1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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?

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1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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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.

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Low-Mileage Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalias

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?

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1988 Volkswagen T3 Tristar DoKa

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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.

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1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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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.

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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro

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The last few months I’ve found myself examining all manner of Vanagons, from aged DoKas to pristine GoWesty Syncro Westfalias, but today’s 7-passenger Syncro is an interesting case. Aesthetically, it’s not all that, with some ill-fitting wheels and lackluster paint. Inside, the non-camping setup is contrary to my intended use. However, the Syncro 4WD is an awesome option box that usually comes with a huge price tag. It’s covered well under 100k miles, and has my favorite of all Vanagon grills, the South African quad-light setup. The asking price is a mere fraction of what most Syncros go for, making this all-terrain Vanagon a pretty decent deal and a solid starting point for the intrepid adventurer.

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1985 Volkswagen Transporter DoKa


Earlier this week I posted a DoKa of such questionable taste that I would have posted it in our Friday Fail series if the auction had lasted long enough. Well, today we’ll right those wrongs with a Friday Win in the form of a gorgeous but barely-modified DoKa. It comes one owner removed from GoWesty, who, for all my gripes about their ludicrous prices, certainly do things right and take excellent care of Volkswagen vans. This one has been repainted in the Playmobil-perfect and T2-correct light blue with black bedliner on the lower portions as well as the bed and hinged sides. With just 95k miles, it has decades of life left in it. It may be on the utilitarian side of things with no frills inside or out (not even a Euro-map GPS!), but you can bet that the condition and GoWesty history will help it collect some serious interest.

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1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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On Friday, I wrote up a couple of affordable camper Vanagon options for us normal people, as some of the crazy, GoWestified examples cost more than the median yearly income in America. Well, let’s pretend the recovery has truly hit the 99%, because today we’re checking out one of those crazy but also-awesome Vanagons that has undergone the full treatment. It has a Subaru engine with over 50% more horsepower than the stock wasserboxer and sports a redone interior, exterior, and running gear, resulting in a van that is truly better than new. The color choices may drive some away, but where I’d give up the color and wheels, I really dig the bedlinered lower section, LED upgrades, and South African grill. I have friends living the “VanLife” right now, and every day I contemplate breaking out on my own adventure. If you’re in need of a few months of exploring roads and the depths of your self, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better vehicle than this green machine.

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1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

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It’s been a while since we’ve gone full-meal-deal on a Westy Syncro, but today is our lucky day. As the ad is subtitled, this is indeed Bad Ass Syncro. It is more than the Westfalias I’ve written up recently, but also has the coveted 4WD system. The owner is not joking when he mentions spending $65k on upgrades – that’s a real thing on these vans. I’ve seen them listed over $100k, so compared to that, the ~$40k asking price is downright reasonable.

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1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Diesel


Westies have been showing up with a wide range of prices recently, from “what are they thinking?” $15k examples to “WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!” decked-out $80k specialties. Today’s has had a beautiful restoration and a rebuilt 1.9l diesel swap, resulting in a beautiful and original-looking van. The original vehicle only had 52k miles to begin with, and a more powerful and like-new GoWesty engine means this van is ready for the next few decades. All work and modifications are subtle and well-chosen, with a price that seems surprisingly within reason.

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