1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia


The ultimate apocalypse-buster might be the VW Synchro Westy, but my friend continues to prove that 2WD Westfalias can be capable companions through all types of weather. He has recently reached the American Midwest for the cold snap after a few months in Alaska and Northern Canada, all traversed in a 2WD Vanagon, albeit with a light lift kit. Winter tires on these can clear up connections to their Northern European roots and continue the fun year-round. This stock beauty has less than 70k miles and is fantastic condition for a 25 year-old van. The price is orders of magnitude higher than any other late-80s Volkswagen, but thus is the Vanagon’s market value as well as its worth. And it’s still fractions of a Synchro Westy.


Year: 1989
Model: Vanagon Westfalia
Engine: 2.1L inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,500 mi
Price: $19,900 Buy It Now

Click for more details: 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay


The Volkswagen Type 2 (T3) was the third generation of the Volkswagen Transporter and was marketed under various nameplates worldwide – including as the Transporter or Caravelle in Europe, Microbus in South Africa, and as the Vanagon in North and South America. The T3 was available with amenities such as power steering, air conditioning, power door locks, electrically controlled and heated mirrors, lighted vanity mirrors, and a light above the glove box.

The VW camper vans, converted by Westfalia-Werke in Germany, were discontinued in 2003. They offered tremendous versatility, owing to their pop-top tent roof, and fully-equipped interior including a deployable table, a sink and two-burner stove, as well as a hybrid propane/electric-powered refrigerator. The pop-top contains one bed, and the rear seat folds down to create another. The front seats spin around to face rearwards when camping. The interior also has several storage cabinets.

This 1989 Volkswagen Vanagon GL Westfalia Camper is in great condition with only 67,500 miles. This is the full Camper variant, meaning that it includes the pop-up roof and fully-equipped interior with fridge, stove, and sink. The van also has a roll-out side canopy. The grey exterior is in great condition with the exception of a couple of small scratches, and the grey interior has been similarly well-preserved. This Camper van is just waiting to head out on a cross-country road trip!


Yes it is, as am I. A friend thinks he wants a T4 Eurovan for his cross-country adventures, but I’ve always been partial to the T3. Any opinions out there on why to go either way?


Weekend Warrior: South African-Spec 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia


I’ve mentioned that a friend sold everything to tour the continent in a Westfalia, and every day I grow more envious and consider doing the same (not the M5 though… it can stay in a garage). Well, folks, I’ve finally seen what I want my Westy to look like. I’ve heard of the desirable South African look, but hadn’t seen it in full force until this one. The 4-light grill is dead sexy, along with body colored bumpers that always make Vanagons look a notch above. With some great additions and maintenance, this is a really nice Vanagon (or thus-labeled Microbus, as it was in South Africa) that looks ready to whisk me away from work frustrations and out onto the open road.

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Year: 1990
Model: Vanagon
Engine: 1.8l inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 161k on chassis, 50k on body
Price: $27,950

Click for more details:1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia for sale on eBay

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The last three sales of vehicles like this one, at the famous GoWesty.com site, fetched the following prices (check their website):
1990 full camper, 155,552 miles, sold 5/13 – $66,630.90
1991 (same spec. as 1990) full camper, 95,206 miles, sold 5/13 – $58,947.35
1991 (same spec. as 1990) full camper, 114,741 miles, sold 1/13 – $80, 590.35
Although this is a “final spec” 1990 US vehicle, these vehicles were built in South Africa (SA) through 2002. This one has been modified to include many of the upgraded features of the newer South African vehicles:
SA VW / Audi fuel injected 1.8L inline 4-cyl. engine
SA quad headlight front grill
SA alloy wheels on all four corners
SA leather steering wheel
SA VW custom mud laps, front & rear
SA Microbus & Active rear door badges
Body colored front & rear bumpers
Front fog lights
Smoked front turn signal clusters
Smoked rear light clusters
Sony CD Stereo system with remote & iPod connection + front & rear speakers
Supplemental power outlets
Full carpeting throughout
Front, mid & center carpet floor-mats
Includes custom luggage bag for front roof rack (see photo)
Car cover
SA VW / Audi engine has approximately 50,000 miles from new, fully serviced, no oil leaks, doesn’t burn oil, smooth and powerful, easily serviced by proficient VW shop
Licensed in California with valid SMOG certification through May 2014
Power assisted front & rear brakes
Power assisted rack & pinion, turns on a dime with a curb to curb turning circle of 35.8 feet, vehicle tracks straight & true on the road
Independent front & rear suspension
Power mirrors
Central locking system
Power windows
Air conditioning
Great tires, including spare
New battery with 96 mo warranty installed 2/13
Original full color 1990 brochure with the vehicle, as well as glove compartment handbook
Vehicle seats 4 passengers
With top up can sleep 2 up and 2 down – comfortably
Has two tables to enable 4 people to eat (front seats swivel)
Has 2 burner stove, refrigerator & sink.
Can run on 12v vehicle battery, 120v external power plugged into side of vehicle or propane for refrigerator (required for stove)
Storage cabinets, including closet
Full privacy curtains for sleeping
Pop-top canvas is in great shape
High ground clearance – can do light trails into campsites
Work I’ve had done (with receipts):
New CV joints
New shocks, front & rear
a/c compressor replacement
Power steering pump
New auxiliary fan assembly
New drive belts
a/c system reconditioned with both blower motors replaced, plus resistors, relays & thermostat

