Item Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
Posted by: Jonathan Porcelli
Last Modified: 12/02/2019
For Sale 1984 VW Westfalia - $22,500
Provenance of this Westy:
I purchased this Westy in Tucson, Arizona in January 2018. My mother lives there so I visit often and was in the market for a Westy when I found it. An Arizona vehicle with an almost brand new condition under carriage. No rust, not rot, no decay. It looks brand new underneath.
No DIY work or modifications, she is almost factory new when it comes to her systems and interior. The previous owner had already installed a new gas tank, did the brakes and suspension work with new wheels and tires with a 1-inch lift before he and his wife decided to get divorced. That's when I came along.
So I bought her and sent her to Stuttgart Autohaus, the top VW mechanic in Tucson, for a tune up. I was prepared to get the call of all the things it needed. I was happily surprised when he said, all she needed was new plugs, wires and an oil change. His words were – “She is pristine, she will go another 100,000 miles”
I then had her shipped out to Fort Lauderdale were I lived. I continued to tinker and fix her: SS window cranks from Gowesty, some trim here and there, new headlights, new reverse switch, tinted windows, Bosch fuel pump and filter, LED side lights, Pop-top assist struts, Trucker mirrors, new top seals, added a new canvas poptop from GOWesty, new up-to-code LPG tank, new faucet for sink. I am pretty sure I was GOwesty’s best client for about 6 months. I can share with you all the items I bought/installed.
Most importantly I installed a new radiator and the five seals on the engine: 1) ATF seal and filter. 2) the torque converter seal. 3&4) the two automatic transmission seals and 5) the differential pan seal. That means all new fluids. With this level of protection her engine really is going to really hold up to use for another 100,000 miles.
But because she was from Arizona the paint was really, really faded and chalky. I looked at ways to preserve it – boiled linseed oil, clear coat, etc. It had some charm but really it needed new paint, particularly if she was going to be in Florida.
So near my home in Dania Beach were some muscle car restorers. I drove by many times wondering if I should ask them to work on my little 100 HP van. Finally, I mustered the courage and stopped in. Expecting to be laughed at, the guys at the shop loved the van. And they too commented on how clean the under carriage was and how important that was.
They directed me to their buddy who had just opened up his own shop across the street who they thought would give me a better deal. And he did. I got a wonderful “windows-out” paintjob, which means I was able to add new seals around the windows and really adds to her more modern look by not having the corroded chrome detail piece in all of them.
Yes there are still little things to upgrade/fix if you want. That’s the fun of owning a VW. The odometer does not work. One blinker does not blink all the time. I have a Gowesty ATF cooler I never installed ($400). But I still drive her every day and it’s a blast. It has an A/C compressor that the belt is not connected. Never tried to connect it. all the switches and fans work so I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes back to life, everything else on the van has with a little elbow grease and dusting off the Arizona desert.
Also comes with additional front seats from 1986 van.
We moved to Saint Pete in January. Hence she is for sale here.
We have decided to send her off to the next stewards of her 35-year old life.
My wife and I love salvaging relics and then releasing them. We don’t do it for a business, just our admiration of the retro and unique and to spend time enjoying them before letting someone else take over. Over the years we have restored craftsman houses, sailboats and now this van. It’s just who we are, it drives our family crazy.
more pics: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4ebo8tu76dz77ws/AAA8cbul4xeKRzTt9mhcpZoFa?dl=0