Beastly! ’91 Syncro 16″ Camper w/ Triple Knobs & AAZ Diesel Engine – $45k in SLO, CA

1991 VW Vanagon Syncro 16" Westfalia Camper Diesel Triple Knob $45k in San Louis Obispo, CA

1991 VW Vanagon Syncro 16″ Westfalia Camper Diesel Triple Knob $45k in San Louis Obispo, CA

I pretty much dropped everything this morning to post about this awesome rig up for grabs in San Louis Obispo, CA. This beast is a 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Camper with a 1.9L AAZ Diesel engine, manual transmission with taller 3rd and 4th gears, front locker, rear locker and decoupler. Known as the “Syncro 16”, this is a special breed of 4wd Vanagon that comes beefed up and reinforced straight from the factory. You can read the full story on the Syncro 16 history over on Of the 44,000 Syncros made, only 2,100 of them are Syncro 16″s.

Drivetrain – The engine is a 1.9L mTDI (AAZ code) with a stated 87k miles on it. It was recently given oil service, fuel filter, fuel lines, and injectors along with timing adjustment. While the seller doesn’t state their MPGs, my estimate is probably up to 26 HWY with the 4wd disengaged. The transmission has taller 3rd and 4th gear, which given the van already has 16″ wheels on it, it probably cruises very nice on the highway. A huge bonus for the aficionados, is this is a true “triple knob”, meaning you can easily lock the front and/or rear differential, and also disengage the front wheel drive for regular driving or cruising.

Extras – Two spare tires and carriers on the rear bumper, crucial for those long Baja tours. A Fiamma 45s awning in good shape is also icing on the cake for those adventures in the hot sun. It sounds like the fridge and stove are stock, but with updated piping for the propane set up, all implied to be working. An added uninstalled bonus is a Webasto propane heater, though the thermostat is already installed.

Conclusion – Yes, it’s $45k, that’s some serious coin to drop on a 30 year old van. However, if you’ve been watching the price of syncro campers over the past couple of years, you know that a diesel triple knob in good shape will go for at least this, if not more.  My guess is it will sell in the next week or two, for no less than $40k, especially in this region. The seller didn’t provide the VIN, so of course you’ll want to get that and run a CarFax report or similar to get the history.  What do you think it’s worth?  Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to the individual conversations about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there.

Sources : The Samba Link – Craigslist Link – Picasa Photo Album


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  2. It’s not a TDI nor original Westy. Notice the rectangular hole cut in the roof.

  3. Reply
    jose diaz at

    For sale?

  4. I’m your interested in your ’91 VW Syncro Westy. Contact me on email below for discussion. Where is it? I’m in N.Y.; but, willing to travel to see it and consider purchase. Some concerns with the remarks about the camper in general. Today is Mach 27, 2017. Please reply, Unky

  5. Is this still available?

  6. I would like to work a deal out with a dealer to trade my vehicle in for yours. If that possible let me know.


    • Reply
      Dimitris at

      If it is an mTDI then it is not an AAZ

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