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Any good stories on how you obtained your Vanagon?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:57 pm    Post subject: Any good stories on how you obtained your Vanagon? Reply with quote

As for my '83 Westy, It had always been parked in a driveway near my post office (We have no mail delivery, so I go there often), right next to a nice silver Syncro Westy. It never seemed to get driven, as the guy had a nicer one.

Finally, I knocked on his door. He only drove it enough to keep the battery charged, and he always meant to sell it, but never got round to it. So it was mine. He still sees me often, of course, and we are friends now. I stop by his house after every upgrade.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when I was building a 71 westy a few years back my brother in law told me a guy at his work (which happened to be a guy I went to school with and used to sk8 with as well back in the day) had this watercooled camper he wanted to sell. I told him "dont bother asking how much etc.. I'll never drive one of those frickin' things!". Year later after camping in my freshly finished '71 right next to an '81 westy I realized there was no way I was going to camp in that cramped up thing. While I was checking my ice block in the "fridge" and pumping my sink so get water out, the guy next to me was fireing up the stove and making coffee and actually able to move around.

So I sold my '71 (that day actually at a VW show), and started to search for a later model. Nothing good was coming up local, I remebered my bro telling me about that westy. A year had passed so I figured it was gone but what the hell. I did not know how to get a hold of Stu (the PO) so I called my bro again and asked him to contact him on the longshot that maybe he still had the van. Sure as hell did, same deal as you, wanted to sell it but just never got around to dealing with selling it.

Worked out well, I sold my '71 for more than he wanted for the '88 so I even pocketed some change, I love when that happens!!! And for the most part I love it, allthough I find myself checking out Rialtas now and again for even more room Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had my share of VW's bug 3 'ghias GTI's and I have a Speedster kit car in storage...was my only car for 6 yrs.

anyway, back when I got my CC I was driving a Honda CRX (gasp!)as my DD and it got stolen...

so...I was daydreaming what to buy...always loved the Crewcabs, all of them. but I didn't want to have 2 old air cooled cars, so I searched the interweb on the T3's and found the Fast Forward site. called them about 2wd crewcabs and they cgave me a phone # for a guy in seattle....who called his Canadian buddy. soon I got a call fromthe Canadian dude w/ an '85 for sale. on the weekend of the deal, got my 3 day trip permit...owner drove to me and we drove back to the border, zipped IN the OUT driveway of the border station... border Fuzz didn't take kindly to this but we managed to explane. (ther is no IN driveway from the US side into the US border station)

anyway...on the day I was getting emissions statement for the title transfer, I sprung a head leak ! Shocked crap ! cant test emissions leaking fluid !
called the Canadian dude and he hooked me up w/ a local at-home Vanagon mechanic. then he drove down to me and gave me $300 of my money back to have the head leak fixed. crazy nice dude, lucky me. Pray

I got financing from BECU credit union for about 50% of the $8k I paid for the truck. it's comming up on 2 years with it and it's now cost me 10-15 times what the CRX cost to buy and drive for 5 years Rolling Eyes

$mart transpo ? not really
incredibly usefull ? not really...30% usefull 70% wierd..high potential w/ engine conversion for more usefullness
cool factor ? high ! Cool
style points ? HIGH ! Cool potential for even higher style points.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was the day of the town wide garage sale...

I was trying to sleep in while my wife went around poking her head in everyone's garages. She happened to stumble across a guy selling an '85 Westy with (no B.S.) 31K on the odometer. I really didn't believe her, and figured the thing needed work or had a broken gauge considering how cheap he was selling it. It turned out to be surprisingly clean.

I asked my buddy (a VW mechanic) to look it over with me, and he agreed that it was not a scam, and that I would be smart to snatch it up before the guy realizes how much it's really worth. So I did.

That was last April. Since then I've basically become a Westy junkie, and my wife is kicking herself for telling me about it. Numerous upgrades later, we have the ultimate family van that should see us through for at least the next decade. I wish I would have known more about these things earlier in life, they're just so damn fun!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the 84 2 years ago and was owned by a cousin-in-law.
He mentioned that he was selling it at a family function. My ears perked up and asked him to send some pic's. A few days later an envelope is delivered with the pic's. Went nuts. Just what I was looking for for 13 years!
Called him and told him " I'll take it! Please, just give me a few weeks to drum up the cash-ola." He agreed and it was set.
Ran all over to get plates, insurance,etc.
The evening before going to Boston I celebrated something hard.

