Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Vanagon History

Info taken from Wikepedia

The Vanagon was built to be the modern successor to the Microbus. The vehicle, unfortunately, was underpowered given its curb weight. Different versions of the Vanagon were produced in South Africa from 1990 until 2002 featured a 5-cylinder Audi engine which helped performance greatly. Installing engines from more powerful vehicles — including gasoline and turbo diesel inline-4 Volkswagens, Subarus, Audis, and even Porsches — is a solution pursued by some owners.
The predominant variant to the Transporter configuration, the Westfalia camper conversion, was available throughout the production of the Vanagon. This option was quite popular, and included an array of creature comforts for a family to enjoy on a weekend outing including a pop up roof, refrigerator, sink, and stove.

1980 to 1985 vans are easily identified by round headlights and chrome-plated steel bumpers with plastic end-caps. Air-cooled models (1980 to Mid-Year 1983) lack the lower grill above the radiator of the water cooled models, except on models with factory air conditioning installed.
1986 model year vehicles received several revisions, which included a more luxurious interior with a tachometer, more fabric choices, redesigned air conditioner, larger water cooled engine with a more advanced engine management system, and redesigned transmissions including an optional Syncro all wheel drive. Exterior changes to the Wolfsburg camper include rectangular headlights, which are probably the most notable change, and different paint options. Alloy wheels, larger and squarer plastic bumpers with trim along the rocker panels were options and standard equipment on Wolfsburg Edition vans.
For 1990 and 1991 model years a "Carat" trim level was available which included all available options (except Westfailia conversion).

All 1980 and some 1981 models had 8 welded-in metal slats covering the engine ventilation passages behind the rear windows. Later models had black plastic 16-slat covers that slotted in at the top and screwed down at the bottom.

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