$_57 (1)

I’m guessing the last 3 examples of sales from GoWesty were throughly GoWestified, which always demands a significant premium. That said, the ~$28k asking price is, while always shocking to those who don’t follow Westfalias, pretty reasonable. This is a well-done Vanagon with a lot of highlights and few liabilities. The only things missing are a manual transmission, some Synchro differentials, and me in the driver’s seat.


1976 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper

Camping isn’t my bag. Much like skiing, I view it as a big schlep. I gave it a shot once out in Arizona a few years back and, well, I haven’t been back for more. Maybe it’s the urbanite in me, but packing up a bunch of your belongings and getting back to nature isn’t my thing. I can see where the escape appeal comes in, though. Having the right tool for the job certainly makes said holiday a little bit easier. Like this 1976 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper. We’ve featured a lot of Vanagon Westfalias here on GCFSB, such as this 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia from last week, but the T2 Transporter based Campers are a bit harder to source in good nick, given that a lot of them were driven by peaceniks and potheads who didn’t have vehicle preservation at the top of their agenda. But this particular Camper has weathered the years well. Rarely is a collector vehicle so very usable.

Year: 1976
Model: Westfalia Camper
Engine: 2.0 liter flat-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 15,555 miles
Price: $19,995

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper on eBay

You are viewing a great 1976 Westfalia Campmobile, original, a beautiful survivor that looks great and drives great. This is a highly sought after make, model and color combination Westfalia Camper. Buy It Now or put your best offer in, these sell quick. This Westy is freshened up, not restored. Free shipping in the Continental US and Hawaii, or port to port transport from LA to select UK/European ports with Buy It Now.

Mechanically….It is very tight and solid, and is ready to cruise and camp. It is powered by A GD code 2.0 liter just tuned motor. New wires and gas lines. The manual transmission shifts properly through all gears. Electrical system is in good working order. Exterior lighting including headlamps, turn signals, tail lights, are working properly.

Exterior…….This Westy is eye catching. It was just repainted in its original Marino Yellow (L20A). All the fixed/stationary windows and exterior fixtures were removed before paint and replaced with new or good condition originals. There is a new front windsheild seal, rear side window seals and back window seal. There are new side markers, mirrors and antenna. There is a new canvas in the poptop and new poptop seal. The body is nice and straight. The floor and underside are solid.

Interior is nice as you can see in the pictures. Door panels are original, new seat stand mats and new front seat upholstery with original vinyl. There are four seat belts – two lap/shoulder belts for front bucket seats and two lap belts for the rear bench seat. The front passenger seat swivels to face the rear. Passenger compartment has original upholstery on rear bench and original carpet.

Campmobile equipment includes:

Rear bench
seat converting to double bed with locker below.
Rear deck mattress.

Swivel seat
Clothes closet with vanity mirror
Linen closet
12 volt fluorescent ceiling lamp
110-125 volt AC
electrical hook-up receptacle
Double outlets, master switch and circuit
Louvered windows
Cabinet with stainless steel sink.
12 volt
water pump
7 gallon water tank
City water hook up
Pop-up roof
Luggage rack
Double bunk inside pop-up roof

If you are interested in owning this vehicle, you must act quickly. This is not a regular auction with a set time frame. This “Buy It Now/Best Offer” auction can be ended at any time if buyer hits “Buy It Now” or submits an acceptable offer. Do not wait to make an offer until the last day or hours, or you may miss out on this nice Westy.

All in all, this is a nice driving, nice looking Bus. Take a look at all the pics. Please do not make an offer if you do not intend to buy. If you are making an offer and need shipping to be included, please state that in the terms of the offer. Otherwise it will be assumed that you are handling the shipment of the vehicle yourself.

Early T1 Transporters are bringing a mint these days, so if you are shopping on a budget, the T2, or Kombi as it is known in some markets, is a great compromise that gives up little in appeal. I wouldn’t necessarily call this particular Camper original, as it has had a repaint and some freshening around the edges, but it has stayed honest to its origins. The asking price of just under $20,000 is a bit on the high side for one of these. In comparison to a T3 Westy, however, it’s a bargain even if you are giving up a little bit of modernity in the process.


1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia

With summer underway, it’s time to start planning that holiday. Whether it’s the woods or someplace seaside that you are headed, a Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia would be an excellent rig to get there in. This well sorted Syncro Westy comes to us from our reader Pete and has a few practical add-ons to make this Swiss Army Knife on wheels a bit more usable for those long excursions.


