1985 VW Westfalia. Camper Van. One family owned for a majority of its life. Only 42700 miles in wonderful original condition. Just serviced and ready for the next adventure. The following is an independent drivers review of this vehicle: Volkswagen Vanagon camper 1985 · A social camper for leisurely weekends, · Nice interior with all amenities, · Will take you almost anywhere, but not very rapidly, · A serious collector’s vehicle. VW’s Vanagons (sometimes called Eurovans) have become a cult, with prices to match. They have a reputation as somewhat dull workhorses, but their simple, well-finished interiors appeal strongly to weekenders, doubling, with the middle seat, as people carriers during the work week. Early VW Campers were dull, slow-moving beasts, although they were tough and reliable. The water-cooled 4-cylinder powerplant generated 83 horsepower, a modest amount indeed, but no one expects you to break speed records, so it’s fine. Add rack and pinion steering, manual transmission, and power-assisted front brakes, and you’re ready for most things. But don’t be in a hurry. That’s not the point! You sit high above the road, so much so that you’ll probably have to use the handy grip handle and step to swing yourself into the driver’s seat. Before driving off, I took a good look around. The Westfalia camper comes with a pop-up roof, a tent, a propane stove and small fridge, also a kitchen cabinet and sink, set on the left side of the cabin behind the driver. Both the driver and passenger seats are quite comfortable, especially for a couple on a longer journey—the seats recline if you so desire when camping. The driving position with its unusual steering column takes some getting used to, but the learning curve is short. The main cabin is accessed through a side door on the passenger’s side and is a sociable place, with a folding table and seats for four. The rear seats folds into a commodious 6-foot bed. All rather cramped by American RV standards, but fine if you plan to eat and spend most of your time outside. Or you can sit inside and picnic, or just have a few drinks with friends. I would describe it as a mobile social place. You churn through traffic in fine style, with excellent visibility, especially to the front, but you find yourself using the gears a great deal, especially second and third in traffic. The brakes are excellent for a vehicle of this vintage. On the freeway, the Vanagon settles down for a pretty smooth ride, especially if you’re carrying several people or a load. On country roads, you swing along to the accompaniment of the quite busy engine. Cornering is obviously a matter of careful judgment of your entry speed using the brakes, but the pickup is surprisingly prompt. The steering is nicely weighted and quite sensitive. You don’t corner at speed, as the Vanagon tends to lean, but one wouldn’t expect you to anyhow, this being a van, not a sedan. Unlike today’s automobiles, you need to think about the gears and use them judiciously to get the best out of the camper. On my favorite mountain road, I found myself spending a lot of time in second, which is the most flexible gear in the box. Third is excellent in traffic. But the box is a VW box, so it’s excellent. Change changes are deliberate, not rapid, which is actually ideal for a vehicle like this one. This is an ideal conveyance for a leisurely exploration of country roads or Highway 1 between San Simeon and Big Sur. You’ll find yourself with a lot more time to admire the scenery than you would in many of today’s more rapid campers. I enjoyed the Vanagon, having owned a much earlier version many years ago, which I drove through western Europe. This is very much a camper for either people on a nostalgia trip to recall earlier, less hurried vacations, or for young couples out for an adventure that is weeks, even months, long. Think of it also as a weekend conveyance, but it has one great strength.
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