Salvaged Syncro – 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper Auction in San Rafael, CA

Salvaged Syncro - 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper Auction in Sa

Salvaged Syncro – 1990 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper Auction in San Rafael, CA ends Monday April 20th

Updated 4/21/15 at 9am PST: See comments below this post from seller.

With reasonably priced syncros getting more rare by the mintue, this auction is sure to turn some heads. This 1990 VW Vanagon Syncro (AWD) Westfalia Camper features a stock 2.1L engine, stock 4+low manual transmission and salvage title that occurred over 12 years and 70k+ miles ago. The seller doesn’t provide any details into what actually happened here, but the records show the van was totaled and put in possession of the insurance company. However, the seller does go to the extend of being very transparent about everything else, including a Car Fax and Auto Check report they purchased, along with a dropbox folder full of photos. With the original mileage still under 200k, the seller goes to great lengths to describe all work done in the past 12 years including suspension, brakes, decoupler, wheels, tires, solar set up and a variety of other odds and ends. This Syncro Westy is located in San Rafael, California and the auction ends on Monday, April 20th at noon PST.  eBay Link

Some things I like about this Syncro Westy

  • Not may for sale right now under $30k, maybe this seller is expecting more than that, but with a salvage title, many will be wary.
  • It’s seen almost as much time and mileage with a salvage vehicle as it did without, whoever fixed it up likely knew what they were doing.
  • Black windows, black steel wheels, South African Grill & Headlights. Looks bad ass.
  • Rear hatch ladder.  Would love to have one of these someday. If it’s aluminium, be careful it doesn’t get stuck to the steel!
  • Newer decoupler and drive shaft. Syncro front wheel drive/all wheel drive lasts so much longer when it’s not running full time.
  • It has a 2nd knob as well, likely a rear locker?
  • Old Man Emu shocks. Yeah.
  • Newer 3 window tent canvas.  These are just mandatory. Less mold and old, more durable, more windows. duh.
  • Custom console around the stick shift between the seats.  These are so handy, so much unused and awkward space here.  I’m not sure which one this is, or if it’s custom, but they’re not cheap.
  • 4 mounted Yakima wide body rack tabs. If they’re mounted properly and no cracks, this comes in handy and the older towers and bars that fit these can be found on craigslist for fairly cheap.

Some things I’m weary of

  • Well, Salvage title of course
  • Seam rust starting to brew, not sure how much is underneath.
  • Power windows and locks, these notoriously fail when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
  • Fridge doesn’t work. No word on sink, stove or propane situation.

All in all, it will be exciting to see how much someone is willing to pay for this, as syncro demand is higher than ever.  Could it for for north of $30k?  Let us know what you think in the comments below, or share your wisdom on the individual discussions about this Westy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+.

  1. After 7 bids from 4 bidders this Syncro Westy appears to have sold for $22,400. Did the seller follow through? If so, someone got a dizel fo shizel

  2. This morning I received a reply from the seller, who added a bit more color and cleared up some thing.

    “I bumped into your site a couple of month ago when I was starting to think about selling my syncro. I love it! Anyways, thanks for mentioning my van. I’ll try to answer some of the questions you had:
    My reserve price on E-bay is well bellow $30K. I am aware that a salvaged title is not ideal. It was the source of some anxiety filled nights after I purchased the car, but after 70,000 miles on it, if I didn’t know the car had been in an accident … I still wouldn’t know. I was particularly worried about uneven tire wear which would have shown some potential issues with the frame. But my first set of tires did well, so I let go of the issue. As you know, it is really hard to price a syncro fairly. So I though that putting it on e-bay with a relatively low reserve would let the market decide the value.
    You are correct, the 2 knobs for the decoupler …. one of them is a rear locker.
    Yes, the center console is fully custom … I could never find what I wanted, so I made it. This one is actually version 2.0.
    The seam rust is certainly a concern. I did have a custom body shop (regular body shop don’t even want to look at this kind of cars) look at it. The seem by the propane tank could be clean and redone, the felt that it was unlikely to be issues with that one. But the small bubbles below the driver door should be address sooner then later. I just cannot put anymore money in the car, time for someone else to take this on.
    The sink and stove do work well. The fridge did work for a long time and may need a good cleaning to get it going. When I bought the car, the fridge didn’t work and I took it apart and completely cleaned it … and it worked for many years after that.
    As far as the accident.All I know it that it was a front / passenger side collision. As I show on the picture, the only trace of such accident is the dented beam under the car.”

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