At $15,000, Is This 1986 VW Vanagon A Deal??

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Nice Price or No Dice 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon

While some fans of VW’s hallowed forward-control vans may gravitate toward the Westfalia campers, there’s still a lot to like with the standard seven-passenger editions like today’s Nice Price or No Dice ’86. Let’ find out if that found favor could also include its price.

The comments don’t lie, and the general consensus about yesterday’s survivor 1980 Honda Prelude seemed to be: “nice car, shame about the price.” That $8,400 asking proved to be the car’s downfall, ending up in a 72 percent No Dice loss.

I used to call the Prelude the “Quaalude” because, you know, I’m perennially 12 years old. Alternatively, I might have called it the “pre-lube” although I didn’t do that all that often since it doesn’t have much of a context. There’s not quite as much fun to be had with today’s 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon’s name but as you may note from this post’s headline, I did try my darnedest. An equally gargantuan effort has been made in keeping this VW bus on the road, evident by the extraordinarily long list of updates and replacement parts that takes up the bulk of the space in the ad.

Image for article titled At $15,000, Would You Snap Up This 1986 VW Vanagon Before It’s Van-A-Gone?

I’m not going to duplicate that list here but will focus on some of its most notable bits. The biggest ticket item on the list appears to be a new 2.5-liter wasserboxer from Gowesty, the go-to shop for all things VW Van. That engine alone is $6,500 just to click the buy-now and before a single nut has been turned to secure it in the Vanagon’s butt. An off-the-shelf motor isn’t the only Gowesty part here. In fact, it looks like somebody went on a shopping spree on the company’s Website. Maybe they had a coupon?

The white over gray van wears all its new parts well. Or, at least seems to by way of the pics in the ad. The seller does commit one cardinal sin in those pics by using nothing but portrait orientation. Someone should have told the seller that the van is a good bit longer than it is tall.

Image for article titled At $15,000, Would You Snap Up This 1986 VW Vanagon Before It’s Van-A-Gone?

Regardless, we shall persevere. The van’s paint looks to be in great shape, albeit a bit utilitarian in hue. Porsche 911 wheels spruce up the looks down below and are fitted with new tires. Up top, the van comes with locking racks for surfboards and bikes.

There’s a good bit to like about the interior as well. The cabin features gray cloth upholstery on the seats and, unlike a Westfalia camper, features three rows of those for fully seven-up seating. Everything looks to have either held up well for the van’s 189,000 miles and 35-years of life or has been replaced. Transmission duties are handled by a four-speed transaxle actuated by the traditional long shifter that’s typically as vague as a parent’s promise to buy you a BB gun. That should help eke out all the ponies the Gowesty engine can muster, but driving one of these will inevitably feel like piloting an open parachute.

Image for article titled At $15,000, Would You Snap Up This 1986 VW Vanagon Before It’s Van-A-Gone?

Should you be ok with that, we can now consider the van’s other aspects. On the downside, the seller says there’s minor rust on the rear hatch and under the windscreen. Those are typical places for road rot to appear on these vans. You could also question all the decals on the dash, but those probably won’t do any lasting damage.

The title is clean and the van is offered with an asking price of $15,000. What’s your take on this Van and that price? Does the thorough accounting of updates make it seem worth that $15,000? Or, for that much, would you add “over-priced” to the list?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

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