Next morning overslept and had one Heck of a Head.
Just made it to the Train station in time.
However, the train was late and I had some time to nurse the brain.
When the train pulls in it stalls out ( foreshadowing???)

16 hours later and after the WORST train trip this boy has ever taken pulled into driveway at 2AM (train started at 8AM...) and saw my Vanagon. Can you say Happy Boy!

Next morning, went out and just went bonkers. All this waiting payed off.
Had some chow, very hard to eat when grinning ear to ear, but managed, and the cousin-in-law came over and we took it for a spin and gave the keys over.
He wished me luck and stuffed a $60 wad of cash in my pocket for gas.
Off I went back to WNY barely sitting in the seat. Took 90 back till Albany. Said, "the heck with 90's boring drive, Lets do the old route 5 and 20"
Never had a better cruise on a warm summers day driving going back to home and the Woman who loves me.

Now I'm redoing the old girl and when I get down and out at the mountain of work still to be done, I just think of that stretch of road on that Summers day and that gets the smile back. I get back work grinning like a fool.
Happy Trails!
Founding member of the Empire State VW Camping Club.
1984 Westy - Tiki
1997 Honda Civic -The Green Hornet
1971 Volvo P-1800E- needs TLC
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was searching on the samba , craigslist and local newspapers for two months for something close and reasonable just when I almost gave up all hope I was out playing frisbee golf with my wife and had to locate a disc that flew off course (rare) Rolling Eyes went through some trees and bushes into a parking lot and there he was a 1982 A.S.I Riviera. I got it for really cheap since it needed a new engine and like they say, the rest is history. And now my wife wishes we would of stayed at home that day but I see it as a sign that it was meant to be.
I guess that makes me a Swissicain
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it constitutes a "good story" but my '85 GL belonged to a couple of local musicians (Celtic/folk type musicians... not the ones that haul around 2000 lbs of gear to trash the van). The Vanagon was in kinda rough shape... some surface rust and dings, oil leak, needed a muffler & shifter bushings. They were moving back to New Zealand and didn't want to take it with them so they gave it to me. I figured a couple hundred for the muffler and shifter bushings and it would be a good people hauler. Yeah, right!

The first test drive after doing the exhaust and getting it shifting like new demonstrated that what we had was a portable steam sauna due to leaking heater cores! My son thought it was cool, but I opted to rebuild the heaters. The battery was sketchy too, it needed 2 new tires, other small odds and ends needed replacing. The dash and instrument cluster were disgusting so I scrubbed those up while the dash was off to do the front heater, and hosed all the dirt and antifreeze from the carpets and pads.

So now I've got a decent "free" Vanagon that only cost about $1200! Yes, I realize I could have bought a running vehicle for that, but I actually enjoyed tinkering on a VW again... it's been a few years. It's my first foray into the wonderful world of water-cooled Volkswagens and so far I'm impressed with the driveabilty while still having some of that old hippie-bus feel to it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a call from a doctor who worked in our area asking if I would have a look at his Vanagon. I told him that I didn't have any technical books on it and didn't have any experience with the water cooled motors just air cooled. He said he had the Bentleys manual- so I said OK bring it out.

I spent about 10 minutes looking it over and found that the wire to the temperature sender was shorting out on the #3 exhaust pipe- I had heard about the ground wires getting corroded so I cleaned them up.
It ran a whole lot better.
He came out to pick up the rig and said he was glad it was something simple as he wanted to sell it as they were leaving to go back to Australia.
I said I'd buy it but he said that a nurse wanted it. So I said if she changes her mind give me a call.
A couple of days later he called and asked if I still wanted to buy it the nurse changed her mind- I said OK then asked how much he wanted-- $2500
It was very clean with brand new tires & muffler and the transaxle had been rebuilt.
I looked forward to getting the big box on wheels then found out that it was the syncro model
That was like the frosting on the cake.
I've replaced a lot of the water hoses and the leaky rear heater(I used a external oil cooler from one of our Baja bugs)
It turned over 300k Km and runs strong and goes anywhere we point it
best deal I made in a long time.

I showed the good doctor my license plate collection and he said I was missing one from Australia and when he got home he would send me one
thanks Dr. May
'57 type 1 Blackberry
'58 SC Ruf
'62 type 3 Notch
'86 Vanagon Syncro "syncro da Dr.Mayo" resting
'92 Eurovan Willy DD
and NUTS
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was a young lad, I used to camp every weekend, right after high school let out on Fridays. Me and a few buddies would head out to a place on the Wekiva river, set up the tents, a tarp, and have a blast. We kept all this stuff in our Beetles; each of us had removed the back seats to store all the camping crap.

