It takes an interesting specimen to catch my eye these days, and this 1983.5 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper powered by a 3.3L Subaru SVX engine, loaded with all kinds of desirable upgrades, is what brings us here today. It’s up for grabs in Ann Arbor Michigan for $26k.
It’s pretty hard to find a nice SVX camper for under $30k these days. The SVX engine is great because it’s reliable (they are sometimes used in airplanes!), it fits nicely in the vanagon engine bay, and it produces north of a whopping 200 horsepower. The seller says they purchased it in California, and I’m wondering if it has a CARB sticker and has passed smog in CA before? I’d almost consider buying this van if I knew for sure. The weak link in the chain here is the stock transmission, which isn’t the best solution for this much horsepower or torque. Plan on saving up an extra $3k – $4k for when it goes, or a little more coin to do a Subaru Gears 5 speed swap.
Mechanically it is said to be well cared for, with a variety of new parts and service over the past couple of years including steering rack and pinion, clutch and slave master cylinders, timing belt, machined heads, instrument cluster circuit foil, Go Westy 1.5 lift springs, Bilstein shocks, propane tank and a variety of other odds and ends.
- The pop top was professionally refurbished last year and looks great, all that fuzzy mold prone fabric is gone and it’s got a new tent! Not an easy job.
- Van Cafe tube bumpers with the roo bar style grill guard and rear hitch receiver.
- Truck mirrors, awesome from personal experience, and usually at least $300 a pair, if you can find them.
- House battery set up with isolator and all the fixins to power a Truck Fridge and an inverter.
- Yakima towers, bars and box. Custom ladder that mounts to the jack spot underneath.
- Chrysler stow and go fabric seats. Though not original VW seats, these are are widely known upgrade and it appears they were installed with the correct mounting brackets so they can still swivel, and they fold down. I’m personally considering these same seats for my van someday as they’re a relatively inexpensive option at about $150 each (w/o mounting hardware or install).
- It sits nicely on 16″ allow wheels and tires less than 2,000 miles old, but I can’t seem to tell which kind in the photos.
I love when the seller goes the extra mile to describe and document the details. In fact, if more sellers did this, there’d really be no reason for this website. At any rate, you can read the full scoop here on the seller’s own website, which also includes these two videos. Walk Around / Test Drive. Both videos have been seen over 100 times in the past two days, so there’s definitely some interest here. I originally noticed it for sale on The Samba. You can email scott at wolfington.net for more details.