1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper – $12k in Huntington Beach, CA

1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper - $12k in Huntington Beach, CA

1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper – $12k in Huntington Beach, CA

Updated 9/10: The seller has added considerably more disclosures about this van to the craigslist post, and has also lowered his “firm” asking price of $12k down to $10,500.  I’d say after the more recent revelations about the heat/ac, fridge, shocks, tent, etc, a good price for this van is probably closer to $8k.

About an hour ago this van went up for sale on the Orange County, CA craigslist for a relatively reasonable $12k, considering the region and the appearance.  This van is a 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia camper with a stock 2.1L engine, stock 4 speed manual transmission, 217k miles and a clean title in hand. In recent time the van has enjoyed some recent upgrades including; motor mounts, cooling lines,  clutch, fuel lines,  fuel injectors, air injection hoses, air injector box,  intake manifold gasket, new plug wires and full tune up.  It looks to be mostly rust free and comes with some extras including Yakima wide body rack tabs along with Thule towers, bars and cargo box. The seller says the price is firm, I think he’ll sell this before the end of the weekend.  Find it in Huntington Beach, California with an asking price of $12,000. Craigslist Link



  1. You’ve misspelled State on your drop down menu. 🙁

  2. No worries Randy. In many cases, if the seller doesn’t need to sell their Westy right away, they’ll list it with minimal details and high asking price, in hopes it will just sell. Then they slowly start adding more details to their listings (because buyers keep asking them the same questions), and slowly start lowering their price. My best advice, is to find a Westy with 0 structural rust, intact/clean interior and a clean title. As long as you take care of it (cosmetically/structurally) it will likely go up in value in the coming years, whether the engine blows up or not. I realize $10k is a lot to have tied up in something that isn’t working, but as long as it’s got a clean title and no rust, it will be worth something, and likely a lot more in the future. Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out this link which shows most recently sold Westys on eBay. Good luck in your quest!

  3. I agree completely, it is kind of a crap shoot and true value seems to just be whatever someone is willing to pay.

    I hadn’t realized that the disclosures came later. I think our eyeball price from 10,000 feet is about the same then (I might even be a touch higher on it). I just figured our point of view is going to be a little different with me trying to buy one (hoping they are worth a little less), and you being an owner (who of course would value it more). 🙂

    It’s particularly difficult as most ads with “rebuilds” don’t come with all that much documentation so it’s hard to tell what was really “rebuilt”. Throw in the tendancy for the odometers to quit ticking and it’s really hard to get a gauge on the condition on the engine (your advice to run the VIN is very sound!). Sooner or later I’ll just have to roll the dice and hope I have a little nest egg left over for the unexpected.

    It’s also hard to go just by listing prices, as that doesn’t necessarily equate to what they sold for. I like how you go back and update the ebay listings with the actual sold price (that is VERY useful!).

    Hope I didn’t come off the wrong way. I DO think this website is a great resource and I appreciate you putting it together and continuously updating it.

  4. Thanks for the feedback Randy. Buying a Westy is always going to be a crap shoot, and there’s only so much I can tell from pictures and descriptions. With prices and interest in these vehicles going up every day, an actual ‘market value’ is going to vary wildly depending on a variety of factors, like where the vehicle is located. I figured this was a nice looking Westy for the price because it was in So Cal, however since he’s had a hard time selling it, it must not be what he says it is. Also, they’ve added considerable detail to the craigslist post since I last saw it. If the fridge doesn’t work, the heater and ac are funky, and he openly states it needs new springs/shocks, etc. With all of the recent disclosures in his post, I’d say the fair price is closer to $8k. However, since it is in So Cal, someone might be interested in paying more, especially if it is mostly rust free.

  5. Here we are over a month later and this has still not sold even after he reduced the price about a week after he listed it to $10,500. The reality is that a high mileage vehicle (217K) with no rebuild history is just not worth that kind of money and the market is proving that out. I tried to offer the guy around 9K for it a month ago (didn’t even get a response), but now that I realize how expensive it is to rebuild or put a new motor in these, I’m kind of glad he didn’t take me up on it.

    I think this website is a great resource, but you do have a tendency to over value a bit IMHO, and that advice could be a dangerous thing for people trying to get in on owning one of these wonderful (but costly) vehicles. My family and I are trying to be patient and allow enough slack in our budget to deal with the inevitable maintenance that would just kill someone who badly over paid on a Westy that was nearing the end of it’s engine life.

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