1980 Mercedes Westfalia: A Better VW?

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The Westfalia name has long been associated with VW vans with parts of the cabin dedicated to sleeping quarters and cooking stations, but the conversion company also holds a relationship with Mercedes. This 1980 Mercedes 207D series Westfalia here on eBay is claimed to be a barn find and one of a very few examples in the U.S. I don’t doubt that claim, as I’ve never laid eyes on one before today. 

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There’s not a lot of info given about the vehicle’s history, though the seller does emphasize that despite being in a barn for 25 years, the interior remains dry and the camper elements are in good shape. Based on the photos, the cooking station and sink are certainly presentable, and the wood trim remains in good condition. One of the key differentiators between the Mercedes and the VW is the ample headroom the Benz offers, making it possible to even stand upright while walking front to back.

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The cockpit also remains in good nick, with what looks like a crack-free dash and clean seating surfaces. I’m just guessing, but the manual transmission is likely hooked up to 4 cylinder diesel that can achieve upper 20s on the highway. That’s purely anecdotal commentary, but some of these campers were equipped in that fashion. There might be component-sharing between it and the G-Wagen, but either way, parts will likely be hard to come by.

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Even if parts were difficult to track down, how appealing is that rear bench seat, parked next to ample natural daylighting? I am eager to get down to Sebring this year for the annual endurance races, and a rig like this would be perfect for camping in style and comfort (well, style is subjective, I suppose.) The opening bid of $5,000 seems fair, but I hope the reserve is south of the asking price of $20K – without more details on its maintenance history, that’s a big ask.

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Comments

  1. Paul

    It’s not a westfalia, It’s a hymermobile. Different brand.

  2. boxdin

    Hymer is probably the largest RV maker in Germany for sure and maybe all of Europe. Nice rig but not my style.

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    I’m not feeling a comparison to a VW Bus is really sensible but that’s neither here nor there.

    Mechanical parts won’t be a problem to source, MB has the best parts support in the business. Interior parts for the conversion might be a different matter but that doesn’t look to be a necessity, and originality likely has no bearing with a rig like this.

  4. bobhess Bob Hess Member

    Can’t believe you have now set up the site to where we have to wait for the ads to all pop up before we can go through the listed cars……

  5. Francisco

    I would bet that neither air conditioning nor a shower are available in this rig, as neither were that important to Europeans in the ’80’s.

    • duke

      its still not import to most(not all)europeans ……

      • hhaleblian

        neither is shaving legs

      • Audifan

        That statement from fluke (duke) does not make sense at all……..and its (it’s) actually quite dumb and unfounded.
        Sometimes re-reading a post or using a spell checker is advised.

        Even if I guess the meaning properly its making no sense know way and know how…..

        P.S.. My spelling errors were intentional. LOL.

    • audifan

      If you had read the description you would have noticed that there is a bathroom mentioned.
      The two comments about European hygiene make me laugh. Obviously both commenters have not been over there in a loooong time.
      Even Europeans IMPORTED showering and leg shaving for females a while ago because it is IMPORTANT. LOL

      • Francisco

        I didn’t intend to comment negatively on European hygiene Audifan, I lived in Europe in the 80’s (Italy and Switzerland). Many of the houses and apartments (including mine) had only bathtubs, albeit with showerhead faucets, and bidets. Air conditioning was almost non-existent in houses and cars. I’m not the one who commented on leg shaving. Most of the pretty young ladies I knew had lovely legs. There were a few exceptions.

  6. Maurice

    Having grown up in Holland/Germany I have had a few of these in my (poor) college years. Yes, they are extremely dependable and will take you anywhere when serviced right. The main issue with these in their factory guise is they take you anywhere r e a l l l l y y y….. s s l o o o o w w w w …

  7. MountainMan

    This is cool. As somebody who has been traveling in my RV full time for 13 months ( my wife is a RN and currently a travel nurse so we have been on an extended working vacation) I can say this looks very usable. The ad states it has a full bathroom so the comment concerning no shower is not warranted. The potential for mpg up in the 20’s is very appealing as we currently get 10 mpg when towing our jeep behind our 29′ class C we have been using. The price is high IMHO when compared to other RVs but I dont know what its value really is. We have been looking to upgrade to a larger class A motorhome (the Benz iz also a class A) and I can tell you that for $20,000 you can find a pretty decent and modern unit with slide outs, nice surfaces, etc. The seller states the exterior is “ratty” so personally I like this a lot but wouldnt spend 20 large on it. If it were $5k-$7k I would seriously consider it.

  8. jim s

    interesting RV with a manual transmission but seller is going to have to work much harder, photos and text, to sell this. interesting find.

    • Francisco

      I agree. There are no photos showing gray and black water tank drainage valves. Also the sink doesn’t have hot and cold water faucet. This looks like the faucet you find on boats which are cold water only and operated with a foot pump. Both hint to me there is no hot and cold pressurized plumbing system, which led me to suspect there is no shower. I could be wrong in all cases. If there was air conditioning, there would be a visible unit on the roof. I see a door for a generator, but is there one in there? That would be important information. And finally, why does the seller call the Dometic fridge “pointless?” In my experience these are quite reliable appliances which run on a/c, d/c, and propane.

  9. Gearheadengineer

    OK, confession time: when I first glanced at the top photo, my mind saw an “n” instead of the “r.”

    Nice RV. MountainMan, that sounds like a cool lifestyle. Kind of thing I dream about, but no way my wife would go for it.

  10. Jim

    Bobsmy…., I think the Westfaila(VW Bus) reference was from the Ebay Description. I think it’s a region in Germany where they were both manufactured.

  11. Steve

    Disagree about MB having good parts support. I had a 99 SL500 and by 2007 much of the interior parts were NS1. Mechanical parts were still avail a the usual absurd prices.

  12. Blyndgesser

    The forecast of high 20s mpg is a fantasy. Even a 240D that weighs half as much and has far less frontal area is hard pressed to break 30 mpg.

  13. Woodie Man

    This rig is like the bastard child of a really ugly seventies Winnie…..

    • jim s

      i like the look of that style of winnie, more so with the shorter ones. if i could find one that came stock with a inline six and manual transmission i might have to raid the bank account.

  14. Olaf E

    Hi Jeff,
    Disagree this camper is a ’80 207D, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_TN
    Mercedes Benz TN 1977 – 1995 207D, 208, 307D & 308

  15. MountainMan

    Yeah, I am extremely lucky. The wife knew I had been wanting to do this for a while and one eve informed me she was ready. It has been lots of fun so far but I miss my cars back home. I think everybody should do it for at least a year. We intend to take a break from traveling for about 2 years…spend the time here in the PNW, get my cars and motorcycles up here and upgrade the RV and take off again when the time is right

  16. RandyfromtheNorthernpartoftheLowerHalfofMichigan

    Breaker Brake there camper man Do really enjoy these late nights on the road with all of these 18 wheelers that travel up & down these roads and hills and gave me some Really Great places to pull off for a few hours and the sun starts to shine and left me the Directions Down a Road to Great Barn Fine with the Handle of the Guy sitting behine a Base Unit letting You know what he has in his barn & Really needs the money now for a tank of Oxygen to keep the walls from coming in on himself. Ran out of time to get ur old cars & trucks a running again he tells ya 10-4 Good Buddy keep it Rolling be safe, dont brag how fat that wallet is just make sure “You Get Ur Done” 10-4 l’m out of here**

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