1974 Volkswagen Vanagon Review from North America

1974 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia 1.8

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.8 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance124800 miles
Previous carGMC Jimmy


This is the ULTIMATE Adventure travel vehicle.


The transmission needed a rebuild after a friend failed to warm the transmission up before moving the van from a cold start (-36F) and after being parked for 8 months.100,000 miles.

Everything else is in line with the age and the van is well kept. I had added electronic ignition ($70 new) to prevent additional (on the road) maintenance.

I cut the top Plaid foam mattress covers nearly off and added some other (ugly green) OEM Plaid material to re-cover the front seats.

General Comments:

Cheap to buy parts for and simple to do-it-your-self with a Bentley Manual.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2005

20th Sep 2005, 11:23

VW did not make the Vanagon until 1980.

If you have the old Bus Camper with an automatic transmission, don't challenge any old ladies with walkers to a race. You will lose badly.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 1 review