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1985 VW Westfalia: Ready to Wander


When you own a vehicle like the VW Westfalia, you better have at least a few annual road trips planned – that’s what this vehicle was made for! With room for sleeping and the basic appliances for cooking a meal, the camper van VWs are perfect for family vacations or road trips with friends. Either way, someone needs to get some miles under the tires of this manual transmission-equipped Westfalia here on craigslist with its original pop-top still functional and begging for some weary travelers. The interior still looks pretty decent for a vehicle you can effectively live in, and the seller even has a spare engine available – not that you should be thinking of anything other than a Subaru EJ25 engine swap, however. For $5,900, you’ve got some room for improvements on this one.


  1. Avatar photo JW

    IMHO his statement of selling it so cheap is funny. For what work needs to be done you could find a better candidate for camping. Heck I could buy a popup camper cheaper with less hassle and when it needs too much work just strip it to make a 2 wheel trailer. Just my opinion take it for what it’s worth.

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    • Avatar photo Jeff Staff

      While you’re right on the money about cheaper alternatives, the VW faithful go nuts for these things (and pay a pretty penny for even average ones like these).

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  2. Avatar photo francisco

    But where do you go to the bathroom?

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    • Avatar photo John

      somewhere else………

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  3. Avatar photo David Member

    It is cheap for a Westie.
    I understand Subaru engine conversions are pretty common and fairly easy on these. That would resolve the power and dependability issues.

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  4. Avatar photo Chebby

    Westies live in a weird gray zone where pristine examples bring six figures, but the neglected ones only fetch a couple grand, and in many cases aren’t worth the work. Kind of like the “cheap Mercedes” rule.

    GoWesty, who restores these to $100K+ condition, says that even a free Vanagon can be a waste of money. Unless you’re a VW purist, a power swap is mandatory, and that can be $10-15K with used parts.

    Well-kept original vans in the Bay Area sell for around $16K. A friend of mine did have a perfectly serviceable ’85 that he bought for $2,000 and drove daily for a few years with no problems, but I think he got lucky. The engine failed on the next owner.

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  5. Avatar photo jim s

    i would remove and sell off the campers stuff then use this as a work van. interesting find.

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