I thought diesels were bad. I’ve always known that the VW Vanagon was over priced, but this is madness! I’ve found two examples of the Vanagon for sale that must have some sort of a pulse on a market that should be ready to stroke out any day. Let’s check the pulse and have a defibrillator on standby, because these can’t be the future. They can’t... Can they?

Pop the top and pop open the wallet.
Photo: Craigslist

Example Number One:

This looks like a time machine to the camping world of the 1980s. A time when, if the Russians had invaded like they did in Red Dawn, you’d be perfectly happy to mount a getaway in this mini-RV. Just switch the blue Chevy step-side in the movie with this VW going a lot slower.

This is a 1983 VW Vanagon “Camper” (Westfalia). There is a little damage on the top and the wheels look less than impressive. It is wearing original California Sunset license plates which lead me to believe it is a native California car, or at minimum it was brought into the state early in its life.

I wonder how many of these look this good now?
Photo: Craigslist

The seller is advertising it with 343 miles on it... where did this thing come from? A museum? Or did a guy who bought it in 83' die after the Russians invaded, only to have the VW sit in probate for the last 35 years?

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Now, I’m not going to pretend and make you believe I am a ‘Westy’ type of guy. I don’t know a lot about them other than hippies used to live in these and now hipsters with Snap-chatty money are buying them.

What I do know? There are very few people that are going to buy it at a price like this... $105,000.

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I’m not done yet.

I have another example far cheaper (its going to be relative) but much more heavily used.

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How much cheaper? About half.

How much more used? One thousand times more used.

Driving lights? This thing goes fast enough to need them?
Photo: Craigslist

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I’d much rather have this one. It is a 1986 VW Vanagon Westfalia Synchro. Say that three times fast (or “Toy Boat” if you’re good at tongue twisters). This one is 4wd. It has bumper things, a high lift jack bolted to it, and solar. You want solar... You know you do. It also has something that ties most of my current writing together. A “new” diesel conversion!

Just like cousins from the hills, keeping it in the family.
Photo: Craigslist

I love the conversion. All Westies should come with a diesel. Period. No other engine makes as much sense. Even the Subaru engines aren’t as good as the VW diesel. More torque, better mileage, and even better (arguably) reliability.

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Basic. Simple. The gauges look like skin tags though.
Photo: Craigslist

I’d much rather have this second example than the first. Anything 35 years old is a mess. I know. I’m approaching this age every day. If I’m getting fat and growing hair in weird places, what do you think is happening to a VW? Probably returning to its hippy roots and trying to become one with mother earth again... aka RUSTING away.

With 332,138 miles this seller is asking a mere $47,000 for a vintage camping experience.

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It turns out that it costs a lot now-a-days to capture the spirit of camping in the 1980s. If you’re really set on a VW Vanagon, these are two great examples of what you’re money can get you.

I’d much rather buy a plane ticket and get a room in a really, really nice hotel for the same money for the next 35 years. I bet in some countries you could BUY a hotel for $105,000... and maybe the plane to get there...