1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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Here’s a nice Weekender for your weekend with just 71.5k miles and a lot of potential. Actually, to be pedantic, the Weekender option was just a third-row bed on tin tops, but it’s come to be a colloquial name for any Vanagon with a folding bed but no kitchen. So, technically, the Multivan is a tidy little package that offers the comfort and sleepability of the full Vanagon camper without the stove, fridge, or sink. With a camp stove and some Platypus bags, however, you could whip up a fresh batch of great time camping with some friends in this thing. Bidding has been extremely hot for this kitchenless Westy despite some paint and minor electrical defects.

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1993 Volkswagen Eurovan Weekender

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This weekend an old, rarely-seen but often kept in touch with friend came to the island I live on in his camper van. It’s a 2004 Ford E350, fully decked out with a kitchen, stand-up desk, futon, tons of storage, and a hightop so you can stand fairly comfortably. It reinspired my desire for a van that you can hang out in as you roadtrip. And while the draw to the Vanagon is well-documented, the later Eurovan has its charms. This 1993 Weekender is equipped with the classic Audi 5-cylinder (with classic Audi miles) and pop-top, but the weekender model eschews the kitchen for just a fold-out table and rear futon, but it’s a good base for trips shorter than a week. It’s an inexpensive way to get in on the van life, and a platform ripe for improvement as the years go on.

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1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Carat Weekender

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My recent project of converting an inherited minivan into a camper has reinforced my interest in tin-top Vanagons. The Westy is certainly the way to go when a whole family is involved, multiplying the available sleeping space – and the price too. Besides affordability, tintops bring a much sleeker look, especially with subtle upgrades like today’s 1990 Carat Weekender. With a South African grille and 17″ Audi wheels, this Vanagon looks like it could be a Porsche Racing support vehicle. Alas, this is no Vanagon B32 (the Porsche-produced and -engined monster) but it’s still a sweet van that shows few, if any, signs of its 279k miles. Thankfully it won’t feel that well-traveled either, as it had an engine rebuild and transmission replacement 100k miles ago; it should have many roads and adventures ahead. While a lot of the Vanagon-love out there is steeped in overindulgence, this is a great example of how minimalism can still provide great versatility.

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1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

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While most clean Westfalias come on the market with strong asking prices, today’s is an exciting no-reserve auction. This provides an opportunity to get a nice van for a good price, but it’s also going to attract a lot of attention. Early in the auction there are already well over 50 bids as some VW-friendly adventurers minds start churning. It’s covered a decent amount of miles, but 141k shouldn’t be too much of a deterrent. The rebuilt automatic transmission makes for easier cruising but not as much fun. Swaps and upgrades are always an option with these great vans, but this should be a solid starting point without needing any big-ticket items any time soon.

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Subaru’d 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Weekender

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The Vanagon Weekender is a nice alternative to the full-on Westfalia treatment, lacking the fluid, electric, and gas inlets/outlets, but still possessing great campability with a pop-top, table, and folding rear bed. Today’s Weekender has undergone the popular Subaru flat-4 conversion, bringing a little more power and reliability compared the old VW wasserboxer. You could see the Weekender and non-turbo Subaru engine as compromises, or as very capable options that keep costs down. That’s the lens I choose to see this Vanagon through; it’s not a high-powered, fully-optioned and mega-expensive model, but it has the right bits to get the job done.

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1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Carat Weekender

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I’ve always dug the Carat edition of the Vanagon. This top of the line non-Westy version came stacked with all the options and exudes a classy aura, helped by the great 5-spoke blocky wheels and a cladding/bumper combination that makes a more cohesive look. Today’s example is a Weekender, so while it doesn’t have the pop-top, the rear seats fold flat into a bed. Looking at the pictures of the passenger area, it looks so comfortable I kind of just want to use it as my living room. With 150k miles on the original engine and transmission, it still has some good life left in it, but as is the case with Vanagons, a fun engine swap is always a possibility. The non-Westiness helps keep the price extremely reasonable, especially compared to most nice Vanagons you see on the market.

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1993 Volkswagen Eurovan Westfalia Weekender

My proclivities lie in the 80s, especially when it comes to VW Vans. The old buses are cool, but after riding in my brother’s college-edition enough, it’s a little post-war for me. The Eurovan has always seemed like a capable fellow, but I was initially turned off by front wheel drive and less distinctive styling than the Vanagon. A friend is in search of one to someday be the ultimate family vacation vehicle, and despite being the more modern Van, they can be had more affordably than Vanagons. Today’s eschews the bland looks with an amazing original teal paint job. It’s put on some miles, but that’s what adventure vans are for!

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