Here’s a find that caught my eye mid work day, so here I am to tell you about it. Yes, it’s got a high sticker price, and some will balk at it, but for the right buyer, there could be some value here. This van is a 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with 154k miles on the odometer, 15k miles on a fresh Subaru EJ22 engine swap, stock automatic transmission and some overall good looks. It’s available on craigslist in Los Angeles, CA with an asking price of $27,500.
Here’s the thing. A good EJ22 Subaru swap done by Bus Lab is at least $16k, and it comes with a warranty, not sure what the status of this current build is. It may or many not have come with a warranty. This is also a CA smog compliant swap, as it was in California, by Bus Lab, with the Kennedy Engineering parts. I’d be sure to run a CarFax report to see what comes up for this Westy’s past, the seller provided the VIN here ( WV2ZB0259HH025620 ).
Aside from the awesome engine upgrade, the seller claims to have done a ton of other awesome upgrades including… A/C service, tinted windows, 15″ wheels, new propane tank, new water tank pump, gas tank reseal (important!), fresh 3 window tent and pop top seals, new springs, new stereo, new carpet and nice looking 15″ wheels. The sink, stove and fridge are implied to work, but be sure to check on the specifics here as well.
When a tired old original transmission with 140k miles meets a fresh engine with 50% more horsepower, know you’ll probably be investing in a new transmission with 50k miles, if not much sooner. The seller also mentions it has a trailer hitch, be sure to ask why they towed with it. Anything more than a bike rack is questionable.
I personally wouldn’t buy an automatic transmission, though I do see the major bonus being that it’s easy for others (friends, family) to drive it on road trips, as the manuals are a bit tricky for newbies. If I bought this van, I’d start saving for a rebuilt automatic trans from German Transaxle, and add the Peloqins for another $1,300.
All in all, I think for the right buyer in CA this is worth at least $25k, depending on many of the factors mentioned above (warranty? auto trans, etc). What do you think it’s worth? Spill your beans in the comments below, or head on over to the individual discussions about this Westy Facebook Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there!