Friday, July 31, 2015

Starstruck: 1981 Volkswagen Type 2 Vanagon Westfalia Camper

The third generation (T3) of VW's legendary 'Type 2 Transporter' continued the formula set up by its predecessors of slow, tippy (or is that trippy?), and reliable.  It was marketed in the USA as the Vanagon from 1979-1993 and the one to get is the Westfalia camper version in which you get a pop up top, a full kitchen and sleeping accommodations for four adults! Find this 1981 Volkswagen Type 2 Westfalia Camper offered for $9,000 in Carpenteria, CA via craigslist.

Nine large might seem like a princely pile of benjamins for such an abysmal driving experience, but the Type 2 is more than an automobile -- it is an experience.  Experience the joy star filled night sky, the endless open road, and the freedom of going potty in the woods (or in a bucket).

This Camper comes with a pop up top, which is useful for standing in the kitchen if you aren't a hunchback or a filthy hobbit. Power comes from a 2.0 liter aircooled horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine that puts out 67 horsepower and 101 ft-lbs of torque. The family is optional.

The T3 (3rd-generation) Transporter is a big step up from the earlier buses, in the sense that it has beefy structural "frame rail" members, some crumple zone ahead of the dash, and was designed from the beginning to accommodate a radiator for the Wasserboxer, diesel inline fours, and whatever other modern engine swap you may be pondering (STi?).

See a better way to explore the world?


  1. So where I live (805 area code) this is the coolest thing you can own. Longboard, Patagonia trunks, farmers market kale, round Steve Nicks hat, mandatory beard, Born Free / Stay Wild kind of scene.
    It's not the worst trend to ever happen to the younger crowd (much more conscience than Britney S. and Hummers)
    However it is a trend that has it's regulations. You have to have all the right stuff and look the part.
    Westies are awesome and I am glad to see them being used out in the wild.

  2. Oh JFConaminibike, nine grand?

    There was a time you couldn't GIVE these away.

    Find one with a minor fuel-injection failure, show up with $250 and a trailer, and take it home while the seller gratefully genuflects at your departing taillights.

  3. A pre 1968 Westphalia I get. One of these ungainly boxes I don't . Then again I once shoved a complete Westphalia into a 21 window and went merrily on my way. I clearly have issues

  4. You never have the money when you need it. I agree that these don't have the panache of the early buses. The cheap one I missed, $1500, was an 85 vasserboxer AWD. That would have been handy on back roads and fields.

  5. These are the red headed step child. The next generations were much more popular. Even the 68-79 camper models are more popular than this style!


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