HomePick of the DayPick of the Day is camping-trip-ready ’81 VW Westfalia

Pick of the Day is camping-trip-ready ’81 VW Westfalia

This Vanagon has freshly rebuilt engine and other updates


So, you’ve been cooped up by the coronavirus pandemic for way too many months and you’re eager to get out of the house and to do some traveling. But you’re not sure how much you want to mix with others out on the road or motels.

The Pick of the Day could be the solution. It’s a 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westphalia, which the private seller advertising the vehicle on ClassicCars.com says is a “ready to go camper at the turn of the key.”

The seller reports that the VW got a freshly rebuilt GEX 2.0-liter engine in 2019. GEX International is an Arkansas-based company that specializes in rebuilding air-cooled engines for 1972-83 Volkswagen vans and for the Porsche 914 model. 

This Vanagon’s year-old powerplant installation is linked to a manual transmission.

Westfalia, Pick of the Day is camping-trip-ready ’81 VW Westfalia, ClassicCars.com Journal
Westfalia, Pick of the Day is camping-trip-ready ’81 VW Westfalia, ClassicCars.com Journal

“Outside, this Westfalia is believed to be finished in the original brown paint,” the seller adds. “The white top has just been thoroughly cleaned and shines brightly. 

“Front and rear bumpers have been replaced with black powder-coated steel bumpers, the grill is the South African style with 4 headlights, and two roof crossbars were added as well. 

“Inside, this van features brand-new brown carpeting, updated Bluetooth-capable stereo, a newer looking canvas pop top, and the original appliances. 

“With the top open and the rear seat folded down, there are two beds able to be used, a swing-out table, and room to stand up fully. With such a small vehicle size, the Vanagon is the perfect choice for a small camper that is easy to drive without missing out on all the comfort.”

Westfalia, Pick of the Day is camping-trip-ready ’81 VW Westfalia, ClassicCars.com Journal

The seller says the van shows 140,310 miles on its odometer, presumably the vast majority of that compiled on the original engine, and the seller has all receipts since 1998.

The van is located in Boise, Idaho, and is being offered for $18,995.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.  

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. How is it that an automotive writer can misspell “Westfalia” in the same article wherein he spells it correctly?
    Larry. Come on, man. . .

  2. I have a 1981 Wesfalia….and they live up to the hype.Runs well,reliable the bed and kitchen unit are perfect.The fridge works well and gets to 40 degrees or less on a regular basis.My odometer says 230,000,but is probably more.The body has held up well and this van only goes up in value…so stop dissing the writer and get yourself one of these babies!!!


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