Original Riviera: 1972 Volkswagen Camper Bus

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Never heard of a Riviera? Neither had I, until now. This one is for sale here on craigslist and was transplanted from California to the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Are you intrigued? Read on to find out more…

It took some digging, but I found out here and here that the Riviera was a conversion offering from Riviera Motors, in Beaverton, Oregon in the ’70s and ’80s, and rumoredly into the ’90s. They were a regional distributor of Volkswagens and contracted with ASI (Automotive Services, Inc.) to create these special-orders, modeled after the legendary Westfalias of the day. It’s also rumored that as the ASI interior designs progressed, Westfalias mysteriously followed suit the next year. The differences are minor, save for the idea that the Riviera roof pops straight up, while the Westy pops up at an angle.

The seller tells us that everything is original, except for the engine, and that there is very little in the way of rust. It looks to us to be rather neat and tidy, save a few small blemishes here and there.

As many followers of the air-cooled faith know, Westfalias are well-known, and prices have recently skyrocketed. Rivieras, on the other hand, seems to have been a West Coast or Pacific Northwest thing, making them potentially rarer. We recently featured a collection of 55 Westfalias up in Canada, written by Adam Clarke, but they aren’t available individually, and the low price of $350,000 seems a bit high for the condition that they’re all in.

If you were in the market for something like this, would you consider a Riviera instead of a Westy?

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  1. RoughDiamond

    This looks pretty cool! There’s nothing like hyping something up life the roof and how rare it is and then not even posting a picture showing the roof in the up position.

    Like 9
  2. CarstoriesMember

    I’m confused: He starts with, “Need gone as soon as possible, goin’ touring with the band.” Then, at the end says, “may possibly trade for something of equal value.” Huh? Do you need the money to tour, or not?
    Oh well.

    Anyway, it looks like a great van. And I know they’re goin’ up in value but, for me there is just not enough vehicle here to give up twenty grand, sorry. Darn, orange is my favorite co!or, too.

    Like 2
  3. Mountainwoodie

    Maybe it belongs to Wayne and Garth..that would explain the crazy price and the nonsensical pitch. You want 20 grand AND you want it gone asap? For this?

    I think that tune will fall on deaf ears…………….

    Like 4
  4. local_sheriff

    OK ,it’s rare and a factory camper and so…?The Riviera layout seems not half as beneficial for camping duties as the Westfalia conversion.
    While it could been a cheap way to grab an alternative VW camper for someone, this obviously IS NOT at that price.At 20k I’d expect more than a semi-dull paint with obvious wear and bent bumpers missing front end caps.Rare and cool doesn’t necessarily equal high $s.
    Seems most sellers nowadays demand 20k for anything in their ads,is it because they expect no one to pay more than half of asking price??

    Like 4

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