For sale: 1990 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon 4WD SYNCHRO WESTFALIA FULL CAMPER BUS

Technical specifications

Item location:
Santa Monica, California, United States
Passenger Van Bus
Gray Cloth Interior
Engine size:
2.1L 4 cylinder
Number of cylinders:
Power options:
Air Conditioning, Power Windows
Drive type:
Interior color:
4-Wheel Drive
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


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West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional and virtually still 'as new' example of this original southern California owner 1990 Volkswagen 4WD Synchro Westfalia Full Camper with the 'pop-top' roof with opening skylight (2 double beds sleeps 4-2 up and 2 down) with the highly desirable factory options including; 2.1L 4 cylinder fuel injection engine, a 4 speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power rack and pinion steering, power front disc and rear drum brakes, independent front suspension, front and rear telescopic shock absorbers, electric rear window defroster, power mirrors, power windows, 2 gas stoves, refrigerator, sink, rear compartment heater, tinted glass, 2 folding picnic tables, front swivel captain chairs, lots of storage space, folding rear convertible bench seat/bed with storage locker underneath, rear deck mattress (to complete bed make-up), digital clock and tachometer, full drapes and all it's original dealership manuals and all dealer service records. This rare model is one of only 1,500 full campers ever sold in the US and they are extremely desirable and sought after with a renown cult following. To find such an example, in extremely rare all stock condition, and with only one southern California owner since new with only 60K original miles and always VW dealer serviced with all service records from new is truly a remarkable find !
Purchased new by its original and only southern California owner and always serviced on schedule and as required at 'Santa Monica VW', the Volkswagen dealership of Santa Monica, CA and 'Buerge VW', the VW dealership of Culver City, CA. The original factory color paint is in excellent condition and the all original and stock interior is in truly outstanding condition throughout - must be as clean as they come and the vehicle itself drives magnificently! The engine purrs like a kitten and the transmission shifts smoothly through the gears. There are no noticeable oil leaks and the temperature always remains cool.
Produced in Germany and sold in the U.S. from 1986 to 1991, the Syncro Vanagon was a four-wheel-drive version of the standard boxy 1980's Vanagon and what was already exceedingly rare is now rarer still, and even rarer are the camper models — the fully outfitted pop-top version made by Westfalia in Germany. The Syncro has a military-inspired undercarriage and a jacked-up drive train with a special gear for climbing hills; on the camper models attachments fold out, slide out and pop up to create sleeping space.
For those unfamiliar with a VW Syncro, here are the basics; they are 4wd versions of the common VW Vanagon and were imported in small numbers from 1985-1991 to North America. Their bodies were built by VW but their drive train, suspension and AWD system were made by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, a company known throughout the off-road community for building the Mercedes Unimogs, G Wagons, numerous military troop transports and tanks.
No one, not even Volkswagen, seems to know for sure, but hard-core 'Syncronauts' estimate that only about 5,000 Syncros - 1,500 campers and 3,500 passenger vans - were sold in the United States. As Christian Bokich, a brand marketing strategist at Volkswagen and Thomas Niksch, a mechanical engineer who runs a German Syncro enthusiasts' Web site (www.syncro16.de), tell the story, the Syncro was both behind and ahead of its time. At $18,000, the camper model was expensive for 1986 and it was complicated to manufacture and Volkswagen was concentrating at that time on building a new minivan. The company was loath even to promote the Syncro not withstanding magazines like 'Car and Driver' gave it glowing reviews.
The Syncro's origins go back to the late 1970's when two Volkswagen engineers, dreaming of a vehicle they could use to camp and travel to remote places like the Sahara desert, built some prototypes. In the mid-1980's, Steyr-Daimler-Puch, manufacturer of a legendary military off-road vehicle called the 'Pinzgauer', teamed up with Volkswagen to design and manufacture the Syncro. They were about $5,000 more expensive because of added equipment and the shipping of specialty parts. Due to the extra weight, they were also fairly slow. However, they are highly sought after for their utility today. It has been said that they are just big enough. Two people can sleep in one and parallel park it in the city with ease. A vibrant community and aftermarket exists to support 'Syncronauts' and their machines.
In many ways, it was a groundbreaking ground pounder. An independently suspended four-wheel-drive system gave it excellent ground clearance and kept all four wheels planted in challenging terrain. A locking system gave it tank-like traction by preventing any one wheel from breaking free and spinning. A viscous coupler, now a common device, automatically engaged the four-wheel-drive in response to any slippage in the rear wheels. Many of the inventions found in the Syncro have since made their way into vehicles like the Subaru Outback and Volkswagen's own new S.U.V., the Touareg.
But it was the rare camper model that truly distinguished the Syncro. In it you could keep food fresh in a small refrigerator, cook it on a two-burner stove, wash the dishes in a stainless-steel sink with water from a 13-gallon tank, store gear in a series of cabinets and sleep four people comfortably. The little-known Syncro camper was a back-country mobile home, the ultimate expression of a sport utility vehicle before the term was even coined.
The Internet has not only coalesced the thinly spread community of Syncro zealots, but created a viable market for Syncro parts. Today, you can buy any Syncro part online, including oversized South African VW wheels and improved suspension components from Australia. You can even swap the engine for a more powerful VW turbodiesel or a Subaru Outback powerplant. To find an unmodified all stock example is actually extraordinarily rare today.
Car people love to talk about collector cars that have a cult following. But no vehicle is as cultish and as the elusive Volkswagen Syncro. Essentially a 4WD Volkswagen T-3 Vanagon, the Syncro tears at the heartstrings of those who have been bitten by the bug. Just to be clear, a large number of people have been bitten by the Syncro bug; far more than there are Syncros to go around. You can still find them, but they are rare in the USA with only some 5,000 imported to the US and reportedly only some 1,500 full campers and to find a completely original all stock and unmodified example with such low miles and only one southern California owner since new like this particular example is quite simply, as any true enthusiast will confirm, virtually unheard of!
This is therefore very likely one of the rarest and definitely finest available example's anywhere of this conveniently sized and legendary mobile bus/camper, which are no longer in production and therefore becoming increasingly desirable and harder to find in such fine unmolested and all stock condition!

