The VW Bus has lots of fans, despite being simple transportation with the aerodynamics of a brick. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe brings you a wasserboxer brick that's not so simple — and in fact comes with the WRX.
Yesterday, the Thing came close, but got spanked in the end with a 63% crack pipe vote. The consensus seemed to be that the paint job must been applied by the Underwood Home for the Spastically Blind and that for the price, orange would have been the better color choice. While the color seemed egregious, the engine placement of that 181 didn't seem to bother anybody, so we'll stick with that for today's candidate.
As you'll recall, last Friday we had a forward-control Ford E100 to contemplate, and today we're following suit with a contender that also uses your knees and nut sack as crush space. Now, in a situation where the last thing to go through your mind when you hit something is your ass, it might seem crazy to modify the car so that your impacts can be all that more energetic and spectacularly nut-crushing. However, we like that kind of crazy, and we also like the thought of a Subaru WRX-powered 1987 Vanagon.
When VW replaced the Vanagon's air-cooled engine with the wasserboxer and enough plumbing for a small condo, they engendered a raft of engine transplant options previously untenable due to the parched desert-like conditions of the earlier cars. And engine transplants became even more popular when people started realizing that, even with the more-powerful water-cooled engine, grannies on their Hoverrounds would still shut them down at every traffic light. The 90-bhp 2.1-litre four that originally powered this Weekender was better than the bee-fart push of the older cars, but who wouldn't want a rockin' 2.0 Subie WRX turbo out back? That engine puts out 113 hp per litre stock, and the seller claims this 250-bhp van is good for 13 second quarters and 141-mph top speed. That's pretty damn fast regardless, but when you're sitting less than 3 feet from the world ahead of you it's especially butt-puckering.
As this car and engine come from the age of
emissions-controls and visual inspections, Californians should just keep walking as it comes without cats and with a world of hurt if you even whispered its name within the halls of the DMV. All others, and Cali folk with friends in high places, should take into consideration that this WRX-wagen also has been upgraded, frankenstein-like, with a bunch of Porsche parts- including 993 rims, Porsche exhaust and brakes, and a fat little Zuffenhausen tiller in replacement of the Van's traditional London Eye of a steering wheel.
The interior gets the Weekender treatment with captain's chairs and a table for poker night, plus so much grippy velour you'd think the velour bears would rank right up there with the polar ones on the endangered list. The re-ratio'd transmission is actuated from a knobby golf ball atop a putter-length lever, and it's unlikely that the rowing is any less vague than normal.
Now this Vanagon has been around for a while and you might recognize it as Eric Didier's car. You might even have already seen it's dyno run, but if not, well that's not what you normally expect out of the back of a VW Bus-
It's also claimed to have been well-sorted out, and besides the registration issue, ready to roll. But what would it take for it to be rolling under you? Well, $14,500 is the asking, and it's pretty safe to assume you couldn't replicate this 250-bhp boxer-box for anything close to that unless you worked a street corner with a sign that said Will work for WRX Vanagon.
So, would you go $14,500 for the chance to spend your weeks with this Weekender? Or does that price scare you almost as much as running this frenetic frankencar on an undivided highway?
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