Junkyard Find: 1982 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 volkswagen vanagon westfalia
The Volkswagen Vanagon has a global cult following, for reasons I have never understood, and the Westfalia camper version is an object of heavy-duty veneration among Vanagon zealots. You hear about the crazy prices that any Westfalia Vanagon will fetch … but it turns out that most serious Volkswagen fanatics are too cheap to pay the prices they quote so knowledgeably. So, rough examples of the Vanagon show up often at cheap self-service wrecking yards.Here’s an ’82 that I found last week in the Denver area.
This one doesn’t seem to be rusty, and it still has the genuine Westfalia stove and some of the furniture.
The engine is gone, probably into a Porsche 914. These vans had air-cooled engines until the 1983 model year, when they went to a troublesome wasserboxer setup.
This one has the rare factory air-conditioning option, which even the extremely irie Vanagon racers at GoWesty admit never worked very well.
Was it on Craigslist for $10,000, and then $5,000, and then $1,000, and then consigned to the junkyard after penny-pinching buyers offering Volkswagen-themed cannabis edibles instead of money drove the seller mad? Probably!
Vanagon: It’s not a car. It’s a Volkswagen.
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2 of 38 comments
  • Oddimotive Oddimotive on Sep 19, 2016

    I'm surprised that has that many parts left on it. There are a few I could use on my '85, which we took on a family camping trip last weekend. Great times!

  • Trucky McTruckface Trucky McTruckface on Sep 19, 2016

    So what's the deal with "Junkyard Gems" over on that other site? I know that Murliee contributes to numerous websites, but it seems a shame that TTAC doesn't have a monopoly on this basic feature unless they absolutely don't have the bucks. Besides, I don't think the mouth breathing commenters over there fully appreciate this feature anyway.

  • Zerofoo I'm pretty sure driving this thing in any respectable town is considered probable cause.
  • Doc423 Well said, Jeff.
  • Urlik My online research seems to indicate it’s an issue with the retaining clips failing and allowing the valve spring retainers to come out. This results in the valve dropping into the cylinder.
  • EBFlex Typical Ford. For those keeping track, Ford is up to 44 recalls for the year. Number one recalled manufacturer (yet again) by a wide margin.
  • Lorie Did they completely forget the damn 2.0 ecoboosts that have the class action lawsuit? Guess those of us that had to pay out of pocket for an engine replacement for a fail at 76k miles are out of luck? I will never buy a Ford again.