1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Diesel

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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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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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The Westfalia rollercoaster continues with today’s 1987 model looking like an outstanding value. With many Westfalias reaching above $30k (way above, in some cases), this one comes in at about half that. It’s done its share of roadtripping, with 200k miles on the van, but the engine was rebuilt just 12k miles ago, indicating tons of fun yet to come. Despite some questionable wheel covers, it looks very clean inside and out. Bidding is hot, reflecting a market hungry for affordable Westfalias.

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Heap of the Week: 1958 DKW Schnellaster Kastenwagen/F800 3=6

Most German car enthusiasts are no longer familiar with the name “DKW”. It’s a shame considering the long history of DKW, whose name originates from the German words for “steam powered vehicle” – just to give you a sense of the time period they started out. DKW reached its zenith in the 1930s, a time when Germany was experiencing massive growth in its economy and Hitler wanted to turn the Fatherland into a nation of drivers. Ironically, despite his notable efforts supporting Grand Prix racers and the development of the Beetle, pre-War automobile ownership in Germany was amongst the lowest in all of Europe. They were, rather, a nation of riders – motorcycles, to be precise, buying more of the two-wheeled transport than anyone else in Europe. It was what gave companies like BMW a start, for example, but the most successful of all of the pre-War motorcycle companies was DKW. Upon joining the Auto Union in 1932, they began experimenting more with small cars. But the aftermath of World War II meant that the area that DKW, Audi and Horch – 3/4 of the Auto Union company – were stuck in Soviet controlled areas, most of the factories being disassembled and sent back further behind the Iron Curtain as war reparations.

The result was that in the late 1940s and early 1950s, new efforts to resurrect these names was attempted. It’s not very surprising that the attempts were made; after all, imagine if Chevrolet went out of business due to a War; you can bet once things were cleaned up, someone would try to make a Corvette. And sure enough, based upon some pre-War designs the F89 was born. As with most post-War cars in Germany, it was small, affordable and versatile. DKW utilized the platform to create what was, in essence, the first modern minivan. With a space-saving transverse motor driving the front wheels, there was ample room for flexible seating in the rear. Outside was a reasonably aerodynamic, compact design and the small motor ensured reasonable fuel economy – though no promise of speed. Today, nearly 70 years after the design was first sketched out, finding these vans is extraordinarily hard – and when they surface in the U.S., they’re typically not in particularly good shape:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1958 DKW 3=6 Van on eBay

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1988 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro Diesel

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I’ve been writing up quite a few Vanagons over the last few months that are more affordable options, meaning they lack the Westfalia or Syncro options. Today’s is one of the great ones that has a very long name and a longer list of upgrades. We’ve seen some of this variety edge towards the better part of $100k, but this diesel-swapped and fully repainted Westy Syncro can be yours for less than $40k. It’s not a modern TDI but a rebuilt Audi 5000 turbodiesel, coming together for an efficient package that can take you anywhere. It’s still a lot of money, but a very cool Vanagon and a deal compared to some out there.

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Feature Listing: 1960 Lloyd LT600

Microcars have witnessed a revival in the past few years, with good examples of cars like the BMW Isetta and Messerschmidt bring big dollars at auctions. Now that the popular models have taken off in price, it a good time to look around at some of the lesser known models, such as this Lloyd LT600 for sale by our friends at Evolve Motors. It’s what could best be classified as a fixer upper, but is complete and would make a great runabout for an urban business looking to catch some attention on the streets.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1960 Lloyd LT600 at Evolve Motors

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1980 Volkswagen LT31 Van

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I’ve been on a bit of a van kick recently (forever?), and today we have a gorgeous VW that is, in fact, NOT a Westy, Transporter, or Vanagon at all. It’s one of VW’s commercial vehicles from Europe that has spent time as a fire van, but has covered just 13k miles in its 24-year life. Apparently the seller couldn’t register it in California due to the intense EPA rules, which is hugely disappointing as it means I can’t buy it. If you live in any other state, though, this van is impeccably clean, with the normally-dull firetruck’s paint still shining. The interior is an enticing proposition as well; while I’m usually musing about how I would discard the original equipment and turn a van into a camper, this one is all set to become whatever you want as it’s just extremely clean metal with some useful mounting points in the side. And, as always, I fricking love jump seats. This is a very cool and very unique VW van that has a Buy-It-Now lower than just about every nice US-market VW Van sale.

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1984 Volkswagen Vanagon

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VW vans are not usually known for their speed, with a few amazing skunkworks exceptions. There’s a reason my continent-traveling friend’s blog is titled 63mph – that’s about the best his Weekender can do on the highway. While those in search of more power usually go OEM+ or Subaru routes, this owner clearly does things his own way. He bought a 2.0l Ford Zetec crate engine pushing 130hp, as well as fabricating some fun bits himself like the bumpers and some funky wood interior panels. I happen to like the Mad Max-styling, especially the steel wheels. The Zetec is a completely new direction; can you handle a little American in your German?

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1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Here’s a good standard-bearer for all of those Vanagons I post. It’s a clean, non-Syncro pop-top with just 117k miles; about all you could ask for in a clean Westy. The omission of 4WD keeps it about 50-75% cheaper, but it’s still pretty steep for a 27 year-old van and speaks to the desirability of what many see as the ultimate vacation (or living, in many cases) vehicle.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 309D Van

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Another day, another musing regarding a potential future RV conversion for Nate. This one brings it a little closer to home, however. I’m a rowing coach, and a few years ago my former coach eschewed the Ford Excursions used as team vans and bought diesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. With the ability for 6’5″ dudes to stand up, serious A/C for hot races, and diesel efficiency, they are a great choice. It just so happens the brand of boats we race are German and come exclusively in a pale yellow – see where I’m going with this? I want to buy this van and turn it into my Race Headquarters, tastefully logo’d up and ready to analyze data, rewatch footage, and catch a nap. My coworker said she’d buy my Toyota truck for whatever I paid for this proto-Sprinter, and right now that’s looking like a great deal on both ends.

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1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Westfalias and Syncros go for insane money (especially when it’s both), as I have documented here over the past few years. Today’s Westy reminds me of the one my friends’ family had, down to the perfect Wolfram Grey Metallic. A new 2.1l and a clean Westy interior make this a quietly hot commodity. The asking price is Westy-high, but it’s been loved for its 98k and makes me rethink my recent appreciation for solo life and desire some little kids to show the country to.

Click for more details: 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay

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