Game Table Equipped: 1993 Volkswagen EuroVan

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The Volkswagen Eurovan is one of the hidden heroes on the enthusiast car circuit, and I say that as a former owner of a 2003 model. When minivans went from being seen as incredibly useful to incredibly lame, the Eurovan was here to remind us that having a few rows of seats and sliding doors could still indeed be cool. This 1993 model is an earlier edition that came with an incredibly durable 5-cylinder engine and more importantly, had the option of being equipped with a manual transmission (more on that later.) This example has the optional automatic transmission and appears to be in excellent condition.

First and foremost, this photo captures perfectly why the Eurovan is so cool: it’s a Swiss army knife of a minivan, with huge, heavy doors that open up to create an incredible amount of access. If you have ever lugged childrens’ car seats back and forth between vehicles (as I do, often), you grow to appreciate these wide openings almost immediately. The back shelf in the cargo area is intended to be the foot of a bed, so to speak, once the back seat is folded flat, the rear storage shelf sits at the perfect level to accept a thin mattress purchased from any one of the numerous vendors selling “van life” supplies for living on the open road. This is an “MV” model so it has the optional rear-facing second row captain’s chairs.

When we purchased our van, the first thing we did with it as a family was to have a to-go lunch from a local deli by the beach. It was amazing – those sliding windows open as far as they would go, the picnic table propped up, and the sound of the surf wafting in – let me tell you, I felt like I had bought the best family vehicle ever. And, in many ways, I had! Except for one thing: the automatic transmission. The gearbox that so many Eurovans came equipped with was simply not up to the task of moving such a heavy vehicle, and many of these gearboxes failed after overheating due to a weak transmission cooler. These early 5-cylinder models, however, could have been ordered with a 5-speed, so the good news is that parts are plentiful for a conversion and the swap is fairly straightforward.

The manual conversion is far more involved in vans like my 2003 which were never offered with a stick in the U.S. I had to order a gearbox from Europe and then ship my van to the one guy who was willing to do the swap. The good news I ended up with a wonderful family rig with its one major weak spot removed; the bad news I didn’t use it enough to justify keeping it around, and I sold it last year. This 1993 model with its awesome teal color and bulletproof engine is very tempting, especially with summertime road trips beckoning. Find it here on eBay with bids to $5,400 and no reserve.

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  1. Chris Horning

    That has to be the most optimistic speedometer ever installed in a vehicle.

    Like 0
  2. Ensign Pulver

    I own one now from new. A Teckno blue 2001 with 120k miles. No issues although I do change oil and trans fluid (every 25k miles). I first tried to buy a 1993 in that very color. In fact, I still have the VHS tape VW sent me as advertisement for the Eurovan. VW dealer just wouldn’t deal at $500 apart and even asked if my wife “the little woman” liked it. Walked away and bought an Aerostar aka dust buster…until I tried again in 2001 and bought the GLS off CarsDirect for $24k. As often as I consider selling, “the little woman” and the 5 kids say no dad! My youngest came home from the hospital in and and has also driven it!!

    Like 4

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