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Thread: FOR SALE 1987 Vanagon custom camper with Westfalia interior & massive sunroof

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Santa Barbara California USA

    Default FOR SALE 1987 Vanagon custom camper with Westfalia interior & massive sunroof

    Here is a very long but detailed post about this Vanagon. If you're going to spend this much money, I figure you'll want to know the whole deal, so here it is. Read it through. It should answer all of your questions. But feel free to call as well. :-) Area code 8O5 then 729 and last digits are 56O6 Or email me at mike93108 on my google mail account

    1987 Vanagon Full Camper, water cooled 2.1 liter, manual stick shift, cruise control that is solid mechanically and cosmetically. Home grown West Coast Vanagon with Westfalia interior, with no rust!! This adds tremendous value.

    Completing the conversion:

    This is a very fine example of a nice Vanagon that can be enjoyed as it is or can be finished off with a poptop or turned into a high top camper. There are a number of choices if you wish to go that route. Westfalia, ASI, Country Homes, Joker, CanadianHighTops, and others offer a variety of choices. There is friend of mine who had an ASI Riviera top for sale here in Santa Barbara. He was selling it for $650 with the tent, but I believe that he sold it. There is another man in Seattle who for sure has an ASI top for sale with a brand new blue tent for $1000 and he said that he'd help mount it. . ..which is very easy to do. Almost anyone with some basic skills can do it. There's also a man in Texas that has an ASI Top. There are others as well. Finding Westfalia tops aren't that difficult. High Tops are readily available NEW from North American High Tops. Country Homes and Joker tops are out there as well.


    When I bought it, I immediately left Portland and drove it down to Santa Barbara. It drove beautifully!! A true pleasure to drive and genuinely the best stock Vanagon that I've driven, and I've owned 5 and drove a 6th one regularly. One thing that made the drive fantastic was the Cruise Control. I have never driven one with the super rare Cruise Control before and I cannot overstate the luxury that this provides. It completely transforms and improves dramatically long distance driving. As you may know, driving these vehicles long distances is a decently comfortable experience, better than most cars, but the Cruise Control takes it to a whole new level. I drove it comfortably at 70mph and got over 19 MPG!!

    It needed paint and some dings and scrapes removed and thus began the restoration. I wanted to give it a proper paint job, both inside and out. So I removed EVERYTHING on the outside including both front grills, both backside engine ventilation grills, both bumpers, both mirrors, side maker lenses, tail lights, and all turn signals, (and anything else that came off). I also had the forward Westy luggage rack removed and had it painted separately so its been painted, and the roof under it has been painted as well. But in addition on the interior, I removed the door panels, and whatever else I could. The door panels were needing some love so I bought new stock ones along with window cranks and other stuff. The mirrors don't move around in the wind (if you know Vanagons, this is a big plus) Back to the paint, I didn't want to go with the stock paint colors. I felt that if I was going to paint the entire car, inside and out, I might as well have it look like it was painted inside and out. I chose a dark midnight blue metallic. It's a very nice shade and I get compliments on it regularly. It kinda changes color depending on the angle and the sunlight. It looks beautiful.

    The guy who started the camper conversion did a great job installing the Westfalia interior. It looks proper and the rear seat upholstery is in great shape as well, as is the back matching foam piece that goes over the engine bay in the "way back". Speaking of which, the metal back there was painted as well and the engine bay was painted black.

    But as great a job as he did with the installation of the camper interior, he didn't do the best job cutting the hole that's needed in the roof to accommodate a poptop. So when it was in the shop, I had them square it off evenly and then had the headliner properly fitted so it looks professional. I added a canvas/vinyl sunroof to finish it off. I re-mounted all of the pieces that were removed and it looked great.

    To finish it off, I bought brand new black bumpers from GoWesty for the front and rear complete with the plastic endcaps. I also then bought and installed a safari basket and rack system which can easily be accessed through the sunroof, as the forward luggage rack can be as well. Quite honestly, if you haul big things around like surfboards, standup paddle boards (SUP), kayaks, skis, snowboards, lumber, etc having access through the sunroof is a massive help. Furthermore, if you are a water sports type, being able to stand up through the sunroof is really nice if you want to change into a wetsuit.