One weekend a Westy pulled up right next to us, parked and withing 10 seconds, had the top opened. I swear I heard the angels singing when I saw this, with my mouth gapping wide open. I swore someday I'd have one of those camping beauties.

30 years later, I now have one. Found it while working in Germany. Shipped it home. I plan to camp in it the first time back in Wekiva.
Current VW drives: 1984 Westfalia

Past VW drives: 1967 Beetle, 1973 Beetle, 1977 Bus, 1971 Military Type 181

Last edited by bucko on Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: When Rob Met Winston--No one Faked It Reply with quote

Oh, I had the bug EARLY... Er, I had the Jones. I've never had a Bug. I have a Dart. I'd like to drive a Bug, someday.

Looking back, GAD did I dodge some bullets on E-Bay. At first I thought I wanted a '71 Bay Window, best of both worlds, etc... But I remembered the Vanagons from the '80's, and the '80's, coincidentally, were my favorite decade. High School, College, and some very good movies. Reminds me, I need to watch 'Tron' in Winston...

So, the Vanagons started looking good... Gad, the newspaper want ads were sporadic, vague, and mysterious... Then I thought I wanted a Diesel Westy, until someone mentioned that it was the Rabbit engine and I realized just how steep the hills around here ARE...

Noticed the weird pricing and weird vans on E-Bay... Started looking on this place and the 'cars.com' and the like web sites... Found out about Craig's list...

Winston was for sale in Boulder for $2600, the cheapest wasser-Westy I'd seen... and I have a gearhead friend who is also intrigued by Westies, bus and Vanagons, and he had a day free to go up and look at Winston. And it was time to quit LOOKING for a Vanagon and to go and GET one, already!

Winston was the FIRST and LAST Vanagon Westy I went and looked at in my search for one. It was anxiety at first sight. I've got the pictures I took the day after Nick delivered him. He looked... DUBIOUS. But I liked Nick, his previous owner--Nick hid, as far as I could tell, NOTHING, and he said he had EVERY receipt for EVERY repair or part since buying the Van. THAT was encouraging, and I'll tell you, it's nice knowing what was done when.

I didn't get to test-drive him--I couldn't drive a manual, and had nightmares after buying Winston of smashing into the front of a car behind me on a hill. But my friend did, and... He liked Winston. He liked how he turned. He liked the look and sound of the engine... I liked that I could get to it. All the camping stuff worked. And I had the coin.

I SHOULD have insisted on Nick's Bentley, but he wanted another $40 and I felt very, very poor once I agreed to buy the beast. I took Nick's price, and just figured that if I dropped another two grand into him, it would still be a pretty good deal.

Well, it's been more than TWO grand... And gad, the hours. But what a lot of FUN it's been! And I like Winston. His name came to me pretty quickly, and I remember as I got better at driving him how I felt the Van accepting me as his owner, and then LIKING me. Hey, I'm a poet, among other things. I now LOVE manuals, except in reverse and in traffic.

I like how he handles--GAD, he turns on a dime. I love the view from his driver's seat. GAD, I love the clearance between him and the ground, and how well he did in that awful campground. I loved my first night's camping in him. I sleep comfortably in the rear bed. I loved the little range, I love the cabinets and the sink...

And for all the fact that a lot of you are certifiable and the rest of you are very, very frightening...



I love you guys!

Crying or Very sad

'Winston,' '84 1.9 WBX Westy
Vanagon Poet Laureate: "I have suffered in
many ways, but never, never, never in silence."
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: When Rob Met Winston--No one Faked It Reply with quote

msinabottle wrote:
Reminds me, I need to watch 'Tron' in Winston...

