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1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia Received a Subaru Heart Transplant, Speaks Japanese Now

A Subaru engine is the best upgrade one can do to a Volkswagen Vanagon. This 1986 example comes with the trusty EJ25 engine and all the necessary bits to make it a worthy companion in camping adventures.
Subaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a Trailer 20 photos
Subaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a TrailerSubaru-Powered 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia on Bring a Trailer
German style and driving dynamics combined with Japanese reliability make this 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon a sweet ride for those who fancy going on road trips. The van features a Westfalia pop-top tent to make way for a second bed. It also has special equipment to offer excellent accommodation even when away from civilization. What makes it unique is a rebuilt five-speed manual transaxle and a Peloquin locking rear differential.

Although the van is rear-wheel drive, the locking differential surely helps in low-grip situations. The van also features a lifted suspension and steel bumpers, so it’s a suitable means of transportation for the more remote areas. Some details might put off prospective buyers, although judging by the bidding history, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The van failed an emission inspection and got a “Designated Gross Polluter” notation.

This Vanagon is finished in white over tan leather and patterned clots upholstery. Outside, it received dual rounded headlights that contrast with the square headlamps of the time. Inside, the front seats have been replaced with Recaro bucket seats, while the entertainment department has been upgraded with a Pioneer head unit and aftermarket speakers.

This camper van is great for off-grid adventures too. It comes with a 100-watt roof-mounted solar panel, while a small deep-cycle battery takes care of the rest. The Vanagon comes with the usual Westfalia gear, so rest assured your whole family can sleep inside the van in comfort. Besides the fold-flat rear bench, which can be used as a bed, there’s a second bed under the pop-top roof.

The kitchenette features all the utensils that Westfalia builds usually provide. There are plenty of cabinets, a two-burner stove, a sink, and a refrigerator. Of course, the stove runs on propane, so there’s a propane tank as well. Additional equipment includes a Webasto cabin heater and a cold-weather insulation kit.

This 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia is sold on Bring a Trailer, with the highest bid at the time of writing at $13,800. It’s a fair price for the van, although we suspect it will increase in the next five days until the auction ends.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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