Year: 1991
Model: Vanagon Syncro Westfalia
Engine: 2.5 liter boxer-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 182,500 miles (less than 6,000 miles on new engine)
Price: $73,995

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Westfalia on TheSamba

’91 VW Syncro (4WD) 2.5 Westfalia Full Camper. $99,500. VIN: WV2ZB0253MG003421.

We priced this after comparing the last 22 Syncro campers in past 6 years by GoWesty, looking at mileage, condition, upgrades, & restorations on all 22 w/ours. This price is quite fair, considering everything the others don’t have. This is our first VW Westy camper, bought from 2nd owner-a private party 1/’06. Finally the configuration’s exactly as we want, but hurt my knee & shoulder causing pain getting in/out w/2” lift kit. Almost all of very significant upgrades/restoration/repairs were done by the GoWesty experts, & it has always been garaged. YOU MUST SEE!

All GoWesty & other invoices plus CARFAX report (totally clean & w/all their guarantees offered) available online. Please email me for links at pete@unityadjustments.com.

5 speed manual w/Granny low, all 3 knobs: 4WD + true front/rear lockers, A/C, front/rear heaters & defrosters, cruise, PS, PB, PW, front/rear windshield wipers/washers, power door locks, keyless entry, stereo, all original curtains, Dometic 3-way refrigerator, sink, & 2 portable eating/work tables w/poles.

Upgrades and Restoration:
GoWesty 2500 cc (was 2100 cc) waterboxer motor w/indestructible pistons (125 hp. = +39%/175 ft-lbs torque = +50%): replaced at 176,910 mi. on 11/21/10, & now about 182,500 mi. (less than 6,000 mi.), GoWesty Road Warrior 4 year/48,000 mi Nationwide transferable (no cost) warranty. Same fuel economy if driven the same (15/16 city, 19/20 hwy. w/cruise). After break-in period, only Mobil 1 synthetic oil & filter (15-50 oil/M1-205 filter), & changed every 3,000 mi. (not 3,500 as rec’d.). 2.5 VW matching emblem beside Syncro emblem on PS of the rear hatch.

GoWesty gears: 2nd (1.18:1=8.7% higher) / 3rd (1.18:1=4% taller / 4th (0.77:1=9% taller).
GoWesty custom-geared transaxle & front diff: 5.43:1 final drives, front & rear (12% lower).
Original (4WD) Viscous coupler replaced w/a true 4WD (drive shaft de-coupler & solid shaft).
South African BIG brakes.
South African upper & lower grills.
2 in. GoWesty lift kit.
Porsche 911 power window system w/dash switches.
Porsche 930 Turbo rear axle system.
GoWesty custom, double, swing-away bumper-mounted rear steel shelves/racks: DS=mounted
spare & 5 gal. gas can, PS=shelf for 2 KW gas generator.
Yakima roof rack system.
GoWesty steel plate bumpers w/integral 2 in. hitch in rear.
GoWesty’s off-road kit: 5 Michellin P250x70Rx16’s & GoWesty alloy wheels w/5-locking nuts.
Bed-liner (black) texture coat on entire lower body.
Deluxe aux. 2nd battery system w/2 Interstate MTP-91 heavy duty batteries.
Jensen stereo w/surr. sound: TV/CD/DVD/AM-FM w/7 in. tilt-up/swivel touch screen, w/remote.
Drop down SSL DVD/TV 15 in. monitor/2 wireless/infrared headphones & remote.
500 watt JC Audio amplifier & woofer speaker below rear seating.
Fiamma F45 10 ft. x 10 ft. x 6+ ft. high awning.
Old Man Emu shocks & struts all around.
Cobra C/B system w/dash speaker, high power amplifier & high power antenna.
3 vent 100% acrylic pop-top tent, w/zippered/covered/screened openings.
2 GoWesty’s snap on mosquito screens for side (zippered), & rear openings.
GoWesty snap on Rainfly: waterproof tent cover.
Coleman 1200 watt inverter w/2-110 volt receptacles: 6 total in Westy.
4 illuminated 12 volt connections: 2 in kitchen & 2 on dash.
Refrigerator has an extra custom electric exhaust fan… keeps food at 32-33 degrees.
Side step for sliding door entryway, w/heavy-duty grab handle at entry.
3 heavy-duty grab handles total: both front doors & sliding door entryway.
Repainted factory Bordeaux (Burgundy) with all decals – black.
Halogen outside & Hella inside headlights: w/high output load reduction relay kit for Halogens.
Wurth rubberized undercoating, complete steam-cleaning, & all rusted parts replaced.
Grover diesel truck air horn & compressor with tee configuration w/rubber hose & air fitting.
Roadmaster tow setup & RV wiring, w/auxiliary synchronized airbrakes.
Keyless entry w/2 remotes.
Updated propane tank.
Skid plate w/air compressor above it.
Hot Wire air mass sensor replaced old-fashioned air flow meter.
Bosch high-powered, clear lens fog lights for back up lights.
4 smoked signal lens covers.
2 new fluorescent lights above in kitchen: cooktop & storage/closet area.
Solar trickle charger for start battery, hard-wired, on dash.
Roof painted silver: reflects heat from camper’s interior.
4 GoWesty mud flaps.
Curved tailpipe end to help avoid water intrusion into exhaust system.
Rubber floor mats, heavy-duty: front/aisle/rear – black.
Campmobile cargo area matching grey carpet mat.
1 hidden anti-theft kill switch.
Streamlight Strion always-charged, super bright flashlight behind driver’s seat.
Covercraft® car cover.
Complete VW service manual, & all OEM owner manuals.
And on, and on, and on, and on…

