is the way to go in my opinion, and the colors here are just right. I had a girlfriend once who was big into vintage style, and this was her dream car. Funky but beautiful in a way only the 60s could provide, this Ghia is ideal for its combination of cleanliness but not obsessive perfection. If the auction can stay under $10k, this is a great deal for vintage beauty.

-NR

2000 Volkswagen Passat TDI Wagon 6 speed manual

I have lengthy discussions with a good friend of mine in the Boston area about how there is a lack of decent diesel and performance wagons available in the United States with a manual transmission. Coincidentally, my friend drives a 2003 Audi A4 1.8T wagon with a manual gearbox. Here’s an interesting Passat wagon for sale on eBay that he passed along to me earlier this week, one that was brought over by someone in the German military working in the United States. This could very well be the only Passat wagon with the TDI engine and a 6 speed manual in the US at the current time.

The seller states:

Up for sale is a a very rare ONE owner 2000 Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon, with 217k original kilometers which is 135k miles. This is a one owner car that belonged to the original owner who was working in the US on behalf of the German military. This is the legendary diesel wagon which achieves almost 50 miles per gallon, but was never offered for the US market. Best color combination, Black mettallic on Gray. Fully legalized with a clean and clear Maryland title, ready to be registered in any state! This is the only Passat TDI wagon of this body style in all of US.

Features a 1.9 Turbo diesel ALH engine, mated to a 6 speed manual transmission

Loaded with the following options:

Monsoon Sound System
Alloy wheels
Power locks/windows/ mirrors
Climatronic climate control
6 CD changer
Side Impact Airbags
6 SPEED MANUAL
Keyless entry
Here is your chance to own the one and only Passat TDI wagon with a 6 speed manual transmission in all of the US.

Please note the car is a 2000 model, not a 1980 like listed on ebay, as the ebay system cannot decode the vin number. The exterior of the car is in excellent condition. The black paint looks great and has a deep gloss to it, as can be seen from the pictures. This Passat has NEVER been in an accident and has no previous paintwork of any kind! This TDI has a completely clean Autocheck report.

The interior is in great shape with no rips or tears. All power options work great! The entire interior is very clean! Has a spare tire with tool kit. As well as a set of original floor mats. Has nearly new tires all around!

Timing belt and water pump has been replaced at 101k miles at Stohlman VW in VA!

Mechanically: Starts, runs, and drives like a solid german built car. The suspension feels strong and tight with no rattles. The engine runs smooth, and is very powerful. . There are no check engine or warning lights on of any kind. The manual transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears. This car has been taken care of all its life and it really shows. If you wouldnt see the odometer, you would never believe that this car has 135k miles. It looks, and drives like a car with a quarter of its miles.

One thing that I noticed about this car is that it has power front windows and manual rear windows, something not seen on US Passats. This feature is similar to the setup my grandfather had in his 1982 Peugeot 505. A neat touch, I think. Granted this is a rare piece in this country, but in Europe, this would be any old Passat on the market. Over $16k for an 11 year old Passat with about 135,000 miles seems a bit ridiculous. Other Passats of this vintage are regularly trading in the $5,000 to $7,000 range on average. Given it’s rarity, I could see a $1,000 to $2,000 premium, not one which puts it in line with a new Jetta.

-Paul

1985 Volkswagen Transporter 2 door truck

For over 60 years, the Volkswagen Transporter has been famous for being a workhorse the world over. Recently, Volkswagen has abandoned efforts to market the Transporter in the United States, where it was known as the Vanagon and later the Eurovan. That is a shame because all we are left with is a poor effort at badge engineering by taking a Chrysler minivan and slapping a Volkswagen badge on it. When will manufacturers learn? The Transporter featured below is the seldom seen in the US truck version and has undergone an overhaul, complete with a Subaru 2.5 RS engine swap.

The seller states:

1985 VW Vanagon Single Cab Pickup Ground up “restosturbish” (part restore, part refurbish). 2.5L Subaru Impreza RS motor installed (6,200 miles on motor) Custom installed A/C. Rebuilt 4 speed transmission KEP stage 2 clutch. New CV joints, brakes, master cylinder and clutch slave. Dash has speedo and clock (no tach). Custom roll cage and driving lights modeled after VW Tristar. Custom all weather fabric pickup bed cover. Custom oak wood slats install on pickup bed. Modified vehicle interior out of Vanagon pasenger van. Vehicle driven 1,200 miles since restosturbish. Speedo mileage is not actual. Pickup will have genuine heavy duty VW Vanagon mudflaps installed prior to shipping.

I’ve seen truck versions of the Transporter sell for well into the $20,000 range, with some clean examples going for $30,000 and higher. While this isn’t an original example, I am intrigued by the Subaru engine and the reliability that would come along with it. Compact pickup trucks have recently been disappearing from the automotive landscape here in the US, and while this isn’t the smallest of trucks, this T3 sure makes for an interesting proposition and is one that would be durable enough to stand the test of time.

