Last year a 1963 VW Microbus sold at auction for more than two hundred thousand dollars. Not only is today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Westfalia lots cheaper, but it packs a little bit of Henry in its butt.
Historically, Prince Rupert, commander of King Charles I's cavalry, is considered the archetype of a Cavalier. With its L67 mill and stealth paintwork, yesterday's L67-powered Chevy Cavalier was far from archetypical, and as seen by 80% of you, neither was its price.
For their first two iterations, the Ts — Terminator movies and VW Transporters — tracked in alignment. The Terminator was awesome, as was the T1 Microbus (see, two hundred grand, above).
Terminator Two, or T2 as it's familiarly known, was even more balls-deep action, and the VW T2 was equally beloved, albeit for different, and more filthy hippie related reasons.
And then there came the T3s, and more divergent paths could not have been taken. Volkswagen's T3, known to American audiences as the Vanagon, has a strong following, especially the editions with kitchens or the ability to spin all four wheels. Terminator Three on the other hand was a cinematic turd that unbelievably shot its wad in the second act, and offered a lead character with all the charisma of a three-toed sloth on downers. If the Terminator series were Monkeys, this movie would have been their poo flung in anger.
Fortunately today we're looking at an 1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia, and not the cable cut of the Terminator franchise's descent into the abyss. Not only does this gold brick sport a pop top bedroom and first story kitchenette, but it also gets its power from the house of Henry. That's because instead of VW's 1.9-litre wasserboxer engine resting between the van's taillights, there's now a Ford inline four of the same displacement back there.
Now, the VW flat four in the Vanagon was not rated in horsepower, but instead in horseflypower, and the original engine put out 83 horseflies. Clocking zero to sixty time required multiple generations, and the blocky vehicle's top speed was officially stated as ‘walking.' Today, the 1.9 which was originally found mounted sideways under the hood of an Escort puts out 6-more blistering horseflies, and plenty more opportunities for conversation at the campground.
When at the campsite you may want dip yourself in Deet as the fabric on the poptop has so many gaping holes in it that you will become a bug buffet before the night is through. That's just one of the cosmetic/functional issues with this VW, which also include having its nose badge now residing on a chain around some kid's neck, and the fact that it looks like it now lives in a junkyard. In Texas.
Despite that, its bones look to be pretty solid, and the interior - with the exception of the welting on the driver's seat, which looks like a defeated Charlie Brown's mouth, seems in pretty good shape. The A/C, not so much, needing what is claimed to be new hoses. Other than that, there's a bunch of new parts including a jaunty set of blackwall tires wrapped around the dog dish capped steel wheels.
Ths Westfalia is an automatic, a feature of these that always mystified me. I just can't imagine VW engineers getting together to think of ways to make the Vanagon slower. Still, if you're looking for speed, you're in the wrong place. Well, the VW is the wrong place, but likely a Texas junkyard would be like Walmart for illicit drugs should you be seeking THAT kind of speed. If instead you are looking for a quirky Westfalia with a hint of Ford, then this is your camper.
That is of course if you think its $7,500 asking price is befitting the cut of its jib. What's your take, is this Westfalia worth that kind of scratch? Or, does that price make any deal for this T3 terminated?
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