Burning Van This Saturday Jan 24th @ Ocean Beach, SF

Burning Van (def 1):  "an unorganized bunch of Vanagon Westfalia lovers hanging out at the beach, talking, grilling food, drinking beer, playing music, selling, trading, surfing and other things containing ing". Last year was a blast (see header image on top of this website), and the weather was epic. While El Nino has brought the fury down upon us this season, the forecast for Sunday the 24th looks promising according to gypsie fortune weather tellers.  The unofficial gathering will be held here, at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.  The unofficial start time is noon, and with a dry day in the works, and Sunday in SF, if you want a primo parking spot next to other Westys, be sure to get here early, before 11am, if not 10 or 9.  For those not familiar with this location, the parking is free all day, even on weekends, though it's not a "camp out" event and I believe the lot shuts down a couple few hours after dark.

This is a GREAT event for newbies to the Westfalia addiction, whether you're looking to purchase your first, or have recently become an owner and enthusiast yourself.  In fact, I recall at least five Westys with for sale signs in them last year. There's more info on this thread on The Samba, this post on VW Camper Family and this post on the Vanagon Owners Facebook group.

Alas, due to being 300 miles away and stacked with work, I don't think I can make it this time around. However I still feel like there's a chance I'll wake up at 3am on Sunday and just drive.… Read More About This Westy


1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper – Auto Trans 62k Miles – Long Beach, CA

Not sure what's up with these automatics, but we've seen more than the usual proportion for sale in recent weeks. Again, I could see the benefit of owning one, mainly that your friends and family could drive it much easier, rather than worrying sick every time they try to shift your manual, or find reverse.  This van recently closed at $19,900 high bid back on December 16th, but has been relisted due to "non payment". The current auction ends on Saturday January 9th at 8pm PST, with the high at bid at time of this posting being at $12,200 from 10 prospective buyers.

This specimen is a 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with stock 2.1L engine, stock automatic transmission and reportedly only 62k miles. I find this listing curious, as the seller claims it is their own personal vehicle, however I did notice their listing didn't receive the Free eBay Auto Check, which means they've listed at least 7 vehicles on eBay this year.  After reviewing their negative feedback, it seems they've rubbed a couple of buyers the wrong way in the past year.

"Grossly misrepresented. Opening up a law suit against this guy. Rusted out"

"Seller lied and tricked me. Car was literally falling apart. Nothing worked."

So, with that in mind, be sure to see this vehicle in person and also run a Car Fax report to try and verify the mileage, as the seller did provide the VIN WV2ZB0256LG102216.  Note the seller also refers to the very visible damage as "there is a small dent".

If it wasn't for the unverified mileage, negative feedback and the dent, this rig looks like a dream find.  It's all stock, very, very clean inside and out, no visible rust, and aside from the dent in the slider door and passenger side rear panel, it's almost perfect. The dash is beautiful, the upholstery is beautiful, the kitchen is beautiful, the undercarriage is beautiful, the original pop top tent, is almost beautiful.  Keep in mind we just saw a 1990 Westy Camper Automatic with 112k miles (and no dent) sell for only $15,556 in Palm Springs. IMO, had the seller taken better photos, it would have had more eyeballs and interest.

What do you think this one is worth? Are you going to see it?  Do you know who bid on it before and backed out? Or Why? We'd love to know.  Share your wisdom in the comments below, or head on over to the individual discussions about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your banter there. If the mileage is accurate and everything works perfectly, I'd say it's worth at least $18k. Spend another $2k to fix the door and match up the paint and off you go.

 … Read More About This Westy


1990 Westy Camper w/ 112k Miles & Auto Trans – Auction in Palm Springs, CA

This auction has been stealing some eyeballs over the past few days and is another great litmus test to see what folks on the West Coast are will to pay for a unmolested late model Westy.  What we have here is a 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with stock 2.1L engine, stock automatic transmission, and pretty much stock everything as far as I can tell.

A big highlight of this specimen is that the seller provides the VIN ( WV2ZB0251LH118608 ) and the Auto Check report, which shows a very likely verifiable mileage of only 112k. Being all stock, this is a blank canvas for anyone to build out their dream Westy.  It also looks to be rust free, with the interior and exterior in great shape, including what is likely the original pop top tent.  While there's no mention of whether or not the kitchen appliances work, they look hardly used at all.

However, the photos the seller provided do kinda suck, and there's no clear picture of the notoriously rusty kitchen seam on the drivers side.  If I were the seller, I'd take a new set of clear pictures of all the seams, seals, undercarriage,  along with a video walk around, and document the engine starting, running, and of the appliances working in all modes. Going the distance here will always lead to a higher final bid value.