-Paul

1980 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel

There’s restorations, and then there are restorations. This Mk1 Rabbit (Golf) falls into the latter category. A labor of love by its owner, this German built Rabbit is about as close to buying a new Mk1 as you could get.

The seller states:

A weekend project that turned into an obsession, here is the result of three years of work on a car I intended to keep forever and built accordingly.

This is a German built car which was purchased and imported from Canada. I purchased the car from a couple in Palatka Florida who had brought it from Washington State where I suppose it originally made its way into the US.

No expense was spared in this restoration which involved over $9,000 in new German parts. Absolutely no re-built or used components were used for the assembly. For example, the CV axles are OEM Lobro units running about $400 per side. The brake calipers and master cylinder are new (not rebuilt) Ate units. There are over $300 in new nuts and bolts each matching the original hardness grade and yellow zinc plating other than the addition of stainless wherever strength isn’t required. Below is a list of some of the major parts that have been replaced though there are many more.

The paint is a single stage PPG Urethane in the original color. To be honest I feel that the paint is the weakest point of the car when compared to the thorough mechanical restoration. There are a few minor dents that the shop didn’t get completely out as well as a few places that could use more polishing. The most noticeable area is probably along the bottom of the rear hatch where you can see some waviness. There is also a small dent on the left side of the front skirt which occurred during the restoration on a lift that I never got around to addressing. In short, the paint is not concourse but still quite good by most collectors standards.

As you can see in the pictures I have not yet found an original Becker radio to install. The dash panel for it is in place and has the hole plugged with a vanity panel. The antenna mounting hole on the left front wing is plugged with the NOS VW rubber plug used on cars sold without the radio option.

The second item I never found was a new sun roof seal. The sunroof operates perfectly but I’ve sealed off the gap with polyurethane flashing adhesive until a new seal is found. As you can see in the pictures I did this very neatly so that you cannot tell by looking at it. If you are fortunate enough to find a new seal you would only need to pull away the adhesive and install it.

The mileage (or kilometerage) on the Odometer is accurate. Since the restoration I have driven it about 200 miles to ensure everything is operating correctly. Since every consumable component on the car is new down to the little light bulbs behind the dash you will not find any problems to speak of. The car runs and drives as flawlessly as the day it left Wolfsburg.

This car is bio-diesel ready meaning that all fuel hoses are J30R9 grade and the injector pump has been updated with new Viton seals.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call me at 352-562-2412 as there is too much to write without this becoming an essay.

New major components (I’ve noted the brand wherever I could remember):

Rear Suspension:
Spindles
Wheel bearings (Timken)
Brake drums (German Ate)
Brake Cylinders (German Ate)
All drum brake hardware
Parking Brake cables (GEMO)
Rear axle beam bushings (polyurethane upgrade)
Brake hoses
shocks and springs (sachs)
All hardware (original spec hardness and coatings)

Front Suspension:
Control arms (OEM)
Control arm bushings (OEM)
McPherson struts (OEM Sachs)
Strut bearings (FEBI)
Wheel bearings (Beck Arnley)
CV axles (OEM German Lobro)
Brake calipers (NEW OEM German Ate zinc plated)
Brake pads (OEM)
Brake hoses (German Febi)
Ball Joints (Beck Arnley)
Tie rod ends (Beck Arnley)
All hardware (original hardness and plating)

Engine and Trans:
All engine oil seals
All engine mounts
Injection pump resealed with viton gaskets (bio-diesel approved)
Glow Plugs/ relay
All fuel hoses replaced with Goodyear J30R9 (bio-diesel approved)
Metal fuel pipes
Clutch
Clutch cable
Transmission end cover
Transmission fluid (redline synthetic)
All Transmission mounts
All gear shift bushings/linkage
Throttle cable
Metal reinforced rubber valve cover gasket
valve cover studs with stainless nuts
Camshaft oil baffle insert update
Oil pan
All coolant hoses including NOS expansion tank hose
Hose clamps (Swedish ABA)
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner
Water pump German Ate
accessory belt (NAPA lifetime)
Alternator (BOSCH)
Brake Master cylinder (German Ate)
Coolant expansion tank
heater core
heater valve
Vacuum pump diaphragm and check valves
Vacuum hose with check valve (NOS a rare find)
Rain tray (NOS VW )
New horn (German HELLA)
Exhaust system after down pipe (OEM)
Exhaust pipe hangars (OEM)
hood bumpers (NOS)
new MANN air Filter
new Mobil 1 oil filter
new Bosch fuel filter

Electrical:
Head lights Halogen bulbs
All light bulbs including dash

General:
Tires (Firestone FR380)

At the time of writing this, there’s a little less than four days left and no bids, with a starting bid of $8,000. There are much worse cars you could purchase for $8,000, and probably none are in such good shape as this diesel Rabbit. This car would garner more attention, of course, if it was a GTI, but then again, that’s part of the charm of this particular ride.

-Paul

1981 Volkswagen Brasilia

In the early 1970s, Volkswagen sought to develop a new line of cars for the Brazilian market, based on Beetle architecture that offered a bit more space and practicality. Thus, in 1973 the Brasilia was born, which bore resemblance to the 412. The Brasilia utilized the 1600 engine from the Beetle and remained in production until 1982, having been produced in Mexico and in Nigeria in kit form. Here is a very clean, original example that made the rare trek into the US.

