I think I’ve seen this van around for sale recently, or one very similar, but maybe not. It currently resides in Encinitas, CA and the eBay auction ends on January 26th at 3:18 PM PST. Not many specifics were provided by the seller, but it appears to be in great shape, with the exception of what looks like some seam rust on the lower panel below the hookups on the driver side, which is a common place for the seam rust to occur. According to the CarFax report, there have only been a couple of owners. There are also some rips, or at least repaired rips in the canvas tent, and it appears to be missing a couple section of the pop top seal. A new 3 window tent will run you close to $500 (install is time consuming and/or expensive), and a pop top seal kit is around $180.
There is a Buy It Now offered at $15,500, but I think that could be a bit high, at least with the potential rust issues and unknown state of the appliances. My guess is someone would pay $13k for it, but I’m not sure what the reserve price is.
While the 1.6 L naturally aspirated diesel is super slow, there is a huge advantage to buying a van like this as a California resident. If you get tired of the motor, or the motor gets tired of you, you are free to do almost any engine conversion or swap you want, as long as you don’t tell the DMV. One very popular, reliable and cost effective gas conversion is the Bostig, which you can’t legally register in California. Anything this old registered as a diesel is smog exempt, even if you sell it to another California resident.
If I was considering this van, here are what I would ask the seller for.
- More details on the rust, along with pictures of the undercarriage.
- Pictures of the engine compartment.
- Do all appliances work? Does the fridge work on both propane and electric?
- Any other records or history of work performed?
I’ve reached out to the seller on eBay to see if they’ll post more details here in the comments, hopefully we’ll hear from them soon.