Repairs and Replacements: All normal maintenance timely, Syncro tranny, A/C condenser & all the seals/gaskets/hoses, Bosch alternator, aluminum OEM radiator, OEM water pump, full Vanagon GL waterboxer clutch job & w/fly wheel, wheel cylinders, cooling/fuel/elec. systems gone thru completely, w/many replacements, proportioning valve, dash instruments replaced/repaired/recalibrated, straightened gas tank neck so if fuel gauge’s at red line… it has 2 gals. in the tank… when at empty… it’s EMPTY!, spring pads, $1,600+ reliability servicing-Inv. 75995P 7/01/2006 w/lots of Bosch® parts, $2,500+ GoWesty super-duper ultra-major service w/all items back to zero miles… & lots, lots more.

QUESTIONS? CALL PETE: 626.333.0199, 7am-8pm PDT, daily.

For those not paying attention, the market for these campers is hot. Very hot. Find a good one and it will set you back a decent chunk of change. This final year Syncro has to be one of the most well-sorted examples of its kind that I’ve run across in recent memory. It doesn’t seem like one square inch of this van was left alone in the quest to make this Westy nicer and more convenient for travel. At almost six figures, a lot of people will scoff, but if you must have the best Syncro Camper out there, few are going to measure up to this one.

For those interested in this Westy, you can contact the seller, Pete at (626) 333-0199 or via email at pete@unityadjustments.com . Good luck with the sale, Pete!


1981 Volkswagen Vanagon

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Here’s a novel idea: a low-mileage, well-maintained Vanagon that’s reasonably priced! Contrary to the engine-swapped Syncro-Westfalia monsters we’ve featured here, this is a down-to-earth VW Van. 80,500 miles on a 1981 is amazing, and the effects of storage have all been addressed by the seller. It may not be the ultramobile home of the most expensive examples, but this Vanagon will be 7-seater family fun for years to come.

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Year: 1981
Model: Vanagon
Engine: 2.0l 4-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 80,500
Price: $7,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Vanagon on eBay

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1. Additional equipment and accessories:
Pioneer CD Player, original parts throughout including original owner’s manual and wheel covers from German factory.

2. Maintenance history:
Within the past 2,000 miles, front brake pads, rotors, calipers, brake hoses, shocks replaced; rear brake hardware replaced and shocks. Both inner and outer bearing races replaced. Engine tune-up, spark plugs, distributor cap, rotor, condenser, points replaced. Push rod tube seals, valve cover gasket, fuel lines, fuel injection clamp, filter, and seals (small and large) replaced, rack boot, ball joints, bushings (including front control arm busing and end-link bushing), clutch slave cylinder, and CV boot kit installed. Shifter rebuilt for smooth operation. Newer Michelin tires. Locks have been rebuilt. I have all receipts for work that was done by mechanics specializing in historic VW vehicles.

3. Condition of the vehicle, including notable damage, wear or problems:
Sweet vehicle and very well maintained. Garaged for 28 years, now under carport.
Exterior: There are a few minor exterior scratches and a couple of minor dings.
Interior: There are a couple of spots of insignificant rust where the front doors bolt into the frame. The front seat belt housings are cracked but this does not impede their functionality (they are replaceable). There is a tear on the lower portion of the rear seat where it meets the floor. The headliner has some minor staining above the interior vents.
Engine: The engine is strong and has never been rebuilt (the mileage is very low).
Owners: I am the third owner of this Vanagon: the first owner had it for 25 years as a “second” vehicle, the second owner had it for four years, mostly in storage. When I bought it, it had been driven so infrequently for such a long time that it needed a lot of work, all of which was done by highly qualified VW mechanics specializing in historic VW vehicles. All maintenance records are available for the past three years which total $6,500 in work. It now runs beautifully and is very dependable.

This is a great vehicle – I had it thoroughly gone over for safety and it’s definitely fun to drive! Center seats are removable and back seat folds down.

