85 Westfalia GL, worthy of restoration

Price: US $8,500.00 Item location: El Rito, New Mexico, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Bus/Vanagon
  • Year: 1985
  • Mileage: 181,759
  • VIN: WV2ZB0250FH059037
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1985 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

Why am I selling?
I found this van about 10 years ago, while I was a professor in Northern New Mexico. It was at a VW shop in Denver, with a partially rebuilt engine, upgraded with heads from a newer 2.1 ltr, and a 4 to 1 cross-over exhaust.
For the next few years I used it mostly to spend time in the mountains, where I was building a cabin. Then I retired, and spent about a year traveling around the southwest, eventually settling in southern New Mexico.
So now I live in a little place by the river, and haven't taken it anywhere in a while. Last year I put in a fresh clutch, bought 4 new Hankook tires. Thought I might do some traveling, but just took her out to the lake a few times.
Since then I’ve been starting her up about once a month, maybe drive out to the freeway and get up to speed. Last weekend I made the 300 mile round trip run to Albuquerque, spent three days at a conference, stealth camping in the hotel parking lot.
She ran cool and strong. Holds her fluids better than I do.
It was fun, cruising along smoothly. Not sure how fast I was going, the speedometer has started being erratic again, but it was quite comfortable with the tach straight up at 3200 rpm. She'll go faster, no problem getting up to the top of the green zone, but why?
Haven't done a leak-down test, but last time I checked the compression was high and even. Valves are noisy, I'd want to at least adjust them before starting off on a long trip. Maybe use the lash cap set from GoWesty.
The refrigerator gets cold on electric, both 12v and 110v, but doesn’t light with propane. It was working on my last trip, probably needs to have some spider webs cleaned out. I've never put a belt on the AC compressor, don't know if it works or not.Really, this is a project vehicle, rough but ready. Several things that might take $50 and a couple of hours. It needs paint, and has some parking lot dings. It needs a rear bumper, and the power steering pump leaks. There's a loose rubber grommet on the top of the fuel tank, fill it too full and you can smell gas. (Really, I'd just do the full fuel tank reseal kit.) I once made the mistake of a WalMart oil change, where they stripped the threads on the drain plug. Compression plug is working fine, but a heli-coil is probably what's called for. There's a broken speaker wire, and a burnt out bulb in the dash. Most annoying thing to me is a tear in the paneling on the inside of the sliding door, where it got caught on the edge (see the photo). Canvas is good but the screen is torn, zipper is broken.
You get the idea -- this Westy is not immaculate. But it could be. It's a Wasserboxer Westfalia worthy of restoration, and they're getting rare. The frame is straight and solid, and it's rust-free. Right now, with new tires and a clutch, it's $8500, not twice that.
The price is pretty firm — much less and I'll have to think about just keeping her, put in three or four thousand myself, maybe sell next spring. But at the moment I'm willing to let go, and she's advertised both here and locally, so subject to prior sale. I'm willing to help arrange shipping, and will gladly answer any questions from qualified buyers.