This an admittedly unusual post, and Adventure Journal isn’t turning into Craigslist or Ebay, but I am letting you guys know about a 1986 Volkswagen Westfalia Syncro four-wheel-drive van being sold by my friend and fellow scribe Chris Dixon. Chris wrote the Westfalia Syncro story that appeared in the New York Times and also appears here on Adventure Journal, and he was my guide over the two years it took for me to research, find, and pull the trigger on my own Westy. He also oversaw the restoration of Jimmy Buffet’s Syncro. Barely a week goes by that someone doesn’t read his piece and email me if there are any for sale. Now there is.
Chris actually has two Westys and doesn’t need the 4WD, so he’s semi-reluctantly getting rid of the Syncro. I say “semi” cause few people part with smooth-running vans readily, but that cheddar is already earmarked to be put into his boat.
I’ll yield the floor to Dixie’s description of the van. There more pictures at the bottom, along with a link to even more pictures and a fuller description, and a way to contact him.
1986 Syncro Westfalia
Front A/C rebuilt and working
Stock engine/no leaks. 180K miles on van/engine. No rebuild.
Tranny rebuilt by Rancho at 100k miles.
Power door locks
2 inch lift kit
No diff locker
GoWesty 3 window tent
Everything works except window washer – which I’ll probably fix, and power mirrors – which you have to hand adjust
TA/KO tires with 90 percent tread. 14 inchers
Pings and dings from offroading but absolutely no rust and a brand new front windshield
Interior’s fricking gorgeous
All camper gear works. Fridge, stove, sink.
Has rear underseat rear heater but it’s been removed for space. Can be reinstalled if buyer wants.
Gowesty 3 window acrylic tent that’s damn near waterproof.
The van has variously been known as Cecilia, Jean Claude Damn Van and Foxy Brown. It was first owned by a lady whose husband worked in films and she used it on the Hollywood lots as a hangout spot.
Then it went to a couple in LA who sold it to me in ’01, I think.
I kept it in Calif until 2004, when I bought another Syncro and sold it to a guy in Atlanta named Adam Reed – be glad to provide a reference if you wanna contact him. I’m sure he would tell you I correctly represented every issue with the van when he bought it.
Then Adam went to hike the Appalachian trail for six months and didn’t want it rusting in his driveway so he sold it back to me two years ago.
I rebuilt the A/C and did the cool door panels myself.
I have nearly all the receipts for everything done to the van from when it was new.
The passenger window is slooow, but it’s always been slow and has never failed since I bought the van back in 01.
As other references, I’ve dealt a lot with Seth Hatfield at H&R in Santa Barbara and Joe Schoeningh at Europro in Costa Mesa and the guys at Sportsmobile. All in reference to the work I did on building out Jimmy Buffett’s Syncro and Sportsmobiles.
I can tell you more, as I know this van obviously, intimately. She’s been my baby and I’ve used her well and wisely and have always cared for her extremely well.
Van is at my home in Charleston, SC.