Using the handy new Craigslist search tool I built (link), I came across this fresh craigslist listing for a nicely kitted Westy for a reasonable price. This van is a 1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with 114k miles on the chassis and a recently installed (not many details) Subaru WRX engine tuned up to 250hp, along with a rebuilt transmission. The seller states that this Westy has no rust and comes with new tires, shocks, brakes, battery and ball joints. It also comes with the South African grill and headlights, pretty sweet. Judging by the engine compartment, pics, I’m guessing the exterior has been repainted at some point, not sure. I also noticed it appears to missing the pop top seal.
So, about the engine. It appears this could have originally been a diesel Vanagon. Why? Well, gas Vanagons before 1983.5 were air cooled and didn’t have the lower grill. There are of course air to water cooled conversions where this grill can be added, but they are kind of rare. It also appears to have the diesel badge on the reach hatch, I can’t quite read it in the photo, but I’m pretty sure it says diesel under Vanagon. Do, what does this mean? If the seller was smart and kept it registered as a diesel, it doesn’t need to be smogged in most states, so if you brought this van to say, California, and wanted to register it there, the title would still say diesel and you wouldn’t have to smog it. If the title says gas, then you get into whether or not the engine is CARB compliant. I’m going to ask the seller for more details here. Find it on craiglist in Mesa, Arizona with an asking price of $16,000. Craigslist Link