    It runs great. It has 69,xxx miles on it!! Find one as fresh as that!! It has some new items on it as well including a Bosche OEM fuel pump. This particular year has different front spindles than the earlier models which allows for the desirable "South African Big Brake kit" to be installed. Apparently it makes for a huge improvement. I haven't installed one before, but of the other 4 that I've owned, none of them had that as an available option for consideration since they didn't have the larger spindles that this one has. It also has the preferred manual stick shift which really helps with acceleration. The automatics just really fall short on power, especially up hills. This vehicle has the favored 2.1 water cooled engine. The most powerful engine that was put into Vanagons. It's far superior to the 1.9 waterboxer, the aircooled, or the anemic diesel.

    Tires and wheels:

    I bought a set of 16" alloy wheels (5x112 bolt pattern) to replace the squirrelly 14" steel wheels. I fitted them with brand new tires, just like the ones GoWesty sells. Although they haven't been installed, I'd be happy to include them for the full price or sell them separately. The current tires look good and it has stock chrome hubcaps on it now.

    Camper interior:

    This has the full Westfalia camper interior. If you don't know, that means that it has a 2-burner stove, a sink, a water tank, a refrigerator (that was wisely designed to run on battery, electricity, and on propane gas). Although I personally haven't tried it, when I asked the previous owner if it ran on the propane, he said yes of course, and looked at me weird as if to say, why wouldn't it. It has an auxiliary propane tank in addition to the stock externally mounted tank. And added the additional battery connections for an auxiliary battery are installed as well. It has a ton of cabinets and lots of fun "Hide-y spaces" if for some reason you need to smuggle diamonds or something. There is a ton of storage under the rear bench seat which folds into a very comfortable bed for two. It's extra nice with the sunroof as you can lay in bed and watch the meteor shower. Speaking of showers, a solar shower fits very nicely in the forward roof luggage rack or you can mount a flat tank inside the back safari basket and still have plenty of extra room.

    Why should you buy this one?
    It has only 69k miles, it runs well, rides really nicely. Most importantly, it's not rusted. Look under the windows on the back and sides of others that are for sale and often they have rust that's a real pain to repair and expensive. None of that with this one! I have pics that I took before the new paint job of all of the common rust area to show that none was present or even starting. The interior and exterior look really nice. It's had a long history of great care. It's hasn't been in any major wrecks. It's a good rig. And has spent it's life either garaged up north or in Southern California. It's a great investment.

    What do you need to consider:

    Like ALL of these in this price range, it's not perfect but in my mind, the only issues it has are things that I could live with and there was no rush in fixing. It has good bones and could be turned into a rockstar Vanagon worth literally twice what you'd pay. You''d for SURE make money on this when you sell it even if you don't do anything to it and hold on to it for a couple of years given the way they are going up in value. The mechanical stuff is solid, and cosmetically it looks awesome. If you want to double your money, finish the poptop. You could flip this and be way ahead.

    Details about buying it:

    I'm selling it because I have a son that is going back to college at a well respected, but expensive school. I would LOVE to keep it but I love him more. He's a great kid worth far more than this Vanagon to me. I can delay the replacement of this van, but I can't replace this opportunity for him to go to college.

    I'm willing to deliver it anywhere as long as you cover my expenses and pay for it first.
    I'm willing to consider your vehicle with your cash as a partial trade. If that's something that you'd like to consider, send me pics and what you are willing to take for the vehicle you have. Not my preferred way, but I'd consider it if it's with enough cash.
    You're responsible for registration and any sort of emissions or inspections that are required where you live.
    DON'T contact me unless you are REALLY serious and have the cash and are ready to buy.
    International buyers, I'm willing to ship it internationally but only through a qualified exchange purchase program with verified funds and a significant waiting period. Something like eBay would make things easier.
    Scammers: I'm a really smart guy and you're not going to fool me so don't waste your time.

    Everyone smiles while driving a Vanagon. :-)
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016


    Is this still available? And how much are you asking?

  4. #3


    how much?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    jersey city, nj


    69 k on that girl?, she was stored in a rough garage.
    James Conlin 87

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016


    How much?


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