David from Nashua, New Hampshire flew out to visit, and to talk about restoring his beloved 87 blue Westy. He brought along photos, and we discussed several options. All said and done, it was going to cost him about the same to ship and restore his 87 than it would cost to just buy this Westy and have it restored instead. Plus, this Westy was really his prefered color, so it was really a no brainer.
The total out the door price of $44,679.49 includes:
Fresh GoWesty 2.4 liter engine
Fresh GoWesty customer geared 5-speed
Exterior completely disassembled and restored.
GoWesty black-out treatement and new plate steel bumpers
Interior competely disassembled and restored
New Recaro front seats
Suspension, steering, brakes,cooling, fuel systems all thoroughly gone through
High powered headlights
Deluxe second battery system
New LP tank
Nice stereo upgrade
Nice carpet floor mats throughout
Factory cruise control system added
AUL-CD-36"ESTATE" extended warranty (www.aulcorp.com)
And much more. In short: His dream Westy!
This is David and his friend Ed, standing next to their new pride and joy.
Way to go, guys! Nice Westy, man!
Thanks for the great email, and the data.
I would just follow our recommend maintenance guidelines—nothing special to know or do. The grease coming out of the front is probably just a loose grease cap—that should be covered by the AUL warranty.
Are you planning a west coast trip anytime?
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:36 PM
To: S. Lucas Valdes
Subject: Re: It must be the garage
We just got back from a weekend trip up the coast of Maine. We drove about 600 miles. Averaged a little over 20MPG. That was a mix of hilly back roads, some slow traffic through towns and a run of about 120 miles on the Maine Turnpike at 70 to 75 MPH. I just can't say enough about the 2.5. Pulling up the hills of Maine, and these are hills that have truck lanes and the 2.5 in 5th gear holds 55 to 60. And to be able to pull out and pass someone, very cool. I was thinking that it would be fun to drive a 2.1. I kind of forgot how slow they are.
I hope things are good with you and Gowesty.
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 6:43 AM
To: Lucas Valdes
Subject: Van update
Dave from NH here. 1990 burgundy van, #950. Remember me? I hope things are good with you and Gowesty. Westys, with these gas prices are so cool. I laugh every time I pass a motorhome.
Well, it's been over a year and about 15K miles have passed. The van is great. We are loving it. It's so cool to have people give you a "thumbs up" or "cool van" as you drive by.
It looks like it's time for the 15K service. Looking at your recommendations, plugs and air filter should do it. I have been doing the oil and filter, Mobil 1, every 3.5K. It runs great. It is still using about 1 qt of oil every 1,000 miles. A little more than I would like but according to you, it's normal and OK and I'm OK with that.
The power is great from the 2.4. I don't push it. I usually drive between 60 and 65, mostly to keep my MPG's up. Driving up to the White Mountains of NH, where we go camping 7 or 8 times during the summer it's mostly rolling hills. No loss of speed on any of those hills. Going through Franconia Notch is another story. With our old 87 van, I tried to get up to 65 or 70 at the bottom. By the time I hit the top of the notch, a 2 mile grade, I was down to 45, usually in 3rd gear. With this van, cruising at 60 to 62 at the bottom, I'm still at 55 to 57 at the top, passing trucks and car pulling trailers and still in 5th gear. It's so cool! The 5 speed it awesome. Cruising at 60 to 65 at just above 3000 RPM. The engine seems to be running stronger now that it is really broken in.
With the 16" wheels and tires, I figure that the speedo is reading just a little slow.
I have attached my spreadsheet with all my gas purchases since we pick the van up from you. (Note some of the red comment tabs that explains specifics of that tanks driving conditions) This includes the trip cross country, a trip to Florida with some wicked headwinds and many trips to the NH mountains. Camping trips has the van fully loaded, supplies, water, gin, (gotta have it) firewood. It's heavy! Please note that I have included a couple of columns that adjust the MPG's for the tires and below actual speedo reading, which makes the MPG a little higher. At just a little over 15K, I have averaged over 20 MPG! Not to shabby!!