I recommend Maximum Overdrive (1986) right before bed.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heh i really enjoy tellin this one, its a great story....i grew up with a beetle and have fond memories of a family of five packin into it to go camping, but it sadly got rejected on its state inspection for floor pans or the lack thereof so my folks got rid of it....ever since then i had my eye out for old dubs, especially the westys.....while working/schoolin in this small town in va i noticed a vanagon(westy) parked on the side of some property covered in algae and grime along with 2 ghias ,3 opels, and a wbx(all those were under the carport)....but the registration was current so i figured it wasnt for sale....several years pass and i keep noticing that the registration is updated but the grass continues to grow thru the drums....at this point i was planning on graduating in a semester or thereabouts so i really wanted a vehicle to travel in and went up to knock on the door... i got startled by this man from behind with this huge grin and asked if he would be willing to sell it...he didnt say much other than everything that he thought was wrong with the van and its history as far as he knew and to go think about it and give him an offer....after doin the math i go back and offer him 200 for this nonrunning pos. he replies "oh so youve come to insult me"...to which i say "no its only a startin point"....we stare at the tires a little while and he tells me to go get a new fuel pump, we'll fire it up, and go from there.....i return home and start pricing the pumps(ouch)....so i call and get his wife(who was itchin for all the cars to go) and explain how it didnt make any sense for me to increase the value of a vehicle im trying to buy...she agrees but then goes on to say that ill end up paying less than i expect for it....so im stuck thinking how can this be when ive already offered him 200....but as luck would have it i ended up finding a new pump on ebay for 40 and figure thats a fair price to take a chance...pump comes and i install it and wouldnt ya know the darn thing started right up after sitting for 8 years, however it did drive like it had been sitting that long and while we were testing it out he asks me what i would do with it should it start fallin apart later down the road... i tell him that itd become a money pit in that case and he says to me that if i get the van to where he feels its safe to drive and passes inspection its mine.....wait, what, the corners of my mouth are pushin my ears closed....so for four months or so i got it up to snuff workin on his side yard, having him yell at me like i was his son, and when all was said and done he took it out for a wash and signed it over on the condition that one day i do something for someone....i ended up blowing all my savings on rebuilding it and never did get to do the trip i had planned...and id do it all again...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have had several Splits & Bay Buses/Campers, we tried a battered '86, loved the power ,but it was a ugly Peice o'shit.
Anywho an add in the local penny saver " 91 Vw Vanagon carat, Red, 45k, standard, $9,800."
Now my Bud had just bought a '91 carat, so I knew what it looked like,all the bells and whistles... So I call up, a OOOLLLLDDDD Lady answers 'hhhellloo" - oh shit , I'm dancing around, yep still for sale, one owner ( she's 82 Laughing Laughing ) so the wife says sure lets go look, I'm saying -oh no honey , its like looking at Puppys- you KNOW your going to want one !!
We bought it..................

Twisted Evil

My Pops:
I know you will always be with me, rest in peace with no more pain. 8/13/14.....

In the yard right now:
'65 Bus/Panel/camper W/T
'65 Bug
'66 Singlecab
'79 Westy
'82 Rabbit Truck Diesel from CALI Smile
'86 Doublecab W/T
'91 Vanagon carat/wolfsbrg.Tiico
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the snow deep and the temp well below freezing, I lamented to co-workers that my entirely heat-less Baja was in the garage waiting for Spring and I was going through withdrawal. I’ve had 3 bay vans, but what I’d always wanted was an old splity van, or even better, a single or double-cab since I recently sold my pickup and the pile going to the dump was getting formidable. One of the older guys started in with tales of Indonesia oil patch treks where they’d put 2000lb wellhead connections in the back of an old air-cooled Doka, pile in 6 big guys and off through the muddy jungle they’d go. Then he stops and says “my 80yr old neighbor might have something in his garage like that, I’ve only seen it out twice in 7 years”.

The garage door opened to reveal a blue 86 Doka Transporter(not syncro) and there was so much stuff piled in, on and around it, I could only see the back and part of the driver side. Odometer reads 19,000km. This meant HEAT. He didn’t have a battery that would fit, but assured me it ran fine a couple years ago. I had to have it. The next problem was that we were both very Scottish(in both senses): my wife figured we’d turn a penny into copper wire, but we haggled amicably and rather painlessly. Waiting for 5 days for him to pry it out of the garage nearly killed me, but I showed up with a battery and it fired up, smooth as silk, just as he promised with so far, knock on emblem, no surprises. And I's happy.
86 Double Cab Doka 2WD
81 Westy
69 Baja Bug
85 Trike
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 90 plain van was for sale here in Brooklyn on Craigslist. The wife was tired of driving my old dodge van, so I started looking for a VW. I had always wanted one, after a road trip in one, where I had my first experience in push-starting a vehicle.
I go to look at it on a rainy feb afternoon (2 weeks before the big blizzard of 06)
the thing has CA tags, and the guy says "Oh yeah I drove it out here 2 years ago, but it's been parked in CT until last month" so I asked about insurance...none. Registration? out of date, "but hey it still has plates" he says. I say " you're nuts driving/parking a vehicle in New york City with no Insurance and no registration" it was then that my wife realized we were 2 blocks from Greenwood cemetery where there are roads, but it is not city streets, and the dead don't drive much, so no traffic.