What we did see with the most recent auction I posted about, is that automatic transmission still seem to fetch far less (10% - 20% or more) than their manual counterparts, for obvious reasons.  However, there is one main benefit to an auto trans in my opinion. Your friends and family can drive it, if you let them.  Driving a manual vanagon is an art form, and even if you've got experience with a stick, the vanagon will take some getting used to, especially if your stick experience is with newer high revving short shift vehicles.

At the time of this post it has 38 bids from 8 bidders with the current high bid at $12,800. Auction Ends Sunday January 3rd at 1:45pm PST. eBay Link   I have a feeling the seller is hoping for more than $20k, but I'm not sure if the high bid will clear that price.   What do you think it's worth? Are you going to see it?  Let us know what you think in the comments below, or head on over the individual discussions about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there.… Read More About This Westy


Nice ’85 Westy Camper – 112k – Auto Trans – Everything Works – Auction in Turlock , CA

As some of my regular readers know, I've got a soft spot for '85 campers as that's what I've been rolling for the past 3 years or so.  While it's not the same color, and this one is an automatic, still would make a great last minute Holiday Gift for that special someone 🙂  This great looking specimen is a 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with 121k miles, stock rebuilt 1.9L engine with 8k miles and stock automatic transmission.  It's up for grabs near Modesto, CA with a relatively low starting bid of $11,800, and not too high Buy It Now of $14,500.  The seller specifically states "This is a no reserve auction.", So maybe they're really willing to let it go for $12k?  eBay Link - Auction ends Thursday December 24th at 1:38pm PST (Christmas Eve)


Potential Awesome

  • According to the free eBay Auto Check report, the 121k miles might be accurate.  There's a ton of mileage stamps on this one.  You could double check the VIN WV2ZB0258FH038257 at Car Fax too.
  • The seller states they spent $5k on rebuilding the engine only 12k miles ago, with receipts of all work.
  • The sink, stove and fridge are all said to work.  There's no picture of the propane tank, so you'll want to factor that as well.  The original tanks on these are now 30 years old.
  • Fresh 3 window tent canvas and associated seals. Always a major plus, and $1,000 in labor and parts easy.
  • It's been worked on by Mahoney Motors in Modesto, CA, which by all accounts seems like a reputable VW shop.
  • It's got some extra electronic bells and whistles like a fresh battery w/ cut out switch, remote alarm, Kenwood 6 disc changer, Rockford Fosgate rear speakers.
  • This looks mostly original and would be a great blank unmolested canvas for a new owner.  The chrome on the drivers side rain gutter even shines, as these usually fade and fall off by now.

I'm not really sure what else I'd ask the owner.  Make sure to drive it around and see if it shifts smoothly.  Check out the propane tank and valves, look at the undercarriage. Otherwise, especially considering the engine rebuild, this could be a nice find for the right person looking for a potentially reliable automatic camper for under $15k.

What do you think it's worth? Are you going to see it?  Let us know in the comments below, or head on over to the individual posts about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there.… Read More About This Westy


1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper – Auto – Seattle, WA Auction

Here's an interesting find that's going to be catching some eyeballs this week. This van is a 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper with stock 2.1 L engine, stock automatic transmission and only 113k miles on the odometer. There's quite a lot of color provided by the seller in terms of pictures (84 photos on Photobucket), including a variety of photos of the undercarriage, seams and minutia, which is super nice of them to provide.  However, not much mechanical history is provided.  The seller does provide the VIN WV2ZB0254LH002402 and the free eBay Auto Check report shows relatively believable mileage (only 7k in the past decade?). Also note the seller is brand new to eBay with only 1 feedback (positive) as a buyer, so be sure to make some human contact with them before handing the cash (as always).


Potential Awesome!

  • It looks like it's great shape, and "might" be the original Bordeaux Red Metallic paint, however the "Westfalia" stencil on the rear of the van might mean otherwise.
  • Nice 15" Mercedes style wheels, fairly standard on nice Westys these days, but a nice upgrade no the less.
  • According to the details, everything works.  This includes the propane, stove, sink, fridge, lights, everything works.
  • It's really, really, clean.  Even underneath. Someone took the time to detail this Westy, and overall appears to have been cosmetically well cared for.

Potential Not Awesome.

  • While there's a new tent canvas, there's no windows... Who does that?  It might be a thicker more heat retaining material, which could be a benefit if you're sleeping 4 on cold nights.
  • It is listed on The Samba for $25k, while not astronomical, the seller has likely set the reserve price at or near that. The seller knows what the market is willing to pay, and they're likely searching for top dollar.

Depending on of course a variety of unknowns, I'd estimate this Westy is worth around $20k in the current market and region (PNW), possibly more.  What do you think it's worth? Are you going to see this Westy?  Tell us in the comments below, or head on over the individual posts about this Westy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest and share your wisdom there!  eBay Link - Auction ends Thursday, Dec 10th at 7:15pm PST.


 … Read More About This Westy