Goin’ Up Country: 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper

  • March 16, 2021
The Rundown
  • Very Attractively Maintained & Presented
  • Great Eyeball in Orange Paint w/ Plaid Interior
  • Well-Equipped, Inviting, & Complete Interior
  • 2.0L ‘Flat-4’ Equipped w/ EMPI Dual-Carb Setup
  • First-Year Automatic Transmission Model
  • Reported to Be Great to Drive w/ Plenty of Power
Why We Like It

Soon after Volkswagen introduced its Type 1 Sedan (Beetle) based Type 2 Transporter in 1949, Germany’s Westfalia company designed its now-famous pop-up camper system. A wonderful way to travel, equipped with dual-purpose seating/sleeping surfaces, kitchenettes, and the airy comfort of a pop-up roof allowing the ability to stand up, Westfalia-equipped VW buses are the gold standard by which camper van conversions are judged today. Combine their utility and quality with an avant-garde, counterculture persona, and you have a useful postwar motoring icon the whole family can enjoy.

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goin-up-country-1973-volkswagen-westfalia-camper00L0L 4ewTAEr3i0pz 0CI0t2 1200x900This very attractive 1973 Westfalia pop-up camper is a very rare example from the first model year of automatic transmission availability. It benefits from extensive maintenance and selective restoration work, with the engine thankfully upsized to 2.0L and equipped with EMPI dual carburetors for extra spunk on the road. The seller advises the “Westie” is a sound example capable of being driven and enjoyed daily. The interior is very inviting, having been reupholstered with original-style orange plaid upholstery and fresh seat cushions. Amenities include a sink, storage cabinets, ice box, pull-out bed, table, jump seat, and even a hammock up top. New floor mats, new rear flooring, and new tenting for the pop-top, including three screen windows, allow all-weather enjoyment and comfort. There are far more details, but all in all, this is a very attractive, high-quality fun machine.

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Valuation Verdict

These “Westies” have been made available through all VW Van generations and will likely soldier on through the indefinite future. The success of Westfalia’s campers spurred enterprising firms to produce and market competing designs over the years, as well. Predictably, values are highest today for the original 1949-1967 Type-2 models, but prices are also robust for succeeding generations. A quick peek at online auction listings from sites like Bring a Trailer confirm a reliable value channel for second-generation VW Westfalia campers, from nearly $20k, up to $36k and sometimes higher. Selectively restored, well-maintained, and well-equipped, our subject “Westie” is a quality example that appears to deliver Fair Market pricing and value, in our opinion.

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