I'll get you some pictures of the van camping soon. Also, I'll send some pictures of our upcoming September trip to Michigan. I can wait.
I noticed some oil or grease oozing out of the center hub cover on the right front wheel. I am going to have the garage check it. Will the AUL cover what that needs? And as I stated above, I am going to do the 15K service. Anything else I need to have checked?
Thanks for any input. Talk to you soon.
From: S. Lucas Valdes
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: Update
Thanks for the great email.
We all appreciate the business, and your patience!
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:15 PM
To: Lucas Valdes
I can't thank you and your great staff enough. The new 2.5 is great. We drove it easy for 700 miles to Flagstaff. At that point it was Friday at 1:00 and we were running out of time to hit 900 to 1100 miles and find someone to change the oil with Friday afternoon and the weekend approaching. I check with Chris and he said it was OK to do the first oil change at 700.
That done, we hit the road. I took it easy and used to side roads. The engine is great. Quieter than our 2.4.
But, for me, it was hard to tell how the engine was really performing. It's a different world driving cross-country. With long upgrades, headwinds and high altitudes, it's hard to tell. But when I got back on the east coast, OMG! I never needed to push the pedal to the floor to hold speed. Pulling up the grade coming out of the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore I moved into the left lane. Pushed the pedal a little and accelerated, actually gained speed. Never would have happened with the 2.4.
Then came the most fun. Driving the Merit Parkway in CT. One of my favorite roads. A road built before the interstates. Two lanes in each directions. Very hilly and winding. People drive fast. The 2.5 seemed more peppy than my Accord 4 cylinder. It was fun. I was thinking that you should come up with a stick-on emblem to look like the word "VANAGON" that says "GOWESTY 2.5, 125 HP". I sure would put one on the rear of my Westy!
The 2.5 and my 5 speed tranny is an awsome match! It cruises at 60 at 3K RPM getting 19 to 21 MPG or 70 to 75 at 3.6K RPM getting 17 to 18 MPG.
After the oil change in Flagstaff we drove 2700 miles and it used 1/2 quart or just a little more. Very nice. I am going to do another oil change in the next couple days using regular oil.
I'm sorry you weren't there the day we left. We wanted to Thank You in person for everything you did. Between your help with the cost and AUL the final price was very fair.
We had a great time in your camper. We traveled up to Monterey and down to Santa Barbara. It was really fun taking our time and exploring the CA coast. We had to go see the elephant seals twice! Thanks for letting us use it. And we discovered that we are really Vanagon people.
Be sure to thank Chris and Christina. They were both great. Christina actually put on some Doobie Brothers for me while we were waiting. And special thanks to everyone else who worked on our van. I don't know their names but they do a fantastic job.
Again, Thanks so much. I am really happy with our Westy. Not that we weren't before but this engine is just the icing on the Westy. It's so cool.
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 8:16 AM
To: S. Lucas Valdes
Subject: Re: Update
I just did the numbers. The new 2.5 got 19 MPG during the 3500 miles we drove from CA to NH. With a new engine, some cold morning starts, lots of headwinds and crosswinds and probably driving a little faster than I did with the 2.4 on the way out, it was about 1 MPG less than we got with the 2.4. The 2.4 got loud at 3200. Loud enough so I usually drove just under that or a speed of about 62. The 2.5 is as quiet at 3300 as it is at 3100 so a lot of the way I was doing about 65. Then once I hit the east coast there were times I was going about 70.
So like you said in one of your articles about MPG, it depends on how much work you make the engine do. I was making the 2.5 do more work than the 2.4. I think it will do better as time goes on and when I figure out a way to keep the speed down. I did get almost 23MPG on one tank as we were heading off the mountains and down the plains of the Midwest.
The 2.4 during the 24000 I drove it was at an average of just under 20 MPG. I'm sure once this engine is broken in it will do as good or better.
I'll keep you updated.