Tuesday, February 25, 2014

15k: Poptop Vanagone: 1985 Volkswagen Weekender Subaru 2.5 Powered

The Volkswagen Vanagon / Type 2 (3rd generation) was built in Germany from 1980 to 1992 for export all over the world.  Up until a few years ago even the nicest condition Vanagons were worth slightly more than scrap, but as the 75 window VW hippie buses have skyrocketed in price, so have the Vanagons.  The Syncro (4wd) models are more desirable for snowy climates, but you can't beat the cool of a pop-up Weekender edition.  Find this 1985 Volkswagen Weekender with Subaru 2.5 liter flat-4 power for sale in Portland, OR for $16,250 via craigslist.

The Vanagon is extremely poky in stock configuration, so the seller of this one has swapped in a 2.5 liter flat-4 from a 2009 Subaru  Forester, which is good for 170 horsepower and 170 ft-lbs of torque -- about double the stock power output.

The coolest part of the Weekender is the pop-up top that allows you to comfortably sleep six adults when the normal edition only sleeps four.   The combination of late model fuel injected Subaru power and automatic transmission make this one perfect for long road trips and camping expeditions with the family.

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  1. Seat six adults, maybe. Comfortably sleep? Not so much. Cool family rig, though I'm not sure the math really adds up.

  2. I don't understand how a 20 year rusty van with a rattle can paint job can command so high of an asking price.

    I'm pretty sure I could buy a 10 year old van AND and 20 year old motor-home for less than the price of this. I probably wouldn't have to lock the driver door from the inside and go out a different door in either of my new vehicles.

  3. Price may be a bit high with the paint questions, but addressing minor (?) seam rust and paint will cost less than a quality engine swap to get to this point. Thus, it's hard to say how far off the asking price is. Of course, this is CL, so we must assume the seller knows he/she won't get the full asking price. This might start to look like a deal at something under $10K.

    The weekender doesn't sleep six, it can haul six. I have a full camper and love it, but have to admit I don't use the sink or stove - usually just have the coleman stove on a picnic table and pop-up in case it's raining. That being said, I do own the optional full-camper fifth seat, so I can fit five people. Of course, it's slow enough with just one person in it...

    Final note: I think you meant to say these went into production in 1979 (1980 model year), and not 1970.

    1. Fixed the year in the intro...thanks.

  4. If this Vana-ru is causing sticker shock, you definitely do not want to look at this site:


    1. Yeah, so there must be something wrong with my eyes, because on that site I swear I saw a Westy with 200K miles that recently sold for 84K. That HAS to be Lira or pesos or something...

    2. I stand corrected. A 20 year old rusty rattle can van for $16k is a steal.

      I'm selling off my 401k and reinvesting in Vanagons!


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