While I try to keep this blog focused on Westfalias, (vs. other Vanagons), I will provide my thoughts if a fan of the site wants my thoughts on a particular VW van for sale. Today a request came in for this Vanagon, for sale in So Cal from a user on TheSamba.com.
First, this van is nice because it is a newer 1990, but it also comes with power locks, power windows and power mirrors. These often get quirky, and why I personally prefer the earlier years. I don’t prefer automatic transmissions, but if you live in a hilly city with lots of stop and go traffic, and you get a well taken care of automatic transmission, then it can make sense. With stock Vanagons being under powered, no one wants to climb steep hills in traffic with a manual. Keep in mind you’ll wear an automatic transmission out much quicker this way, but you can always get a new one. There’s a long article over at GoWesty that describes both the manual and automatic in great detail.
On the plus side, in terms mileage (140k), condition(no rust) and asking price($6,800), this looks like a pretty decent deal. It also comes with 2 jump seats, so it’s really a 7 passenger van. One advantage to the tin tops vs Westys, is you can attach multiple racks to the gutters and add all kinds of boxes or attachments, they’ll take a lot more weight than a fiberglass pop top.
Things I would ask this seller if I was considering the van?
- As always, I’d do a VIN check to see if mileage is accurate and for branding / salvage issues.
- Get pictures of the undercarriage and wheel wells.
Today I also started a Westy Buying Tips page, which I plan to regularly update as I continue with my Westy porn habit. If you’re new to researching and buying Vanagons and Westfalias, it might help you get a jump start on the process.