Wild Syncro Conversion: 1976 Volkswagen Bus

This 1976 Volkswagen Bus is not your mother’s bay window. The seller has extensively modified it to accept a complete Sycro 4WD drivetrain, seemingly allowing him to drive an air-cooled Bus where none has ever gone before. The Bus also features a Westfalia kit, really giving you the best of everything as it relates to the equipment offered on various years of Buses and Vanagons that everyone wants. The seller admits that like any project, it’s never really done, but he has driven it all over creation based on the listing photos. Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $30,000 and the current bid of $11,000 falling short of the reserve.

This Bus captures perfectly what I had originally envisioned with my 1981 Toyota HiAce project, which I thought would be the perfect baseline for a camper build. 4WD wasn’t in my crystal ball, but it had been done by others before me. Still, what kept me from moving forward was knowing how many more years I’d be into the project before calling it complete, and the love affair just wasn’t that intense. The owner of this Bus didn’t have that problem, but also has much more invested than many Bus owners who use theirs for an outdoor lifestyle. This isn’t just a rig for camping – it’s way more specialized than that. In addition to 4WD, it also has a later 2.0L ABA engine from a Jetta.

The interior has been pleasingly upgraded, and this is a view I’m looking forward to based on my latest purchase (more on that later). The seller notes this Bus sports a much more modern cabin than it originally came with, courtesy of a Westfalia swap made inside. The counters, bench seat, captains chairs, curtains, and storage cubbies will come in handy when you’re off visiting rough terrain and need to take a break when you tire of white-knuckle exploring. Despite being well used on the outside, the Bus is super clean inside, and looks like a nice spot to catch a nap. It even has a full awning that springs open to cover the entirety of the Bus’ nearby perimeter.

The seller includes multiple photos like these that show the Sycnro-converted Bus doing things never thought possible in a vehicle that looks like this. A locking differential is also part of the drivertrain upgrades, along with the requisite knobby tires and suspension lift. The asking price may seem a bit steep, but I’m sure it’s near impossible to re-create this Bus even at that price. Take out the price tag for parts and you’re still staring at many hours for labor. It’s hard to put a price on someone else’s work, but surely there’s another air-cooled owner who would love to own something like this. Find another one!

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Engine is a water cooled Jetta. Note the grill up front for the radiator. Lot of nice work done on this rig. Built for fun. Went through two Westfalia campers and loved both of them.

    Like 4
  2. Mitchell Gildea Member

    It’s the Syncro Westfalia we don’t deserve

    Like 2
    • Mitchell Gildea Member

      Scratch that it’s not a Westfalia. Still dope tho

      Like 1
  3. Oilyhands

    This is one way cool rig with incredible ingenious engineering! What’s amazing is that VW through there history of vans has actually experimented with such vehicles . I found this article to put yourself to sleep on some of what has been done!

    https://ranwhenparked.net/2013/02/06/a-look-at-the-experimental-four-wheel-drive-volkswagen-bus/

    Like 3
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Agree Mitchell, but the interior is late model factory stuff. Lot of aftermarket companies both in the US and Europe made Westfalia type conversions.

    Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    Well, if you simply must take your VW bus back in the hills, here you go. Needs a winch, trust me.

    Like 8
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking VW Syncro Bus. It’s a damn shame that Volkswagen decided to wait until the 80s to offer an AWD Vanagon. I also find it unforgivable that more photos were posted on eBay than were posted.

    Like 1
  7. Robt

    Yes.

  8. Maynard Reed Jr

    awesome conversion. personally I would of used a diesel engine. sweet bus.

  9. Steve

    Just what I want a buss that has the dog snot run out of it….Newbe interior from the junk yard,I will bet the floors at the doors are rusted and the frame cross member are bent and beat,needs body work, Would be great for a wrench head that loves to tinker around at the camp ground,while everyone else is hiking,.way over priced. after all is said and done lipstick on a pig is well not a BMW…yuppie stuff. Sorry I have owned so many air cools that when I see someones hobby for stupid buy it now prices ,well I have a hole in the ocean I want to sell

    Like 1
    • Robt

      Or not. Maybe it’s just a cool solid good running VW bus. As mentioned try to do better at the buy it now price. Personally I think it’s overpriced as well. But I still want to see it in person.

      Like 1

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