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Insane 1990 Syncro Westfalia for Sale

I know we usually restrict our posts to German autos of the sporting variety, but people are doing such insane things with Vanagons these days I got clearance to post them every once in a while.  A utilitarian beast at heart, Vanagons have a unique following, a following so diehard that they go to extraordinary lengths to restore, modify, and improve their vans.  Some create cab-forward boxes with performance to shame a lot of the cars we post here, many with increasingly common Subaru WRX and STI engine-swaps.  Others, like the one we have today, have been completely redone to be unstoppable adventure-mongers.  GoWesty (as in Westfalia, the camper edition of Vanagon), has the process down and churns out some incredibly capable and well-built vans.  With a plethora of modification and restoration possibilities, they can clean up your van and fix the sink, or you can have them do a ground-up build with the only limit being the size of your wallet.

This 1990 Syncro (4WD in VWspeak) explores the latter option to the extreme.  New everything and more, they have created a no-holds-barred adventure machine with a coffee-spitting price: $80k.

1990 Vanagon Westfalia Syncro for sale at

The insane worklist:

This is all the stuff we did for Doug:

• Stripped down completely to the bare body
• Collision damage repaired back to factory exact specification
• Complete repaint inside and out to factory color
• Black texture treatment all around the bottom
• GoWesty plate steel bumpers, rear with integral hitch
• Skid plate up front
• Double swing-away carrier for rear
• Full size spare wheel
• Fuel and water cans
• New hemp/cotton 3-window pop top tent
• All new interior panels with matching Recaro material inserts
• New Recaro front seats
• Rear seat and bed cushion recovered in Recaro fabric to match front seats
• All typically discolored and shrunken vinyl around windows removed, and all surfaces painted to match exterior
• Undercarriage stripped clean
• Steam cleaned thoroughly
• Undercoated thoroughly
• All fresh suspension and steering
• Old Man Emu shocks
• GoWesty progressive lifting springs
• All new brake system
• Big brakes up front
• All new brake and clutch hydraulic systems
• All new cooling system
• Fuel and electrical systems all gone through thoroughly
• GoWesty super duper ultra major maintenance service
– All maintenance items back to zero miles
• 16″ wheels with 225/70-16 BFG tires
• Fresh GoWesty 2.5 liter engine with 48/48 warranty
• Fresh transaxle and front differential, 48/48 warranty, with:
– 12% lower 5.43:1 ratio final drive gearing
– Triple knobs, which means:
– Driveshaft decoupler and solid shaft instead of viscous coupler
– Locking differential front
– Locking differential rear
• Deluxe 3 auxiliary battery system
• 50 watt solar panel on roof, quick-release style
• All-electric Engel fridge/freezer installed quick-release style
• Old fridge space turned into more cabinet space
• New LP tank assembly
• Propex built-in 7500 btu furnace
• Over $2800 worth of “just in case” preemptive reliability enhancing items
• Killer stereo with iPod, XM, and sub woofer
• Dashboard removed and all systems rebuilt
• All new power windows with centrally located switches
• All new power door lock system with remote entry
• On-board compressed air system for easy air-up of tires after off-roading

Basically: Just about everything we offer for a Syncro, Doug ordered for this puppy.

Is it all necessary?  No, probably not.  Is it awesome?  Definitely.  Doug, the guy who had it built, obviously wanted to pull out all the stops, and it shows.  It’s beautiful and simple inside and out, and while the parts list is excessive, every piece seems well thought out and useful.  If it means anything, it’s $25k less than it would cost to build from scratch and has only done 9k miles since its rebirth.  No, it’s not a bargain, but it is unquestionably valuable to a specific group of German car lovers.



  1. Dan Crouch
    Dan Crouch February 4, 2010

    Coffee spit out on monitor, check! An impressive build for sure, but OMG that’s a lot of dough!


  2. Jim
    Jim February 4, 2010

    The price is a Joke

  3. Evan
    Evan February 5, 2010

    I appreciate all the hard work into making this, but for half that price you could kit out a Land Rover into an unstoppable ultimate world safari vehicle.

  4. Drew
    Drew February 8, 2010

    Expensive? yes. You gotta realize this is essentially a brand new camper. And while a safari worthy land rover would be fun…can you go anywhere/stop anywhere, sleep 4, cook meals, and keep your beer cold in the rover? NO.

  5. bob Salter
    bob Salter February 8, 2010

    Glad it was steam cleaned and has fresh oil….Now I’ll fork over $79K…..Not Likely. I wouldn’t buy it at 40.

  6. ALIKA
    ALIKA May 2, 2010

    Insane price for a Volkswagen (oups,no,a RichWagen)
    Made from scratch won’t cost that price,but letting people think that is just making prices going up to a point where people will think that’s the price you have to pay to get one.(See prices of Split buses nowadays,ridiculous)
    I’m glad mine will “worth” at least 100 000 bucks,compared to this Syncro….
    Happy will be the customer who can afford a van like that,sure if I had millions of bucks,I would’nt care paying top price for a van restored by someone else.
    Sad for the rest of people who have only hope for owning a decent syncro,the correct bases will be sold at insane prices too…

  7. Vince
    Vince July 4, 2010

    Ive got a nice white 89 Syncro Westy for sale (at a quarter of that price)

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