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I like this van a lot, if only that it’s been loved but not abused and is available at a completely reasonable price. While quirky, these are fun little vans (my brother owns a non-westy ’84) that subtly encourage enjoyment of life. They may also set the standard for largest price range between simple standard models like this and the insane top of the line. As long as you don’t live around any hills, this is a lot of fun miles for $7,500.


1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia with 911S motor!

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As soon as I saw this van I emailed one of my best friends from home and said “this is YOUR van!” Not because he should buy this one, but because it is the result of a swap we have been talking about for years. He is the lucky inheritor of a gold Westy as well as a 1974 911S that has been unfortunately and rustily neglected since a complete rebuild over 15 years ago. Our dream has been to combine the two for the perfect aircooled Westfalia. It may lack the durability and cheap repairs of Subaru-swapped vans, but I can only imagine the perfection of hearing an air-cooled 911 engine in a VW camper. His project has yet to commence, so we’ll check out this one for now.

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Though currently in Canada, today’s 1982 Vanagon was originally a California car and should be easy enough to get back to the States, should you choose to get awesome. It was completely restored in 2004 with the transmission rebuilt and a rebuilt 1977 911S motor installed. From almost every angle it’s classic and perfect Westy, extremely clean and beige through the interior and exterior. That’s until you lift the rear engine cover or peak underneath and see a yellow Porsche flat-six hiding under there. Holy moly.

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Year: 1982
Model: Vanagon Westfalia
Engine: 1977 Porsche 911S 2.7l flat-six
Transmission: VW 4-speed
Mileage: 5,600 on rebuild/restoration
Price: Starting at $25k

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia with 911S swap for sale on eBay Canada

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1982 VANAGON WESTFALIA VIN: WV2ZA0254CH023527 (Last year of Air-cooled) from California, 100% RUST free.

– Imported to Canada in 2001 for a complete 3 years GROUND UP restoration.
– More than $50k was invested in this Westfalia.
– This Camping Car is for a true VW Purist or Enthusiasm, it is top quality and probably one of the TOP 5 VANAGON T3 in the world.
– Only 9000 KM (5 600 miles) since the complete restoration it was achieved in 2004.

We are now retired and have changed our travel plans. For more information or pictures, feel free to contact Claude. I am located in Montréal, QC, Canada. More pictures photobucket, see link below



– Current color: Savannah beige Metallic LH1V (Original color: blue)
– Dismantled completely inside-out.
– All paint stripped.
– Professionally adjusted, detailed and painted (Epoxy primer, SIKKENS Base coat Clear coat)
– Water block-sanded 2000 and buffed.
– The Body is Laser Straight.
– Lubricant and Penetrant protection Oil was apply inside on all seam and strategic place body before to reinstall the interior
– Professionally TINTED windows

The choice of original VW color SAVANNAH BEIGE METALLIC LH1V (85-88) was picked for the best match with the BROWN and BEIGE interior and the original TAN color tent. Pop Top has been painted with the original color using a good Urethane quality paint; Bolts were replaced with Stainless Steel and new plastic vent.


– Brand new materials (seats, carpets, seals, rubbers, curtains…)
– Refurbished cabinet equipment: looks and works like new



2.7 liter Porsche 911S, 1977, serial 6272175, 175HP. The motor has been 100% rebuilt with a Porsche Specialist ($12,000 cost)
KENNEDY Engine spacer and Stage 1 pressure Plate
HI-Torque Starter from IMI Performance
SS Tubing and hoses for the oil cooling system going to the front oil cooler
Pertronix Distributor Ignition to eliminate Point for easy maintenance
New CIS Fuel Distributor
The Fan and Valve cover has been upgraded with Porsche Turbo Model for better service
Complete SS 304 exhaust system: tig weld pipe and ( 2 ) 2.5 inch outlets


Original 1982 model 091, DK with 4,57 transaxle, 100% rebuilt
Upgraded with 3rd gear 1.17 (weddle industries)
Upgraded with 4th gear 0.77 (weddle industries): a perfect upgrade with the Porsche Motor (3400 RPM at 70 MPH)
Agreement, performance and reasonable fuel economy at 20 mpg (14L/100km), regular gas 87


1. 15 x 7, ET 35 Mag Wheels with 215- 65-15, Michelin Agilis 51, 8 ply TIRES. Bolt pattern 5X112 with direct bolting.
2. Dual isolated battery system ( auxiliary Yellow Top Optima Battery) c/w separate fuse box.
3. Inverter 120 V
4. AC/DC battery charger
5. TV and CD players connected with 6 speakers Audio Clairion system
6. Complete refurbished Dash with:
Lecarra steering wheels
New speedometer from SHK (Germany) installed in 2004 at 00000,0 KM
7 new VDO gages (RPM, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Oil Level, Cyl Head Temp, Voltmeter, Vacuum)
7. High Power Halogen H4 Head Lights with city light incorporated
8. Shady boy awing
9. Portable toilet
10. Luggage Box including entry soil carpet and 2 chairs
11. One Extra 15x7mag wheel
12. New coils spring and bilsteing shock bringing the vehicle to a perfect high
13. Front Vinyl Bras, to protect the paint from road hazards. Note: It was always worn on the highway to prevent paint chips on the front of the car.

