Mix-and-match is one of the greatest benefits of VW ownership and modification, enabling Lego-like compatibility with looks and personality straight out of the Playmobil catalogue. While most Vanagons pack the abilities of many cars into one, this T3 takes it to the next level by combining the content of two already-capable VW vans into one vehicle. As the seller embarked on the restoration of a Westfalia California, they came into possession of a non-Westy but Syncro’d van and the Frankenstein dreams quickly took hold – put all the great camping gear into the van with the ultimate running gear. As a result, they made an extremely desirable package and cleaned it up with a full restoration, rebuilt wasserboxer, and a subtle-but-great offroad package. Personal favorites include the perfect Graphite Gray paint and the Star Wars-lookin’ California top that provides a slight differentiation from most pop-top VWs you see. It may have taken a few donors, but in the end this is one excellent monster Vanagon.
Thanks to a childhood friend’s family having a Vanagon in the exact same spec, this dark blue, final-year Westy (for the U.S.) paints the same picture as the entry for “Vanagon” in my personal car encyclopedia. It’s a very nice, mellow blue that teams up with body-colored mirrors and perfect (if small) OEM 5-spokes to accomplish a subtle aesthetic that is both handsome and unassuming. Fully loaded and fully functional, it’s covered just over 100k miles and is significantly more original than most nice Westfalias we see. The care to keep it looking good and performing perfectly is clear, but its all-originality helps it occupy a nice middle ground in terms of asking price.
Click for details: 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
Today we have a gorgeously restored Westy that ticks just about every box. Featuring a litany of perfect modifications, the exterior is highlighted by an OEM tan repaint, tough and functional Rocky Mountain bumpers, good-looking Passat 16″ wheels, and a GoWesty lift kit for better clearance and that great Syncro look. Under the rear sits a like-new 2.4 liter wasserboxer from GoWesty connected to a rebuilt transmission. The interior looks pretty original but decent for nearly 200k miles, and just about everything functions minus the a/c. Locked, not quite stock, and ready to rock, this is about as ready-for-fun as the come.
Click for details: 1983 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
As I continue my search for a van to support adventures without breaking the bank, it’s fun to happen upon examples like today’s which have good bones and a little work to be done, all at a reasonable price. This van was acquired by a VW tech from an older guy who had bit off more than he could chew, and now it has a rebuilt engine and restored running gear. The Westfalia interior pieces will need work to be fully installed and operating, but on a clean van like this from a seller that sounds like he’s expecting something along the lines of $10k, it’s a heck of a deal.
Click for details: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on eBay
When certain dream cars end up way more expensive than you ever thought they’d be, you’re forced to decide if you’ll wait until you make tons of money (which may never happen), or make some compromises and try to get an example you can enjoy as soon as possible. Maybe it’s just a high-miled chassis with a rebuilt engine, but when those are going for as much as a brand new GTI, what do you do? The ultimate value-killing rebuilt title is a big gamble, but with 70k miles enjoyed post-rebuild and a reserve of “well below $30k,” it may just be the best overall value for a Westy Syncro out there.