1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia High Top w/ 1.6L Turbo Diesel – Auction in Cambridge, Mass

1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia High Top w/ 1.6L Turbo Diesel - Auction in Cambridge, Mass

1982 VW Vanagon Westfalia High Top w/ 1.6L Turbo Diesel – Auction in Cambridge, Mass

We all live in a yellow submarine…. Here’s an eye catching beauty up for grabs on the East Coast with only a few days left to bid.  This van is a 1982 VW Vanagon 1.6L Turbo Diesel that used to be a Westfalia Camper pop top, though at some point it received an AdventureWagon high top in place of the pop top.  It’s up for auction in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with an auction end date of Wednesday, August 26th at 2:16pm PST.  eBay LINK  I honestly don’t even know where to start with this thing….

The 1.6L Turbo Diesel is an odd and rare engine, especially for North America. It currently has an oil leak from the head somewhere, though it is stated to be very slow an manageable.  The current owner states the van get’s about 21mpg city and 24mpg hwy, with a top speed of 65mph.  While this is a relatively desirable powerplant, it’s weak, and if driven to the floor for a while, it will probably blow up sooner than later. If you buy this, drive it gently, slowly, like it’s made of glass.  The seller references an upgraded transmission, however no other details are provided. It likely just got taller 3rd and 4th gears on a rebuild at some point.

It got a fresh coat of yellow paint and a fresh undercoating as well.  The build thread on the Samba shows the before and after, so it’s wasn’t in too bad of shape to begin with, though the body is approaching 300k miles. The seller did provide the VIN ( WV2YG0256CH037262 ) and the free eBay Auto Check report shows a very high score of 41. If you’re going to drop some serious coin, you may want to consider a Car Fax report as well. Next, amenities.

  • TF49 Truck Fridge to replace the old Dometic.  This is pretty much the fridge of choice for Vanagons these days. It runs on electric only, but is far more efficient than the original Dometic, and has a great freezer too.
  • Solar power set up.  This appears to have all the proper goodies, relays, charge controllers, monitors, etc in place. Not just a slap it together a cheap as possible job, this looks close to pro.  The 140 watt module alone is $250. Let alone all the time, wiring, do dads and batteries involved in setting this all up.
  • Propex HS 2000 Propane Heater.  This is where I really start to get jealous. These are $800 just for the parts, not to install. It would be amazing to post up on a 20 degree night somewhere and just roll that thermostat.
  • Heavy Duty LT Truck Mirrors. While not the most expensive upgrade in the list, these are a super nice and on my wish list.  At $200 each, that’s a $400 upgrade.
  • Dat Rack…. Yowzers.  So a big disadvantage with high tops is not being able to put things “on top”. Well, this amazing rack set up solves that problem, though currently it holds the solar panels. Mounting to the rain gutters, and going over the high top.  This thing looks sturdy, though you’ll definitely need a ladder to get anywhere near it.
  • Other awesome upgrades include SewFine Vanagon curtains, premium Dynamat soundproofing, thermal insulation behind sink cabinet and stove, Alpine bluetooth sound system, center console over stickshift, grey water holding tank, pergo wood flooring, later model font seats w/ arm rests, new front ball joints, bushings, etc,

For more ooodling and ahhhhing, check out their 50 photo Flickr Album  –   Video 1  –   Video 2  –  The Samba Build Thread  –  eBay Link

What do you think it’s worth? Any guesses on the winning bid?  I’m thinking at least $20k, if not much higher.  The main drawbacks to this van are the high miles and kind of weak engine, other than that it looks like a very nice build.  The seller says they’re looking for something 4wd.  If it were me, and money wasn’t an option, I’d drop in a 1.9L AAZ mTDI, a new transmission with Peloquins TBD, and 16in wheels. I just blurted out roughly $15k to $20k in upgrades, but hey, one can dream.   What do you think? What would you do to it? Let us know in the comments below the video, or head on over the individual conversations about this van on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google + and share you wisdom there!

1 Comment
  1. I’ll go with 11 grand, Max.. For that niche of a person who doesn’t mind never exceeding 55 mph and struggling to reach that speed at all.

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