We love camper vans at Gear Patrol. And while that #vanlife can take many forms, the Volkswagen Vanagon is the quintessential vehicle for that lifestyle. There’s an incredible, custom pop-top Vanagon up for auction on Bring a Trailer right now — it’s outfitted for overlanding duty, and it also has an interesting back story.
The van is a 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon T3 Syncro 16″, the the four-wheel-drive version of the Synchro developed by VW and Steyr-Puch. The van’s original owner was Volkswagen AG itself, who had it converted into an overland camper by Ulrich Phillips at Special-Mobils in Germany. The German magazine Off Road profiled it in 1991.
Subsequent owners substantially refurbished the van over the past decade. It received a replacement 1.6-liter turbodiesel engine and had the four-speed manual transmission with low gear rebuilt. Rust treatment has been performed on both bumpers. Off-road features include a reinforced chassis, flared black wheel arches, locking differentials, and larger brakes.
Eagle-eyed readers will spot the Gear Patrol decal on the windshield, as this Vanagon resided with our friends at Classic Car Club in Manhattan. Our staffers have driven it and can confirm that it is a blast to drive.
The bidding, as of this writing, is just north of $10,000, with five days remaining on the auction.
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