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Talk about a sleeper! I’m surprised at the lack of brake upgrade as this tin can has double the power it originally came with. And unfortunately the fake rotors on the wheels do even less for the looks than the performance. I can get over that (it IS French-Canadian, after all), as this is a very cool van with an exceptional swap. With 3 years and $50k in the restoration, it’s obvious this van was cared for. The $25k starting price may cause initial sticker shock, but if this had a GoWesty bill of sale, it’d be going for at least twice that. Clean stock Westfalias can easily eclipse $30k these days, so this is a relative value for a damn cool car. I’m dying to get my friend’s van project going because I have to hear that engine in a van!


Insane $70,000 Volkswagen Syncro Westfalia

My last extreme Syncro Westfalia garnered many chortles as the $40k asking price overshadowed the thorough restoration. What’s the best way to convert the naysayers? Find an even more insanely priced Volkswagen van.

Today’s Vanagon is definitely more decked out, with solar panels, ladders, racks, rims, and the heart of a Subaru SVX. This interesting engine swap certainly accounts for a large portion of the seller’s expectations. While Subaru transplants are increasingly common in Vanagons for their power and reliability, people usually stick with the 4-cylinders. Clearly this Syncro is about going 5 blades, so he opted for one of the biggest engines Subaru ever produced, the SVX’s 3.3L flat six. 231hp should do just fine in place of the original 2.1L wasserboxer’s 95hp. Actually, it must make this thing downright beastly. With everything working (the previously-listed Syncro got nicked for no a/c) and 1600 shakedown miles on the engine conversion, this seems to be the real Vanagon for the megolomaniac.

1991 Volkswagen Syncro Westfalia w/ Subaru conversion for sale on eBay

From the clearly (and awesomely) demented seller:

Behold the Holy Grail of Syncro Westfalia vans made, the 1991…This van is a great example of a clean syncro westfalia with all the amenities. The van has been road tested for about 1600 miles from conversion completion, enough to work out all the kinks. Everything works on the van, power windows, locks, front and rear window washers, diff lock, decoupler, stove, sink, propane heat…Everything!
Below is a breakdown of all the items included in this build.

Many more photos at subagon.com

(5) 215 70 16 A/T BF Goodrich tires and wheels (powder coated black)
120 watt solar panel
2 stage custom paint (orley blue)
8′ Fiamma Awning
Propex Gas
Subagon Big Brake kit front
Subagon rear Disc Brake addition
built in inverter 1500 watt
cruise control
door alarm
drive shaft decoupler kit
rear differential lock
dual isolated battery
dynamat sound deadening material
rear bumper w/ hitch receiver, swing away tire carrier, fuel can carrier
fridge delete kit
front AC – rear AC
front bumper with bull bar
large 12v fridge
new interior
rock chip guard
svx motor install – 1996 with 50k miles
rebuilt transmission with taller 4th gear
old man emu suspension
2″ lift springs
tinted windows
truck mirrors
New rear cv joints – inner and outer
New 3 window pop top canvas
New Rear Flat sub woofer
Pop top Struts- (strongest)
Hijack lift mounted on front tube bumper
PIIA fog lights
Hot water heater and shower
Permanent Ladder
TDI Starter
Custom front skid plate / water proof lock box

Plus a bonus fun note from Subagon.com:

We built this van for a customer that spared no expense. He took the van on a few road trips and now wants us to build another one, the twin to this van but with a Subaru Diesel, a build that will land in a price range north of six figures.

Yes, that’s bonkers money for sure, but at least some rich dudes are spending their money in awesome and unique ways.

I know people will again question why anyone would spend this kind of money on a Vanagon. But honestly, I would much rather have this than a new Range Rover or X5 or Sprinter camper. Bespoke and thoroughly badass, the price is jaw-dropping, but so are the choices and execution. Next time you see any car on the road that costs $70k (and where I live, that’s >50% of the cars on the road), ask yourself if it’s cooler than this. Regardless of the car, I already know my answer.


The Ultimate RV: 1987 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia

For reasons too complicated to fully explain here, a close friend recently bought an $800 RV and moved to Neah Bay, WA, essentially the northwestern-most tip of the US. We went and visited him to see exactly how this RV situation was going to work out and offer our condolences. Side note, on the way out we found the best driving road I’ve ever been on, Highway 112 – I hope everyone can someday experience the empty, smooth pavement with 180-degree bends and awesome elevation changes. Anyway, what was I talking about?

