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Vanagon High Top TDI with Low Miles

Van Camper BODY TYPE

1982 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon Description:

Rare Original VW Adventurewagen with TDI Swap, Low Miles, and Upgrades
1982 Volkswagen Vanagon modified in 1982 to be turned into the Adventurewagen – a variant made by a company in California to compete against the Westfalia. Notable features were the fiberglass high top and full size rear bed. A little over 52k original miles! It has lived in the Rockies and PNW so rust is extremely minimal. Fantastic camper van with some mild off road capabilities.
This is an original diesel van (hence the radiator), but the previous owner swapped in a 1.9 1Z TDI out of a late 90s Jetta. What that means is this van gets 27mpg on average, and has enough torque to climb the high mountain passes in Colorado, and push 70-75mph on the flats. They kept the full wiring harness so there’s a ScanGauge II on the dash to display extra information. There’s an intercooler in the rear piller. I have started it in 6*F weather at 9000 ft and it had no issues.
Maintenance and Modifications
  • The most significant upgrade we have done is putting in a DK transmission rebuilt by Mr Gas down in the Springs. A full overhaul, plus taller 3rd and 4th gears, reinforced parts wherever possible, drilled and tapped for both a temperature gauge and oil cooler, and best of all – Peloquin limited slip differential.
  • Fresh Shifter bushings + assembly
  • Fresh Yokohama Geolander A/T tires on new 16” steel rims
  • GoWesty 1.5” Lift Springs
  • Bilstein HD Shocks
  • Fresh Alternator + Belt
  • Fresh Starter
  • Fresh Turbo (currently waiting on mounting studs however)
  • T3 Heavy Duty front sway bar + links
  • T3 Poly Control Arm Bushings
  • New tie rods and upper ball joints (and subsequent alignment)
  • Porsche 944 CV Axles
  • AGM 125 AH House Battery with BlueSea Isolator
  • USB Ports underneath Passenger seat (used for fridge)
  • Full LED Lighting
  • Westfalia Stove/Sink Cabinet and Westfalia Closet
  • Westfalia Curtains with blackout fabric sewn in
  • Burley Motorsport Rear Tire Carrier
  • Steel Rear Bumper with 2” hitch
  • 11.5 gallon fresh water tank + fill, mounted under body
  • Relayed Euro H4 Headlights
  • Front Hi Lift mount
  • Recovered Bench + sleeper cushions
  • Passenger seat is on a swivel base

So, with all the work done and low miles why isn’t this a $20k van? The PO did some work that isn’t necessarily how I would have done it – namely the wiring harness is 100% functional just not aesthetically pleasing. It was hit in the passenger rear at one point and they did a decent job of fixing it, but not perfect. It’s also still a 30+ year old van, so it has a quirk here and there.
That being said, it’s a great road trip/adventure vehicle. The high top affords standing height that’s more insulated and better sheltered from the elements than a pop top. There is storage aplenty that’s blocked from public view, as well as protected from the elements. The TDI affords a great mix of economy and torque, along with no worry of popping a headgasket like a Subaru or Wasserboxer. We find it turns a lot of heads and gets lots of waves.
Thanks for looking and please let me know if you have any questions.


Item location:Westminster, Colorado, United States
Type:Van Camper
Interior color:Brown
Engine:1.9 TDI
Drive type:RWD
Drive side:Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title:Clear