Just because fuel/oil is getting a bit cheaper doesn’t mean it won’t be on it’s way back up again soon. As an owner of a 1.9L gas 1985 Westy, I only dream of high 20 MPGs instead of my reality, high teen MPGs, so that brings us to this fresh eBay listing I noticed this morning. This van is a 1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia camper with a new 1.9L Diesel engine, manual transmission and a reported 84k miles. Now these diesels do vibrate a lot more, and the seller states in the listing that “harmonic balance added”, which I’m not quite sure about, though I know there are no hydraulic motor mounts that can be used to help here. I’m going to take a wild guess and say a freshly rebuilt AAZ (likely 1.9L engine used) would probably cost at least $8k installed at a decent shop. The interior appears to be almost all original, with no serious mods except for the engine, a laminate floor and nice 16″ wheels. The original tent canvas looks fantastic for a 32 year old van, though I’m curious what is under the covers on the front seats. The seller states that everything is there and implies it should all work, including the sink, stove, fridge, propane tank, etc. The oddity here is the Auto Check report, which shows a great score with no issues, however this van is a ghost, with no registration history found to verify it’s previous regions of residence, # of owners, mileage records, etc. Maybe worth doing your own Car Fax too? I think $20k is a little steep for an 82, however if it’s only had one owner, has – rust, runs and drives great, doesn’t leak, etc, someone in this region will likely pay $18k-$20k for it. Find it for sale on eBay in Santa Cruz, California with a ‘make offer’ option available. eBay Link – Craigslist Link
Notes for potential buyers: Find out where the engine swap was done, get details, costs, etc. Make sure to check the undercarridge for rust. The body looks great in the pictures, but this van could have been a Santa Cruz resident to date, lots of salt on the air/roads there.
Notes for the seller: If you’re selling a rig like this with a fresh engine swap, provide the details. Who did it? How much did it cost? What is the actual engine code? This looks like a standard VW AAZ, though not sure. Also, why is the vehicle history not available? Are you the original owner? What does the under carriage look like?