Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Let’s get one thing out of the way up front, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Vanagon is NOT a Syncro, even though it looks like one. It is lifted, and it rocks a Ford four in back. Let’s see if all that can get you in sync with its asking price.

Robert Frost had miles to go before he slept. That dude was a marathoner and drank a shit-load of coffee, or so it is rumored—by me.


Yesterday’s 2009 BMW M6 also had over 100K on its clock, and that was a wakeup call to a lot of you, especially when compared to the numbers that made up its price. Its final number? 56, as in the percentage of you that voted the drop-top Bimmer a Crack Pipe loss.

Let’s move on.

Do you know what can make up for a substantial amount of miles on a car? That’s right, a spankin’ new engine and some equally pristine cogs in the gearbox, that’s what. Those are some major big-ticket items on a car, and ones that you’d really like to see bright and shiny even if the rest of the car has seen some shit.

That’s what has happened with this bronze-hued 1984 VW Vanagon, although the new motor hanging out in its butt isn’t what you might expect it to be.


By ’84 the Vanagon had gone all water-cooled with its bad self. Because of that, replacing the flat four in back with a brother from a different mother is quite a bit easier than it would have been with the earlier, air-cooled Type 2s. Screw those guys.


What’s back there now on this one? Why a Ford Zetec four, that’s what. Typically powering your pizza delivery guy’s Focus, that vertical inline four with a DOHC head might not seem like an obvious choice for a Type 3, owing to the low ceiling the engine bay offers. Nonetheless, it seems to slot-in without issue like Goldilocks into mama bear’s slinky negligee.

That’s most likely owed to the comprehensive Bostig DIY kit that makes the whole thing possible. That kit goes for over six-grand alone just in case you were thinking about doing something similar.


This one’s already rocking the 130-bhp 2.0 and what the seller claims is a rebuilt VW four-speed transaxle so half the battle id fought. Win-win, right?


The ad says the mill was a crate motor, and not some tired old dog out of a dead pizza-guy Focus. The work was apparently done by a former owner (actually two owners ago) and is now in the possession of the seller who is looking to trade it for some more liquid assets with which he can make a downpayment on a house.


There’s a lot else that’s new on this Vanagon, including a good bit of the suspension bits. It’s lifted, and hence seems naked without a SYNCRO deal eyebrowing its headlight, but two-wheel drive it is. It carries a lot of tough stuff however, including both bumpers, a rear-mounted spare carrier, and a roof rack of the gods. Steelies underpin the jacked up van and it’s described as having minimal rust. None is apparent in the pics at least.

Inside there’s an odd mashup of factory and DIY stuff, but it all looks reasonably tidy. Wood paneling gives it a cabin-y feel while the tennis ball on the shifter shows it’s sporty too.


What’s not to like? Well, the ad notes that the sliding door handle doesn’t like to play noce. Also, don’t bother honking the horn as it’s not hooked up. Try yelling instead. There’s other niggling issues, including some small dings, a lack of seat belts for all the passengers, and the need to wire (or tear out) the PIY overhead console.


None of it seems to be too bad, and the base Van appears to be a prime candidate for continued work. But what of its price, you ask? The seller is asking $19,000 for the Ford-powered Van, which gets you all you see and probably a few surprises too. What do you think, should anyone pay that much for this Vee-dub? Or, is this a Vanagon with a Ford in its butt that puts a bee up your butt with its price?

You decide!


The Samba out of Indianapolis IN, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to mwelyyn for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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