This is an extremely clean diesel Westy from the only year when VW actually offered an oil-burner straight from the factory. As opposed to the anemic original 1.6 liter, last year this received a heart update via a brand-new 1.9-liter diesel unit straight from Volkswagen. Despite being pretty early in the Vanagon life cycle, the chassis has just 84k miles, putting together a very tidy package with a complete, fully functioning interior and nearly flawless exterior. All of this comes together for a van that appears ready for several more decades of fun.
Here’s a nice, mostly-stock Westy that comes with a funny little bonus trailer on the back. I’m not sure how the “solar panel toolbox” works (is the battery inside?), but I like it already and dig the Westfalia badging. It seems a little excessive to just haul bikes on it – that’s what bike racks are for! – but there are plenty of uses for a good trailer. Dirtbike? Scooter? All the stuff you can’t fit inside? Anyway, it may not be the most minimalist, self-contained setup, but who cares when there’s no reserve on it? It looks clean in and out with the main detraction being rather high mileage.
Click for details: 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
After a day of reflection on independence, I see no better vehicle to represent the ideal than a good, clean Westfalia. Cars in general embody independence, the ability to get in and go, but a Westy means you can go and maybe decide to not come back. Many people live in Westfalias full time, exploring the world and staying in new zipcodes while their pop-top home stays the same. While many command serious new-car money, this 1984 example looks to be an incredible deal. If you can make it through the intimidatingly-long description, you’ll find that this van has been loved, gone through, and updated by someone who knows their stuff and truly cared about making a great, functional camper. This is the kind of independence I want in my future, and if bidding remains at such an approachable level, maybe it will be!
Click for details: 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
Here’s one of the best deals on a Syncro camper we’ve seen in a while (if not ever!) and it comes with a well-done Subaru boxer swap. These High Top campers are much more rare than their pop-top brethren, but it’s a pretty awesome look with more 4-season capability. Though listed with 290k miles, the engine was put in 20k miles ago and had a decent refresh at the time along with a rebuilt transmission. Clearly owned by a well-informed and diligent Vanagon enthusiast, this Syncro camper is going for about half of where most start. It’s caveat emptor with any swap, high-mileage car, or 80s Volkswagen in general, but anyone looking at this van should have a healthy level of project-excitement and an appreciation of getting this much Vanagon for a reasonable price.
Click for details: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro on eBay
I like older cars that are loved, maintained, and well-used in the manner they were built for. This means that high mileage is, to me, a badge of honor, and replaced and upgrades parts are more a sign of perseverance and attention than decay. Like my old cars, this ’91 Westy appears to me as a shining example of just how good 200k+ miles can look. Sure, there are some stone chips and patina, and the engine and transmission have had to be replaced, but from the wheels to the tent and all through the inside it looks a great, functional adventure van. Instead of the 2.1-liter gas engine, it now has a 1.9-liter TDI conversion that was truly done right, with some nice engine mods along with a re-geared transmission and a Peloquin differential to resist those annoying one-wheel spins in traction-deficient situations. The condition and upgrades more than offset the high odometer reading, so the auction is starting at a strong $29k.