Off we go into the cemetery for a test drive.

I drive for a while and it feels a little stiff in the shocks, and squishy in the brakes, and then I hand it over to my wife, since it's her not liking the Dodge that has us looking at another vehicle.
While she's driving she says "that's weird this light came on next to the battery symbol" I figure something electrical with the rain.

Then it overheats.

Turns out it threw the alternator belt.

So there we are stuck in the cemetery, and it's raining and getting dark. the cemetery is closing and they really don't like the idea of a broken van moving in.

the guy was asking $1600, but I had AAA and all he had was a broken down van in the cemetery with no ins or reg.

we settled on $800, I had it towed to a shop recommended by a friend with a '91 and off we go.......
1990 Vanagon "Plain Jane" Bostig in the Back
TRADED: 1967 Panel for 1976 BMW 2002
SOLD: 1984 Sunroof Vanagon with EJ22
RIP 1986 Saab turbo
and my daily commuter: a Bicycle
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine is a simple story... My dad bought it new back in '84, and now it is under my watch. Most of my childhood vacations were in my westy, so there are a lot of memories that are sitting out in the driveway. I'm just trying not to F the poor van up as i don't have the means to keep up on the maintenance as well as i'd like... Rolling Eyes

'84 Westy (first owner).......but my daily driver has pedals
My "perspective" mantra:
A Volkswagen Vanagon is just a material thing,
As such, it is of the earth,
And if i need to, I can let my Van go.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years, I've talked to dozens of Vanagon sellers and I bought vans from a handful of them. Among them were: a White Supremacist (Old School) who analyzed my face structure while speculating exactly which region of Europe my people were from; the biggest liar ever to receive an engineering degree from Heidelberg Polytech; a born-again bible thumper who could feign ignorance as well as any con-man I had ever met; and the most despicable son-of-a-bitch I ever encountered when trying to buy a car.

However, another one from this random pool of human turpitude did, in a manner, lead me to one of the finest people with whom I ever dealt. I had cut a deal with a VW mechanic (Rick, you're still an asshole) from South Carolina for what he claimed to be a mint, low mileage Syncro which he had just gone over from stem to stern. I had begged him not to stretch the truth about the van because I needed something to predictably travel back and forth some 80 miles though the mountains of western PA in February while my dear wife underwent the most rigorous cancer therapy yet devised. He assured me that the van was righteous and since he walked in the path of the Master (Praise de Lord and de Baby Jesus!), so was he. He said all he had to do was pop into the DMV to get the title. I left him with the urgency and necessity of my situation and told him to call as soon as I could come for the van. I spent a week on pins and needles every time the phone rang until I decided to call him to find out what the hold up was. The inbred bastard told me he was leaving the next morning to take the van to a buddy of his in NY! I guess I should have found out exactly which Master he was talking about.

I furiously started searching for another Syncro and that was when I met Kirk (God bless you Kirk, wherever you are!). Kirk was selling a Syncro with more than twice the miles on it than the one of the queered deal, but he claimed it was in tiptop condition. When I started to peppered him with questions about every Vanagon weakness I knew, he cut me off by saying that he could never understand guys selling a car who list every part they ever put into the thing whenever it's merely routine maintenance to do so; he assured me the van was ready to go.

With more than a little trepidation, I set off for the 150 mile drive to close the deal. The van was EXACTLY as Kirk had described it to be. Within half of an hour after driving the van, I found myself following Kirk to find a notary to transfer the title. Unexpectedly, he pulled to the side of the road and told me there was something odd about the way the van was driving and he couldn't allow me to take it for the 150 mile trip home. He knew of a VW dealer nearby, so we went there. While Kirk went to find someone from the service department, I checked out the van and found that it seemed to have a slight miss. Kirk returned to report that, being a Saturday, the service department closed early. Worried another Syncro was going to slip through my fingers, I told Kirk that I would take it the way it was. He said he just couldn't allow me to do that and he would deliver the van to me once the shop had a chance to go over it and, with that, I watched him fill out a work order instructing the shop to repair anything that needed attention.