1981 Volkswagen Brasilia

The seller states:

VW Brasilia for sale, the only reason I’m selling this car is because I need tha money, this is a very rare and unique model built in Brazil and Mexico, now in very high demand worldwide by those that truly want something different, A very rare opportunity to buy one of these in the US.

They were only sold in Brazil and Mexico and were never imported to the US, there is only four of this known registered in the US, now you can have the 5th. this car is all original, only have a paint job thats was made profesionally, only 48,000 original kilometers, that’s 29,800 miles, this car was stored 23 years for and old man who bouhgt it brand new, use it for jus a few years and store it, everything work great, engine is almost new, heather work good, absolutely no rust, never been involved in a car accident, has brand mew tires, the only modifications that have been made to the engine are; new electronic ignition system replacing the old points system and a new oil pump with filter, this parts are original bosh bought in a vw dealer no aftermarket parts, everything else is original.

This car is currently registered in Mexico, but can easily registered in the US. I’m asking $12,000 OBO or I can accept a car about the same price in trade in, this car has a great value for those who collect antique cars or love VWs, old bug.com has one of these for sale in 12,750 and not in the same conditions as this.

There’s no denying this is probably the best Brasilia you could buy in the US currently, however, $12,000 for what is essentially a Beetle in disguise is a tough pill to swallow, at least for me, no matter the condition. WIthout a doubt, its presence is rare in this country and could be worth a lot to the right Volkswagen collector.

-Paul

1989 VW GTI w/ Turbo’d ABA

We’ve seen some pretty serious vintage VWs here recently, including the restored MkI Scirocco and tuned MkI GTI, both in the $14k-range. While those are lust-worthy and amazing VWs, that is a hell of a lot of money for 25-30 year old Volkswagens, cars that are supposed to be affordable and tuneable German machinery.

Which brings me to today’s MkII GTI, the kind of car that shows the level of fun possible with moderate investment in a VW. Turbo fun on the torquey ABA 2.0 and “almost-there” aesthetics for under $3,000 is what Volkswagen tuning is all about.

From the seller:

Up for sale is my 1989 Volkswagen GTI. The 8v, 2.0 liter ABA engine currently has right around 57k on it. The chasis has about 177k on it. The car is in remarkable shape. The body is near perfect. No dents, dings, scratches. The car has a borgwarner t3/t4 S200 .60 trim turbo currently running right around 6 psi. It also has a Revtec FMIC, Blitz BOV, and Eurosport exhaust. It runs great and makes good power. The front left wheel bearing (which I have) needs to be replaced. It has Weitec springs and Koni shocks. The paint is faded on the roof, but is very alive on the rest of the car. The hood is now primed black. The interior is also in good shape. It has Monaco seats, and a Momo wheel. The sunroof works, but leaks a bit when closed, i’m sure it needs new seals/stripping. It also needs a headliner. Its a very solid car, and I would certainly trust it to drive anywhere. Its great to drive, and gets a lot of attention. It has no AC, but the heater works perfectly. The car has been very well maintained. I only used royal purple when doing oil changes. Thanks for looking!

57k miles on the new ABA! Yes, there are some minor, non-mechanical issues to deal with like a leaky sunroof and lack of headliner (both common GTI afflictions), but I consider those part of the fun part when you’re getting a swapped and turbo’d GTI with a lot of quality cosmetic things going for it, e.g. wheels, straight body, and perfect single-crosshair and GTI-lined grill. This is MkII Volkswagen at its best, with some great work already accomplished; a little work and personalization could make this a show-worthy VW with a fraction of the investment of any other comparably-fun German auto.

-NR

1990 Jackrabbit (GTI based) VW

No matter how big of a car enthusiast you are, there’s always going to be some obscure vehicle you stumble across from time to time, having no idea it existed. This is one of those vehicles. According to the seller about 25 were made by Herb Adams VSE, also known for his customization of various GM products.

The seller states:

1990 Jackrabbit Very rare, One of 25 that were produced by Herb Adams and VSE in 1990. This car is built with it’s own steel tubular frame. This car is very comfortable to drive,and you will love the way this car handle,and it is fast,at 1500 pounds with a 1.8 liter 16V fuel injected engine with a 5 speed transmission,out of a 1987 VW scirocco with less than 20k miles. This car is in “EXCELLENT OVERALL CONDITION.” Car comes with a tan canvas bikini top. You can drive this car cross country with no problems.This car is all up to date. Car has a very good heater for a Convertible. This car is title as a 1983 VW Rabbit GTI.

It is impossible to place values on cars like these, since there are so few and never come up for sale often, but $6,800 seems a bit steep for a kit car, in my opinion. According to the promotional video below, 0-60 mph arrived in 9 seconds, which is surprising given the car only weighed 1,500 pounds. For someone living near the ocean in a warm climate, this might be an attractive alternative to your typical VW dune buggy.

-Paul