Right, RVs. So the RV turned out to be a great deal, redone paneling, everything worked, runs, etc., which I wouldn’t expect from an $800 car let alone a livingmobile. But seeing it, as well as the myriad forms of RV I saw on my road trip back to CA from Washington, made me wonder what kind of vehicle I would want to live in. Real RVs are out due to size and self-respect issues. Truck campers seem silly. I think I’d rather get a decked-out Syncro Westfalia and explore the globe. Go-anywhere (from off-road to normal parking lots), sleep comfortably, and do it in style.

The only issue is Westys don’t cost $800. Or $8000. For the really good ones, you’re looking at over $30k. Such is the case with today’s immaculate, totally-redone Syncro. Bidding is only to $13k but Buy-It-Now is an eye-opening $40,000. Less than a Sprinter conversion van, but definitely not the cheap way to go RVing. If you’ve got a penchant for German cars like I do though, it’s the only way to go.

1987 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia for sale on eBay

The list of how to do a Vanagon right:

Just passed CA smog and is registered through June of 2013. Within the last 6 months I have done the following to make sure this beautiful Syncro makes it another 25+ years!

Brand new paint (Done the right way – base and clear coat, new seam sealer, removed all windows, etc.)
All new window, door handle, and wiper arm seals.
All new front window seals and vent wing seals.
New window tint.
Powder coated bumpers, door handles, wiper arms, and wind wings.
New pop top, skylight, and luggage rack seals.
New stainless steel luggage rack hardware.
New skylight and hardware.
All new GoWesty hook-up boxes! (New highly improved design!!!)

All new upholstery.
Re-built foam in front seats and installed additional foam for lower back lumbar support.
Steam cleaned all carpets, cleaned and bleached interior of pop top, machine washed all curtains.
New 3-window pop top tent.
New GoWesty 2nd battery and 2nd battery wiring system.
New main battery..
Powder coated all interior metal pieces (stove face, table legs, door sill, etc.).
Serviced fridge with GoWesty refrigerator pump re-build kit.
New sink tank pump, replaced all tubing, and cleaned and bleached water tank.
New ignition switch.
GoWesty high power head light kit (huge improvement over stock lights!).
Alpine stereo with CD and I-Pod connector. Infinity front speakers and new rear speakers.
AC is intact but does not blow cold (probably needs a re-charge).

Engine is from a low mileage 91 Vanagon Syncro (was removed for an engine conversion).
Approximately 100K miles on the engine. Heads were re-built within the last 15K miles.
The speedometer cable was broken when I bought the van so not sure of the true mileage on the body. The odometer reads 116K.
New cap, rotor, plugs, wires, and belts.
Cooling system was flushed and various coolant lines were replaced. Re-enforced coolant pipe ends.
Re-built rear locker assembly, new vacuum actuator (works great and engages/disengages quickly).
New clutch within the last 15K miles.
New throw-out bearing.
Front diff is quiet and VC works.
New Red Line MT 90 gear oil in transmission and front differential.
GoWesty “Doka” style driveshaft.
All new front CV Joints, grease, boots, bolts, and axles. (German not Empi!)
Re-packed rear CV Joints, new boots, bolts, and grease.
New front discs, pads, and soft brake lines.
New rear drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, soft brake lines, and hard lines.
New clutch slave cylinder.
Removed and re-sealed gas tank. All new gas tank fuel lines, fuel level indicator, and fuel filter.
Stainless steel gas tank straps.
New tie rod ends.
14″ Vanagon alloy rims with Nokian Hakkapeliitta tires in almost new condition.
KYB gas shocks and stock Syncro springs.

I’m sure there’s something else I left out too!

Really an amazing van. Many are fully decked out with attachments, gas tanks, rhino bars, etc., but it’s pretty awesome to see one bare and beautiful and ready for a new owner. Is someone going to cough up that $40k for the honor? Probably not on eBay, but shockingly enough there really is a market for $40k-Vanagons, so I’m guessing it will find an appreciative home soon enough.


1990 Volkswagen T3 Westfalia Camper

It’s rather funny. With the SUV craze in full force for the last twenty years, the van has lost popularity. I sure don’t see as many of them on the streets as I do the atypical urban assault vehicle. Volkswagen’s van offerings have always been for those who drive to the beat of a different drummer, and one of my favorites was the T3 Camper Van. I remember playing around in one of these as a child when my father went to purchase a brand new 1987 Volkswagen Golf GT. It was always fascinating to me to have a half kitchen inside a vehicle.

Here’s a clean, low mileage Westfalia Camper for sale in California.

1990 Volkswagen Camper on eBay

I am selling my 1990 VW Westfalia Camper Van with a 4-speed transmission and a clear title. The vehicle has 42.8K miles (67,343 km) on the odometer. This a low-mileage rust-free van with a gorgeous interior and extremely strong engine. It has a new CD player and brand new front and rear Pioneer speakers. The van has alloy rims and 6-ply load-rated tires. It has a current California smog certificate. I am selling this Westfalia van with NO RESERVE price.

