This 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro Camper Van Is Set Up to Bug Out
It has everything you need to live in it off the grid—and to get you there in the first place.
The Volkswagen Bus turns 70 this year, and the appeal of touring the country in one of these iconic vehicles has only grown stronger. One of the more impressive variants we've tested is the Vanagon Syncro, an off-the-beaten-path trekker with increased ground clearance, large tires, and a surprisingly rugged 4WD system. Now's your chance to own a very special example: a 1990 Vanagon Syncro that has been converted into a tough, well-equipped overland camper van.
This modified Bus currently up for sale on BringATrailer.com. And it looks like it means business—off-the-grid business, that is. This van features a reinforced chassis, black wheel-arch extensions, three locking differentials, beefed-up brakes, and BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tires. A matching spare is mounted on the rear.
On the camping side, VW features a pop-up roof that required reinforcement of the B-pillars, and, according to the listing, it needs new support struts. Along with a retractable awning, the vehicle sports custom windows and side panels, a modified Fiamma bike rack, an extendable shower nozzle, a fishing rod canister, and a roof-mounted solar array that charges storage batteries. Inside, you'll find all the gear you need to live comfortably on the road. That includes a two-burner stove, sink, table, closet, and water tanks for the heated shower. The rear seat doubles as a spare bed, while the main sleeping platform is beneath the pop-up roof.
No doubt this Vanagon has plenty of stories to tell, having gone on a two-year tour of the Americas. It has racked up around 195,000 miles in its lifetime, and although it has accrued some scratches throughout the years, previous owners made numerous repairs to keep it up and running. Around five years ago, the van received a replacement 1.6-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine (plus a new turbocharger) along with a fresh alternator and power steering pump. The four-speed manual transmission was also rebuilt around this time. This shift lever works through a standard H-pattern and features an additional "gelande" low gear between reverse and first. New bushings, CV joints, wheel bearings, and 14-inch rear trailing arms were among the other upgrades made under previous ownership. The current owner, Classic Car Club of Manhattan, bought the vehicle in 2017 and replaced the right rear CV axle and wheel bearing, performed rust repairs on the bumpers, and installed new front seat covers.
The current bid is $14,850, and the auction is ending soon. Check out more photos of the modified Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro in the gallery below.