1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia w/Auto Trans & Minor Issues – $13k In Merced, CA

1990 Vanagon Westfalia Full Camper With Auto Trans - $13k In Merced

1990 Vanagon Westfalia Full Camper With Auto Trans – $13k In Merced, CA (needs trans work)

Just listed on The Samba a few hours ago, this 1990 Westy Full Camper appears to be in great cosmetic shape, but is a little rough around the edges mechanically.  This is another prime example of a potentially awesome van where the seller just isn’t doing a good job of “selling” it.  I’m not a fan of automatics, however some people love them.  Speaking of the transmission, the biggest notable issue is a leaky transmission which might cost close to a grand to fix.  You can get a new rebuilt top of the line automatic transmission from GoWesty for $2,000, which might be a good idea if this transmission is the original. There’s also an issue with one of the window switches.  I’m a fan of the manual windows and locks, but I’m not sure if those were even an option on the 1990 campers. The seller also states they are willing to trade for a split window bus, newer Subaru or Mazda 3/6, indeed a random selection of vehicles.  The tent is original but appears to be in great shape, and there’s some nice fog lights too.  My guess is there could be other unmentioned upgrades as well.

Here are a few questions I would ask the seller if you’re considering this van.

  • Documentation and details around the engine rebuild.
  • VIN or title / CarFax check report.
  • Odometer reading? Is it accurate?
  • Pictures of undercarriage?


  1. I like the control of having a manual, and they are often easier/cheaper to repair. With the standard motors, Vanagaons are under powered, so the manual is nice. However, in all honesty, I’ve never driven an automatic Vanagon. With one like this, rather than fix it, if you have the coin just put in a brand auto transmission and take care of it, should work out well.

  2. Interested in automatic because my wife would enjoy it more
    too. What makes you steer clear of the auto personally?
    Kyle S.

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