Recent repairs include:
> new rear brake shoes and wheel cylinders.
> new rear KYB shocks.
> complete tune up including new oxygen sensor, spark plugs, plug wires, distributor cap and rotor.
> new valve cover gaskets and a new tail pipe.
> new oil filter, seal and oil change (20W-60 Castrol GTX oil).
> new front cross-drilled and vented rotors for cooler braking on hills and new ceramic brake pads for greater stopping power.
> the body was recently painted the original burgundy paint and the bumpers and grills were painted a special semi-gloss formula.
> a new clear sun-roof cover and winder.
> new utility covers and stickers were purchased from Van-cafe and installed along with new rear hatch struts (shocks) and a new locking radio antenna.

Included with the van are all the correct privacy curtains, front and rear tables and table stands as well as the original jack. This is a gorgeous, low-mileage van just looking for its next adventure.

With about five days left and no reserve, there has been no interest yet. The Doka trucks built on the T3 chassis have been pulling large sums as of late, and a clean, low mileage Camper such as this is bound to be attractive to the right collector. Whether someone is willing to pay almost $20,000 for the privilege remains to be seen. One thing is certain, this is one of the nicest Campers I’ve seen in quite some time.

And now all Volkswagen sells is the Volkswagen Caravan. Excuse me, Routan. Perish the thought.


Insane 1990 Syncro Westfalia for Sale

I know we usually restrict our posts to German autos of the sporting variety, but people are doing such insane things with Vanagons these days I got clearance to post them every once in a while.  A utilitarian beast at heart, Vanagons have a unique following, a following so diehard that they go to extraordinary lengths to restore, modify, and improve their vans.  Some create cab-forward boxes with performance to shame a lot of the cars we post here, many with increasingly common Subaru WRX and STI engine-swaps.  Others, like the one we have today, have been completely redone to be unstoppable adventure-mongers.  GoWesty (as in Westfalia, the camper edition of Vanagon), has the process down and churns out some incredibly capable and well-built vans.  With a plethora of modification and restoration possibilities, they can clean up your van and fix the sink, or you can have them do a ground-up build with the only limit being the size of your wallet.

This 1990 Syncro (4WD in VWspeak) explores the latter option to the extreme.  New everything and more, they have created a no-holds-barred adventure machine with a coffee-spitting price: $80k.

1990 Vanagon Westfalia Syncro for sale at GoWesty.com

The insane worklist:

This is all the stuff we did for Doug:

• Stripped down completely to the bare body
• Collision damage repaired back to factory exact specification
• Complete repaint inside and out to factory color
• Black texture treatment all around the bottom
• GoWesty plate steel bumpers, rear with integral hitch
• Skid plate up front
• Double swing-away carrier for rear
• Full size spare wheel
• Fuel and water cans
• New hemp/cotton 3-window pop top tent
• All new interior panels with matching Recaro material inserts
• New Recaro front seats
• Rear seat and bed cushion recovered in Recaro fabric to match front seats
• All typically discolored and shrunken vinyl around windows removed, and all surfaces painted to match exterior
• Undercarriage stripped clean
• Steam cleaned thoroughly
• Undercoated thoroughly
• All fresh suspension and steering
• Old Man Emu shocks
• GoWesty progressive lifting springs
• All new brake system
• Big brakes up front
• All new brake and clutch hydraulic systems
• All new cooling system
• Fuel and electrical systems all gone through thoroughly
• GoWesty super duper ultra major maintenance service
– All maintenance items back to zero miles
• 16″ wheels with 225/70-16 BFG tires
• Fresh GoWesty 2.5 liter engine with 48/48 warranty
• Fresh transaxle and front differential, 48/48 warranty, with:
– 12% lower 5.43:1 ratio final drive gearing
– Triple knobs, which means:
– Driveshaft decoupler and solid shaft instead of viscous coupler
– Locking differential front
– Locking differential rear
• Deluxe 3 auxiliary battery system
• 50 watt solar panel on roof, quick-release style
• All-electric Engel fridge/freezer installed quick-release style
• Old fridge space turned into more cabinet space
• New LP tank assembly
• Propex built-in 7500 btu furnace
• Over $2800 worth of “just in case” preemptive reliability enhancing items
• Killer stereo with iPod, XM, and sub woofer
• Dashboard removed and all systems rebuilt
• All new power windows with centrally located switches
• All new power door lock system with remote entry
• On-board compressed air system for easy air-up of tires after off-roading

Basically: Just about everything we offer for a Syncro, Doug ordered for this puppy.

Is it all necessary?  No, probably not.  Is it awesome?  Definitely.  Doug, the guy who had it built, obviously wanted to pull out all the stops, and it shows.  It’s beautiful and simple inside and out, and while the parts list is excessive, every piece seems well thought out and useful.  If it means anything, it’s $25k less than it would cost to build from scratch and has only done 9k miles since its rebirth.  No, it’s not a bargain, but it is unquestionably valuable to a specific group of German car lovers.