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I always wonder what people get out of selling advertising space on their cars, a topic Jalopnik provided a point/counterpoint to yesterday. If you really don’t give a damn about the appearance of your car, I guess it’s essentially free money. Company vehicles can be cool – I’m thinking old bakery delivery panel vans – but sometimes some dude just had to offer up his vehicle as a promotional platform. Something like that happened here to this 1981 Westy for Montana’s MOJO 92.5. Considering the recent trend of consolidating small radio stations into conglomerates whose names make me distinctly NOT love radio, I’m guessing Montana just lost one more station beloved by roofers and garbage men. I sure hope the window decals can come off easily, as well as the tiny logos swimming around in the black trimline.
Beyond the glaring weirdness of being a rolling billboard, it’s a pretty nice early Vanagon. GoWesty wheels are the most tasteful choice on the vehicle, which has such anachronisms as a “ceiling mounted DVD player!” Not exactly my type of van camping, but could be a plus if you like road trips but your preferred parenting method is screen hypnosis. The new interior looks well done if overly Halloweeny, but you’re not going to get away from that in this van. The houndstooth is nice and the appliances and cabinets all look outstanding. With a Lamborghini Orange paint job, is this pumpkin worth $23k?
We often speak of the value of Vanagons here, which has stretched upward to dizzying heights in some cases. It’s worth taking a deeper look at how conservative campers from the People’s Auto inspires such devotion. Today’s seller has touched every piece of this car and tried to do the best possible thing to make it immaculate and/or updated. Leading in with
I will try not to bore you with all the details of my restoration but here goes:
he proceeds to passionately explain rebuilding the engine, then removing it recently and painstakingly clean everything… just because. And this guy isn’t alone. The parts are available through amazing companies like GoWesty to have tinkering on your van for years, meeting all kinds of other people who also like driving a mobile personal campsite. His Buy It Now is big money, creeping towards some decent Syncros, but the fact that he can’t not share his excitement about making the perfect van is convincing. It’s cleaner than clean.
The strong market for Westfalias should surprise no one by now. What is surprising, however, is finding two ridiculously low-mileage Westies for sale at the same time, in nearly the exact same spec. They’re both late-model, white on grey Vanagons that are looking for high-$30ks. That’s starting to get into decent Syncro Westy territory – are they worth it?
It’s always a fun day when you see a DoKa in real person. These funny Vanagaminos definitely cut a unique profile, always looking like they should be a commercial vehicle delivering for a home-made hipster artisan honey and hand-hewn furniture outfit. Today’s example was imported from Germany and given a full mechanical restoration along with a new GoWesty engine. That all sounds pretty great until the seller comes right out and says he’s going to break the cardinal rule of used-car pricing: ask for exactly what he put in. It was clearly quite an undertaking to ship this thing from Germany and then get all of its moving bits redone, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get all of that money you spent on labor, shipping, etc. back in your pocket. Exterior blemishes underscore the point, showing that this is a nice but imperfect DoKa proposition.
Vanagons can be found for cheap or ludicrously expensive, but today’s restored Westfalia seems to be the right van for the right price. From an updated interior (check out those front seats!) to a 2.3 liter GoWesty engine update, it’s a fully-functioning camper that needs nothing (except maybe some new wheels). It’s not a bonkers Syncro mega-worldrover, but it is clean and well-done. $35k isn’t cheap, but it’s a reasonable price in the Westfalia world, especially considering the work done here.