Campmobile In The Barn: 1973 VW Westfalia

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

Earlier today, we featured a clean GMC conversion van, but if you like your camper vans in the air cooled variety, this VW Westfalia looks like a decent option! It was discovered in a barn where it had been stashed away for at least 25 years. It is going to need some work, including some rust repair, but the seller claims the engine runs and that it’s complete. You can find this Bus here on eBay in Sedalia, Missouri with a current bid of $4,888.

Deciding between this VW and the GMC would be tough. The fact that the engine in this one still works is a major plus, but then again it’s a 1.7 liter air cooled 4 cylinder that’s paired to an automatic and offers up about 60 horsepower, so don’t expect too much in the way of performance. Rust is another factor to consider, as this Bus looks to have a few areas of concern. The exterior rust does give it a cool look, but I would want to address it sooner, rather than later.

The interior looks factory and complete. There are some issues that the seller notes, including the need for new seat upholstery, repairs or replacement of the popup tent and that the stool needs to be recovered. They also point out the rust through on the right front step. Replacement metal is available, but I’m not sure how big of a job it is to replace.

Other than the rust issues, this Kombi cleaned up pretty well. Flush the fuel tank, clear out the fuel lines, fix up the interior and you would have a cool camper! Just make sure when you plan your trips to take as many back roads as possible, especially in areas known to have high winds. So which camper conversion would you want to own?

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  1. Terry

    Vw every time….

  2. Don H


  3. Derek Hooper

    VeeDub no question. Their values are climbing. And I have wanted another Westy.

  4. Don H

    I like the very rare FAG Machine built by Datsun. These vans were top notch and a very well built vehicle.

  5. Fred W.

    Seller describes it as 99% rust free….

    • whippeteer

      I think they need new glasses.

  6. jimbosidecar

    If my camping destinations were say, less than a hundred miles away, the VW hands down. But for hi lileage trips, I’d have to go with the GMC

  7. Richard Prokopchuk

    Saw a video of a VW with drop down sides the other day. I cannot recall what those are called. Anyway, it was way up a forest mountain in France, where it had been for over 40 years. It was discovered by a hiker, who bought it from the land owner, and get this….fixed it, started it, and drove it home in the forest. He drove it down the mountain to his home. Really makes you admire the early VW products.

    • Guggie 13

      Great video looks like some guys had a real adventure ,and a great time

    • Otto Nobedder

      Thanks for the video link-great documentary and great music!

  8. Jeffro


  9. LAB3

    A VW would be nice but in this case I’d go with the GMC, the bodywork is going to be a lot of work on the dub and with the GMC you could always go with a gas engine to keep costs down.

  10. Glen

    Looks like the V-dub needs a lot more work than the GMC, but I can see these VW’s rising in value more than the GMC long-term. As the older VW vans get more and more expensive, these early 70’s models will become more popular/ valuable. Having said all that, the GMC will get you camping quicker with an engine swap, or simply find one that runs!

  11. Rolf Poncho 455

    lot of rust i’l pas this one

  12. Beeman on Nevis

    Just what a homeless Jack of all trades needs !

  13. whippeteer

    I once got my 72 Economy Camper up to 74 mph. That was with a 4 speed. I got 18.5 mpg no matter where I went.

  14. whippeteer

    You missed out on the biggest feature of this camper! It has AC!

  15. Robert Hirtle

    I had one of these … bought it in ’77 for $2,700 … mine was orange with the white fibreglass top that opened up. It didn’t have enough power to pull Grandma off the toilet, but it was fun to drive … sort of like a bus, really. Wish I had it now … 🙂

  16. Mark PRND21

    I just dont understand why people think a Barn Find is good ..

    They are full of rodents and other animals,dirty and abused vehicles…

    I would rather find a mint car in a garage for cheap than a cheap beater in a barn !


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