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. 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.

    • 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).

  2. francisco

    But where do you go to the bathroom?

    • John

      somewhere else………

  3. David Frank 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.

  4. 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.

  5. jim s

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

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