• Dec 20, 2008
There's always lots of junk on Craigslist, especially cars. There are also often screaming deals, but seven VW Vanagons for a buck still strikes us as an upside-down transaction. While they're quirky, delightful, and generally well made, Vanagons can also be appallingly unreliable, especially mit der Wasserboxer engine. Still, when you've spent a good part of your formative years rousting around in a beloved Vanagon named Big Blue, it's hard to not quickly consider rescuing the lot before they turn into a pile of fine German oxide.

The cruel reality of this gaggle of vehicles is that their value is mostly scrap. Seven Vanagons - some Westys, some standard, possibly an air-cooled engine or three in among the water-pumpers (that undoubtedly have their quirky head gaskets blowing bubbles into their water jackets) will require more funding than the Detroit Bailout to put right.

[Source: Craigslist]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      More specifically, the Eg33 from the mighty Subaru SVX is used for these swaps. 230hp/230ftlbs stock, add some headers and you can get over 250 easy, and they last to 300,000 miles with minimal maintenance.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh come on, why not take a cue from the British Automotive show Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer and Edd China (Yes, THAT Edd China) and convert one into a camper van?

      Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8vjEziB8Dg
      Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGJ7LWbFUrw
      Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbUC-zqNbRc
      • 6 Years Ago
      The guy in MI and this guy in Nashville should get together:

      http://nashville.craigslist.org/rvs/940200279.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      The $1 figure in the Craigslist posting header is common shorthand for 'parting out', 'make an offer' or 'look at my ad, and find the actual (usually unreasonable) asking price after the click.' I've never posted a for-sale ad in Craigslist, but this leads me to believe you have to enter some kind of dollar amount.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The T3 not only had a great driving position, but the turning-radius and parking-ease of a Jetta. The wasserboxer's heads were rubbish. Indeed, many folks are replacing that motor with Subaru boxers or VW inline engines with success.
      The older air-cooled engines were not unreliable, but just slow.
      Synchro campers in good repair sell for quite a bit, due to where they can take you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Our family travelled in our new 1972 VW camper from Vancouver Canada down through the states to San Francisco, to New York, up to Nova Scotia and then right across Canada back to Vancouver. The trip took three months and provided us with many stories for years.
      I really took a shine to a Syncro 4x4 crew cab Transporter with a tuner package available from VW. It was one of only 39 trucks brought into North America with this package.
      My dream van is the one from Porsche, a Vanagon that they were using as a pursuit vehicle for prototypes. It was very slow pursuit vehicle so they removed the four and put in a Carrerra six cylinder. Car & Driver I do believe has a picture of the van airborne in the German countryside. The van was still limited to a max speed of just over 100 mph as the van would do it's best imitation of flight.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ha ha. I remember when they put the 1.9 diesel in this beastie.
      It was faster just to get out and walk.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you're talking about the USA diesel Vanagon of c. 1982-1986, it was only a 1.6L not a 1.9L, and not a turbo. 48 horsepower or maybe it was 51? I recall seeing a brand new one climbing Tioga Pass in 1983, the east entrance to Yosemite NP that reaches over 10,000 ft altitude. It was going 25, maybe 30 mph max, or so it seemed. I should say, I saw it after I blew by it in my 76 horsepower '80 Scirocco. Before I passed it, all I could see was a huge black cloud of soot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I used to have a watercooled Vanagon camper, and loved it almost as much as my 911 (but for different reasons!). A camper in good shape can be worth $10K or more- see www.poptopheaven.com - and there is a popular conversion that replaces the expensive and underpowered VW engines with Subaru motors.
      Ryan Michael Stevens
      • 3 Years Ago
      Let me see if I've got the facts straight here - You take a motor that couldn't get a Rabbit out of it's own way and then put it in a vehicle that weighs twice as much? And you also offer it with the full-blown Westfalia treatment? The funniest thing about this vehicle were the EPA fuel economy ratings, which were 29 city and 29 highway. I can only assume from that that you had to drive that bugger flat-out, full-throttle everywhere, essentially reducing the throttle pedal to an off/on switch, if that level of performance could be considered 'on'. It's now been 32 years since I first saw one and I still I love the Vanagon, and would happily pick up a diesel Westaflia at the drop of a hat just to convert it to run a current VW turbo diesel, provided that the newer engine could fit in the engine bay without modifications to the engine cover.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here's 2 crash test videos of a Vanagon.

      This one makes me cringe...
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPpU5azjCB8

      This one is more informative...
      http://video.yahoo.com/watch/1857733/6094647
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, the ad says, "Parting 7 vans", so it sounds like they're being parted out. Maybe the $1 was just a figure used to list the ad.

      Speaking of problems, didn't some Vanagons have problems that caused them to catch fire?

      VW hasn't built a serious minivan since the T1- and T2-generation Type 2s. The Crouton, er, Routan? Give me a break.
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