We have an article in our library called "'Cheap' Vanagons are the most expensive". Well, here is an example of how paying even top dollar does not guarantee you a good buy...
We are selling this Syncro Westy for Doug on consignment for a 5% fee. He had been calling me for a while, and looking at our web site too. This Syncro Westy came on the market up in Washington state and, on impulse, he flew up and paid the full asking price: $31,500. In reality, this Syncro Westy is worth about $23,000, which is what the starting price is now.
The seller in Washington had represented the vehicle as a low mileage, rust free Syncro. Well, he was half right. And, it would have been one thing if he was just mistaken. But it is obvious from looking at the vehicle, it has been freshly painted, and right over what appears to be cosmetically rusty seems. It really appears to be a very dishonest representation. I don't really know if he is plainly dishonest, or just inept. Look at the photo of the SYNCRO decal on the nose, for example. He cut it out of silver tape; how long did THAT take him? How could he not know GoWesty keeps those in stock for only $10? (don't worry, a new sticker is included in the price). And to add insult to injury; it took over 2 months just to get a clear title...
Long story not so long, by the time Doug got through the paperwork, it had gotten pretty dark so Doug could not really get a good look. He could have just slept on it, waited 'till morning, and taken a better look--but he chose not to. So, he takes the seller for his word, hands him $31.5 LARGE, and starts his journey down to GoWesty. During the two day trip, he got a chance to look at the vehicle a little bit more, and was starting to get a bad feeling in his gut...
Well, his bad feelings were confirmed after our inspection and research. It turns our the vehicle spent most of its life in the North East, in Rhode Island. Miraculously, the under carriage is not rusty. The Fuel pump brackets, for example, are perfectly intact. Even moderately rusty Syncros have broken-off fuel pump brackets. So, that was a relief. The interior is very nice too, not abused at all. On top of that, the transaxle works perfectly, and the mileage is indeed accurate, and very low. The engine and exhaust look recent, no leaks, and it runs fine. But like all Vanagons: It could use more power.
The body is the weak point of this Syncro Westy. It was recently painted, and the quality is not so great. From 10 feet away, it looks fabulous. But you get up close, and you can see it is less that perfect. Many of the seams have been spammed over. There are already a couple of rust bubbles starting to appear. It is all cosmetic, hardly worth stripping the whole thing and redoing it all. Heck, it is a 4WD vehicle after all, and will likely get scratched up in short order anyway. But for Doug, this was not going to be good enough for what he had planned. Besides, he wanted a white one anyway, so he purchased one we had in stock, and we are doing it up REALLY nice!
The thing to do is repaint the top to match (and fix the small ding in that at the same time), get rid of the plastic wanna-be bumpers, apply a nice, thick black texture coating all around the bottom, and put on a set of GoWesty steel plate bumpers. The cost to do that IS INCLUDED in the price listed. Also included in the price is:
The starting price is $23,100; $22,000 for Doug, plus 5% for GoWesty
The price listed above also includes:
Super duper GoWesty major detail inside and out
-Everything that is supposed to be here is guaranteed to be there
-Everything that is there is guaranteed to work!
Black texture coating applied around the bottom
GoWesty plate steel bumpers front and back
GoWesty super duper major service
-all maintenance items back to zero miles
OME shocks and struts, all around
GoWesty 2" lifting springs
16" wheels and tires
New rear brakes and shocks
Rebuilt steering rack and some front suspension work.
De-coupler and solid shaft instead of viscous coupler
Power window switches moved to the dashboard.
New GoWesty deluxe auxiliary 2-battery system
New LP tank
High powered headlight system
Extended warranty from AUL
-Bumper to bumper
-Good at any dealership or independent garage
-50 month/50,000 mile term.
Cooper saw the light! He snapped this puppy up, and added:
Fresh GoWesty 2.5 liter engine
Ceramic coating for the entire exhaust system
Fresh transaxle with 5.43 final drive, 1.14:2 3rd and .77:1 4th
Fresh front differential with 5.43 final drive
Front locker (third knob)
-Welcome Cooper as the latest member of the triple knob club!
South African headlight treatment
50 watt solar panel system
Original, stupid frig removed
Old frig pace turned into useful cabinet space
All-electric Engel frig THAT WORKS!
GoWesty double hitch mounted double swing carrier
Skid plate to replace low hanging spare tire up front
Full size spare on the double carrier on the back
Three fuel and one water can on the back
And, Cooper wants this done IN TWO WEEKS! YIKES!
Whew! Got it done, and Cooper, Jill, and "Blue" were pleased. It was just like he wanted it: Nice, but not TOO nice! We took it out wheel'n STRAIGHT AWAY!
FUN FUN FUN!
Have fun, Cooper!
Cooper writes (see photos below):
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 11:44 PM
To: S. Lucas Valdes
Subject: RE: #842
We are loving the van - she has been all over the west coast, and we tested the awesome 4x4 with some off-roading in Death Valley. (pics attached)