This mostly stock 1991 VW Vanagon Westfalia Weekender showed up for sale on The Samba classifieds last night and comes with a very proud asking price of $23,900. The prime selling features of this Westy include a recent “windows out” paint job in the original Orly Blue color, along with a fresh rebuild of the 2.1L engine. With the exception of the cruise control not functioning and a sticky rear hatch lock, the seller states this van is perfect and gives it a 9/10 or 10/10 in all areas. It comes with power everything including locks, windows, mirrors, cold A/C and an automatic transmission. While $24k is a tall order for a stock weekender, a professional windows out paint job and rebuilt 2.1L engine is going to run anywhere between $10k and $18k. This is reportedly the 3rd owner and they did provide the VIN ( WV2TB0251MG010471 )so you could do your homework on CarFax, AutoCheck, etc. Check it out just south of Los Angeles in Rancho Santa Margarita with an asking price of $23,900. The Samba Link
This Westy isn’t for everyone, however if you want something reliable and rust free with an auto trans and power everything, it’s a decent find for the So Cal area. Go Westy would change 3X this price for a similar van, and while it would have been more of a thorough restore, this Westy might not need that kind of pampering and attention and could be just fine as is.
Have any words of wisdom or advice to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or head on over to the discussion about this Westy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +
I like the look of this Westy a lot. It looks a lot cleaner than some of the other high priced restores that have sat, like the couple from San Juan Capistrono that booth look like they were taken a part, and put together in a way that the pieces didn’t quite fit. I’m glad I found it on here so I could see the discussion in a non-samba light. The following of these things *is* weird.
I recently got a 1990/91 unusual GL model that was like a Carat, but without power windows or locks. Got it for $4300, and have since put just as much in it at the mechanics to get it as hassle free as is possible with a Volkswagen.
With these cars it seems like you pay now or you pay later. I might as well get one that’s a project to start with. That way when the work is done, I don’t have to wonder who did it, or the quality. Also I have the advantage of picking and choosing what work I do.
I’m in Orange County, so I have several guru status mechanics that are local in case anything majorly bad happens.
I think for owning these vehicles, knowing a mechanic who has experience working on these comes in handy, especially for someone who is new to Vanagon culture like me. I am simply unable to do any of the work myself safely yet. And I want to make sure that the vehicle will remain serviceable for a long time. (Maybe one reason why they command a higher price than other states?)
Still, if I wanted something Turnkey. . . . . This weekender is tempting. Wouldn’t be surprised of the boys at GoWesty might be considering this one for someone who made a $5,000 dream deposit.
Be aware. It appears over a 1/4 of the Westys have had broken odometers, too.
Essentially, I’d take miles/mileage with a grain of salt. Almost all get an engine every 100-135k (yes, there rare 200k+ examples orig miles) and have had a rebuild or new motor.
Most important thing is it wawa shop that did it RIGHT. There’s a lot of poorly done rebuilds out there. Get a full compression and leakdown test. I’d prefer a healthy 90k miler orig over a poorly newer rebuild anyway.
People with more money than Sense? 😉
And there’s a lot of them 🙂 If you live in So Cal, have $500k in the bank and were like, “hey, I want a nice reliable well sorted Westy that I can just get in and drive, and I don’t have time to look and bicker about prices, I’ll just buy this one”, This van is kind of a good deal for that person, especially when put next to a comparable GoWesty van.
I know, likely from even experience in only 15k dropping 3 grand.. That just get in and don’t worry just isn’t reality with these vehicles. If someone wanted that, they’d get a Toyota mini van and put a platform bed in it. Of course, without the style and interior functionality of the rad Westy.
Honestly, I still can’t fathom 18k for this. But that 500k in the bank guy won’t mind dropping the cost of buying a Toyota minivan every 2 yrs to fix this one as needed.
It’s the culture of VW folks, but only heightened with the WBX or air coolers.
I have a strong feeling that once someone introduces something as practical the values will likely slide.
Always wondered why Subaru has not created a small cam and camper with AWD. It would likely have a massive following.
Great site Mike, very impressive and helpful for someone like me who is in the market for a late model Westy; but am new to this while Westy scene / sub culture……Here is my question: Ive been looking at these all over the web for 2 months and so so many times they state “30k miles on rebuilt engine”………maybe 20k but in any regard it is hard not to get suspicious given the suggestion that so many sellers rebuilt their engines and then precious at the same time (30k) seem to want to sell their van- Evidentlly from coast to coast the amount of so called rebuilds that have 30k or 20k miles and owners that decided they must sell is incredible (as a buyer it gives me pause because I don’t believe it) it’s seems an anomolie when I find a posting that says engine rebuild 75k miles ago ………incredible coincidence or simply not true? Your insight would be appreciated…. Jason
I agree it can be a bit odd, but sometimes Westys get expensive and people need the cash. They’re also going up in value. I bought one of these same Westys about two years ago. 1985 Camper with 120k miles and 30k on a rebuilt engine and transmission, for $way to low. I’ve put a couple grand into it, at least, ball joints, bushings, fuel tank/line reseal, master cylinder, etc. Maybe put on about 15k miles. It runs great. I think the main thing to try and research is who did the rebuild, do they have paper work, are they legit? The rebuild mine came with had a warranty for 2 years 20k miles, but it had expired, but it still came with a legit warranty, which means the shop was willing to back their work and the rebuilt engine. I also heard horror stories of someone buying a Westy with <50k on a rebuild and it blows up on the way home. As my westy buying tips page mentions, drive as many as you can, listen to as many engines as you can, read, research, etc.
Thoughtful and helpful – Thx Mike
$10-13K is dreaming, but so is $24K. If the WBX and other mechanicals are solid, I see $18K as “a fair price” in the current market.
I agree .. Bells and whistles. The paint job is one of those “you’ll never see a return for”. I guess I my mind, if it isn’t rusty or really scratched up, I’d would leave the paint totally alone.
Mystical? You posted 2 of those -20k milers. Remember the guy that couldn’t spell a single word with an 87+ and the brown 85 on the Coast of OR with under 35k? They were both priced under 20 grand. They went weeks before the sellers sold or gave up.
I think there’s a weird market. The yuppies spending 30k plus at Go Westy, or people seeking a decent models under 12 grand.
Most of the Westies in PDX are totally over priced. But the 5k or better 85+ Westys with 125k or less seem to sell well. Others just go months without a bite.
That brown one, UPS color with some rust and 103k was on the market for $5800 for quite a while. Rust is not worth the time I think.
If it was a new Subaru conversion with solar and auxiliary battery, maybe 20k. That’s just too much for a WBX one.
Auto and power windows further decreases it’s desirability for a lot of people. At least those that know the flexibility with gears will help get it going reasonably and the PW option means more issues (switches going out).
Recently we’ve seen models that spent years in garages with 20k orig miles going for 20 grand or less.
I see a 10-13 grand Westy, here.
Always love your input Kenny, though you keep speaking of this one mystical 20k original mile late model Westy for under $20k, and I’ve yet to see it. Remember to tack on an extra 20% for being in So Cal. A quality engine rebuild and windows out paint job cost more than your estimate 🙂 I think will sell for at least $19k, if it is everything they say it is. I do agree with all the power stuff though, especially the windows and locks, I would never get one, but tons of folks with $$$ to burn are all about the bells and whistles of conveniences.