The fact that many camping Vanagons are going for $40k and up can be daunting for those of us who have aspirations of living the van life. Today we’ll take a look at a couple of 1991 vans that severely undercut the general Vanagon camper market – one pop-top and one rare example that has all the camping accoutrements but no pop-top.
Syncro Westies are a special breed, but today’s Vanagon is cut from an interesting cloth – or lack thereof. While most Westfalias’ tops popped up with a cloth tent, later models like this example could be had with a plastic high-top. What is lost in aerodynamics is gained in weatherproofness, creating a cozy loft and more mounting space for the rack-loving van crowd. While the top sticks out, the overall aesthetics are upgraded but pleasantly subtle, with upsized steel wheels, the great South African grille/light combo and tough bumpers blending into the colorless white/black scheme. The more I look at it, the more I love this van, and we haven’t even gotten to the mechanicals! Those are as good as they get, with an upgraded turbodiesel and Syncro four-wheel drive. No reserve will make this a fun auction to watch, though the low mileage and strong option and upgrade lists will probably take it out of most people’s price range.
Click for details: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay
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.
Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Syncro on eBay
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.
Click for details: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
Here’s a Westy that needs no qualification: it’s just a badass, well-done camper van. The Chris Corkins engines are a great swap solution, giving more usability and power while staying true with a VW wasserboxer. Pretty much everything (save the tie-dyed tent) is on the short-list of great choices for Vanagons, including the South African grill and lights, lift kit, racks, functional interior and exterior options… make that a long list of great choices. If the seller knows enough to make these mods from these vendors, then he knows what the market is for vans like this, which means this auction could get crazy.