Owned and driven since new by this one obviously very careful and mature non-smoking driver - obviously never abused and without the typical bus/camper odors or stains - an obviously hardly ever used for camping example with no rust or accidents whatsoever! Turn key ready, you will look long and hard to find a finer example available of this increasingly desirable and very rare last year Volkswagen 4WD Synchro Westfalia full camper anywhere!
For further information contact West Coast Classics through EBay or on 310-399-3990 during regular California business hours.
WEST COAST CLASSICS, LLC Please note: TERMS OF SALE: YOU BID TO OWN: This vehicle is being sold by West Coast Classics, LLC; we are licensed and bonded vehicle dealers in the state of California. Please note that all vehicles sold to be registered in the state of California will be charged California sales tax on the final EBay sales price and any required DMV licensing, smog, documentation and registration fees. If leaving the state or country, the vehicle must be picked up by a professional licensed auto transportation company that can provide a bill of lading, otherwise California sales tax will be charged. (All licensed auto transport companies provide these). Any out of the state and international buyers will upon completion of the sale be sent by FEDEX the title and bill of sale for the vehicle and will be personally responsible for any sales tax and licensing and registration fees in their home state or province. All bids are legal and binding contracts to purchase the vehicle and by bidding you are hereby entering into a legal and binding contract to purchase the vehicle and agreeing to accept and abide by these terms of sale: Mechanical inspections welcomed; if you wish to inspect the vehicle you must do so before bidding; upon request seller will be happy to deliver the vehicle to a local Santa Monica mechanic of your choice for your prepaid inspection before the reserve price is met. Once the reserve price is met this vehicle is to be considered sold in ‘as is, where is’ condition to the highest bidder with no guaranties or warranties implied or given. Please have all funds available before bidding as a $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required from the winning bidder within 48 hours (2 business days) of auction end; an immediate $500 non-refundable deposit is required through Ebay’s Paypal service to end the auction early if the "Buy it now" option is exercised and the balance in full is due within ten days of auction end in any case. In the case these terms of sale are not met seller reserves the right to either re-list the vehicle or offer the vehicle to the next highest bidder. Seller reserves the right to end the auction at any time before the reserve price is met. Payment by bank wire transfer, cash in person or cashiers check only. All inspections must be done prior to bidding. The non-refundable deposit in the amount of $1,000 is due within 48 hours of the auction end via bank wire transfer or cashier's check via overnight mail. The full payment must be completed within 10 days regardless of a pick up date. In the event the deposit is not posted within the required period of time, the vehicle will be offered for sale to the next subsequent high bidder or relisted for sale. This is to be considered an absolute sale and the buyer is required to comply with all of my conditions in these terms of sale. By placing a bid and winning the auction you hereby agree to abide completely with these terms of sale and the terms of sale are to be considered a legal and binding purchase agreement. Once again, please note that there are no inspections to be made after the auction ends - please be sure to complete any inspection before bidding. The Seller reserves the right to cancel any bid at any time and to end the auction early for any reason. The seller makes every effort to describe in detail any known flaws in the vehicle and includes many detailed and recent photos of the vehicle. The mileage on the vehicle is correct at the time of listing but obviously subject to minor changes necessary to complete delivery of the vehicle to the buyer and test drives etc. Please note that all used vehicles, especially classic and older vehicles, are by definition unique and complex and their condition, for better or worse, must always be considered a subjective opinion to each individual. Therefore the seller shall not be responsible for the absolute correct description, authenticity, genuineness, or defects herein, and makes no guaranties or warranty in connection therewith. Vehicles are sold with one master key unless otherwise stated. Vehicles are sold with handbooks and manuals only if stated in the advertisement. Buyer hereby acknowledges that any definition or terms relating to a "matching numbers" description of any car has been met and the buyer has inspected the car and is satisfied with the description prior to bidding or purchase. No allowance will be made on account of any incorrectness, imperfection, defect or damage. Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the vehicle, and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value of the vehicle before bidding and to bid based upon that judgment solely. Seller assumes no responsibility for any repairs whatsoever regardless of any oral or written statements about the vehicle. A documentation fee of $55, which is capped and regulated in California as opposed to some other states, is charged on each sale, which once established legally has to be charged equally on each sale, to cover any necessary costs related to FEDEX mailings and other professional documentation paperwork fees for processing documents to establish title and registration in order to complete the transfer of documents to the new registered owner. Good luck and thanks for your interest!

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