1979 Volkswagen Transporter – $3800

“Selling my 1979 Wolkswagen Transporter! Runs and sounds great! Also, its great on gas! Tis a Porche engine and is standard, shifting is incredibly easy for those just learning standard. Tis been looked at by a mechanic and is in good shape and ready for cruising! Interior consists of wood panelling, a bed, and a couch that folds up to make the bed bigger! Also, it is aircared until August of next year! And with good results! That which will be provided. This van is more for a cool hip. If interested call me at 6048667484 – asking 3800 obo. Thanks!”

Typically, when prowling Craigslist for a potential classic car for myself, I stop my search halfway through 1972… but perhaps I shouldn’t have, because this 1979 Volkswagen Transporter is one very compelling reason to delve into the mid to late 70’s. Although not a vehicle I’ve ever truly lusted after (not being a big VW fan), I can see the attraction. The last year of the Type 2 Transporter, this particular example may not be as desirable as the Type 1 (which spanned from 1950 to 1967) but the differences are almost entirely cosmetic, with the exception of the powertrain. Housing a Volkswagen Type 4 air-cooled four cylinder displacing 2.0 litres, the 1979 VW Transporter’s engine is quite an improvement over the Type 1’s wheezy mill, and even benefits from the addition of such modern luxuries as self-adjusting hydraulic lifters (!) to keep maintenance demands to at least semi-respectable standards.

But, there is one glaring problem with VW Transporter ownership: rust. Combine the ridiculously large interior cavity of a van with the dubious steel quality of a late-70’s German automobile and you get one of the most rust-prone vehicles on Earth. Due to these van’s spacious construction, there remains a lot of cavities and holes in the bodywork where dirt and moisture can lay dormant for literally decades, slowly working on the thin paint to turn the lower corners of the body into dust. But there is good news: with the exception of the rust issue, they can be pretty reliable vehicles with absolutely excellent parts support. And as far as classic car communities go, it’s hard to beat the sense of fraternity enjoyed by the Volkswagen Tribe.

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