57k-Mile Camper: 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

Volkswagen’s Bus and Vanagon models are iconic vehicles, but at this point, many of them endured use for their intended purpose and are quite long on the tooth. Luckily, that’s not the case with this 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia that’s available here on eBay, as it is a low-mile specimen that needs very little work.

This Vanagon is available in Pulaski, Tennessee with a clean title. The current seller is the vehicle’s third owner and the vehicle’s history report shows that it spent time in Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania before arriving in Tennessee. Additionally, the report notes that the vehicle was in a minor accident during October of 2001, but it was a relatively insignificant incident where the airbags did not deploy.

The seller mentions some flaws with the exterior, such as damage to the original paint from rock chips, as well as scrapes and dents above both rear wheel wells. Additionally, the van’s sale includes a new skylight vent, an antenna, and new screens for the sliding door opening and rear hatch opening.

Inside the cabin, things are in great shape, and there are no noticeable imperfections with the canvas top, curtains, or upholstery. Unfortunately, there are a handful of things that will require attention, including an inoperable power driver’s window and heater blower, but the seller claims the air conditioning system will “freeze you out.”

This van uses a 2.1-liter flat 4-cylinder engine that pairs to an automatic transmission to drive the rear wheels, and the drivetrain has a documented 57,462 miles on it. Recent maintenance to the van includes new tires, brakes, fuel lines, fuel filter, injector boots, an axle shaft, spark plugs, wires, cap, and rotor.

At the time of publication, bidding is at $15,100 with the reserve not met. Would you join the bidding on this Westfalia camper?

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Comments

  1. Oldog4tz Member

    Service records a must. These puppies are known for transmission and engine coolant issues that can be quite catastrophic

    4
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      That is an understatement!

      3
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    This is not a full Westy, it is called a Multi Van. It has the Westfalia top, bed and closet, but no sink, stove or refrigerator. Not quite as desirable, but it is the year of production.

    3
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      Should read “Not quite as desirable, but it is the last year of production..”

      1
    • Oldog4tz Member

      And the real deal, arguably nicer, just went for 16k on BAT

      3
  3. Oregon_Guy78 Member

    This does not have airbags that would be deployed in an accident, check out the steering wheel.

    6
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      You are correct. VW did not start installing airbags until 1993.

      1
  4. art

    This is a Westfalia Weekender, no kitchen.

    2
  5. djkenny

    No airbags. Eurovan got those. Buying one of these without inspection and engine compression/leakdown is not a good idea. Prepare for the cost of renting a room to maintain one of these. Mileage is not the issue, it is awful engineering and an absolute necessity for maintenance.

    The best day with your Vanagon will be the day you buy, and the day you sell it.

    3
    • Mike

      Hard to read these comments about impending doom owning a Vanagon when I’ve had mine for almost 30 years and 330k miles without a problem. Well, it was towed once when the starter went out in 2006.

      The problem is when people with no money try to fix things themselves or ignore regular maintenance. Replacing all the fuel lines is important and should be job #1 for a new buyer.

      4
      • AMCFAN

        I had an 86 and I maintained it. At only 90,000 miles the heads needed replaced. Bought rebuilt ones and paid to have them put on and while the motor was on the bench checked everything out. Bottom end still good. That was a plus.

        I always used the required VW phosphate free coolant. (did I mention NOT cheap) Upon start up the rebuilt heads ordered from a VW dealer in Texas failed. $500. down the drain. The van was in the shop for over a year at this point of diagnosis waiting on parts etc etc.

        I used to travel in my job and happened on a Porsche VW dealer in Lancaster PA Autohaus. Went to the parts dept. mainly to look at a Porsche. Told the burly German guy running the counter I wanted NEW VW Vanagon heads. He gave me a stern look and the only thing he said was come back tomorrow……..Perplexed I did. He not saying a word slid them across the counter. He smiled still not saying anything after I handed him my credit card. I was amazed! I was told not available everywhere else. He must have had pull as the only thing he did say was one of the few sets still available. Like EVERYTHING else for a VW was expensive. Once in my mechanics hands was another two month before I was burning gas again still keeping my AAA card close.

        I maintain my vehicles. I do not have time to hover over a vehicle with a Bentley manual and do a pre trip inspection of miles of rubber hoses and everything else just to go to the store. I’ll admit. I liked the looks of the van. That’s it. The first chance I got I sold my Westie and have NEVER regretted it. Today it’s Toyota and don’t even own a service manual for it.

        3
  6. charlie Member

    Other than the danger to the driver and passenger from a front impact, the chances are lower since you won’t be going 80 in this thing, unless, you put in a Subaru engine, there is a shop in LA that specializes in the conversion, and then you can really go. I am not sure I would want to go 80 in these anyway, but at least you would not be in the slow truck lane going up the grades. “Headed up hill, turn off the A/C,” my buddy with one of these would say.

    1
  7. steve

    My westy camper has250 thou on it runs like a champ the 2.1 motor is slow going up bear tooth pass, I have never used the fridge except for storage ,but it also works like a champ,it is an auto trans and I have never had one lick of a problem from it.Like a previous writer says its people that dont take care of things that causes the problems. They do have problems with the plastic water pipes to the to the front and there are only 9 billion clamps and hose connections. But you swap them out and you are good to go.Buss depot ,van cafe, Go west, are just a few suppliers,Also the hot set up is a 2015 or newer VW TDI.twice the HP,and Tourque,better fuel economy.You aint getting mine…

    1
  8. David Wayne Krum

    I have a 84 full westy over 200,000 miles and it runs like a champ

    1

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