A week later, I met Kirk at an airport near my home so that a friend of his could pick him up and fly him home. He told me that the VW shop found that a leaky ignition wire was causing the miss. We wished each other well and said good-bye. Whenever I got home, I found a receipt for the recent shop work; it amounted to what was basically a tune up which cost nearly $600.

There's a lot of jerks out there selling Vanagons, but there is also a Kirk or two.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 81 vanagon L turned up in a driveway that I passed every day on my way to work. I resolutely ignored it for a good 6 mths telling myself that I didnt want one of those. My parents had a nearly identical van that was really a lemon. To be fair we did beat the shit out of that thing. Anyway after a while I thought I should at least stop and see what he wanted for it. He was asking $1000 so I took it for a drive. The body was rough but the rebuilt 2.0 pulled like a bear. I offered him $750 and we settled on $700. I am not sure how that happened but I wasnt complaining. It needed one reverse bulb to pass the safety.

After a summers worth of beach trips and picnics I had gained a fine appreciation. This got me looking at the campers in a passive sort of way as the budget was tight. Skip forward about 2yrs. I had stopped at a gas station on the way home one day with the 81. Some guy pulled in behind me and asked me if I needed any parts for my "bug". Erm...is the pope catholic? When I got to his yard about 5 miles away there was this nice looking 84 westy. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=223634
I never heard angels before so I am not sure what they sound like. I looked it over lightly trying not to show to much interest and explaining how mine was AC and alot of the parts wouldnt match. I offered him a couple hundred bucks if he wanted to get it out of there. He said he would get back to me. 5 mths later the phone rings and he will take $500. I am sure he knew it was worth more but couldnt be bothered.
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wolfej1 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife and son were visiting Henry Ford Museum a couple of years ago and there was a display in the auto section that had a VW camper . As I was seriously considering buying a new pop top camper this display was a revelation to me. I never knew that such a vehicle existed. So, when I got home (I reside in Ohio) I figured that I would check and see if there were any of these for sale in the area. I was not really expecting to find one ..but I did. The newspaper ad stated 82 Vanagon Westfalia good shape needs minor repairs $1500. I called the guy and it was still there so I made arrangements to go and see it. I was anticipating a rusted piece of junk but found a clean van that never saw a winter and was originally from Florida. Apparently this guy inherited it but never had time to do anything with it. But he kept it in his garage for the ten years or so that he had it. It had a dead battery but the owner eventually got it jump started so I could hear it actually run. It was rough. Then he told me that I could not test drive it because the brakes were bad. OK. Then I asked if the stove and sink worked and he told me that he thought they did. So we plugged the 120 in, the fridge did nothing and I figured it was fubar as well.

Even with all of the potential issues I realized that this vehicle had good potential due to the clean body, and here in the rust belt this was probably a rare find. So I offered the owner $1200 because the fridge did not work, and then immediately after we agreed on the price it kicked on and was working. Very Happy

Had it towed home, spent a year getting it road worthy, and hope to have some good trips with my wife and son this year. I feel that I was pretty lucky to find a clean van like this in Ohio, as they are very rare in these parts.
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Joined: December 15, 2006
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dhermanesq is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So my brother-in-law got the VW van the he knew nothing about. His new in laws had the van and they knew nothing about it! By that I mean, quirks. Like it started to overheat when it sat at idle for a minute or two, so the PPO got the water pump changed, the hoses, the belt (timing and serpentine), and the radiator, heater cores. Still overheats. So they parked it. THen my Bro-in-law, who coincedently beats the snot out of cars, beat up another car, and was broke. His new in laws gave him this van because of the overheat issue. Well, he started to drive it, and lo-and-behold!!! the trans starts to go. He then asks me, "You know about imports, can you look at my van?" Well needless to say, the trans gave up the ghost and he parked it. It sat for 3 months at least. Then that where I come into the picture. I called a few trans shops in town here and got an estimate on a rebuild. $2100 with all new gears, diff, and torque convertor. Say OK USA!!!! I called my brother in law, and said, dude, Ill give you $200 for the van. He said okay. I saved it from the crusher. So, bout $2700 later I got me a nice family cruiser. By the way its a 1993 EV-GL. Pimp deals man. Thats what we got. By the way, it was the 2-50amp fuses for the cooling fans that were blown.
1993 VW Eurovan 5-Speed
1995 Mercedes S600 v12 (Rides again!)
2001 Passat V6-30v
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