This summer while vacationing in Montana, I gave my Cadillac Escalade to my parents. My reason was simple - it'd been molested too many times in the big city. We did enjoy catching the criminals (busted two would-be-thieves in the act in 2010), but we were ready for a new car.
We started looking for one shortly after arriving home from our honeymoon - from the Nissan Armada to the Tesla. But none of them really appealed to me. Then I found a rig that made my heart leap, the VW Syncro Westfalia, aka The Greatest Car Ever Built.
Everyone from pro snowboarder Jussi Oksanen to Maverick’s surfing legend Grant Washburn to actor Tom Hanks, who calls his Syncro addiction "a rare dementia," has succumbed to the Vanagon. The only drawback: production ceased in 1992, and there are only so many of these babies left (maybe as few as 5,000), so the vehicles are appreciating in value.
The first one I found stood out because it fixed the problem that many VW Busses have - crappy engines. Rather than a powerless ol' VW engine, it had a Subaru SVX H6 3.3L (240HP). I found a maroon syncro that was similar to the aforementioned one, but ended up buying the blue one after I asked the owner why his was better. He replied with a 12-item list and a closing paragraph that sealed the deal for me.
Any van you end up with will have its own eccentricities, personality traits, faults and virtues. Owning one, especially a Syncro is a labor of love, not necessarily a good investment purely in terms of money but man, I've racked-up more memories in that Syncro over the past 10 years than with anything else in my life. I've owned Syncros for years and will continue to do so, it gets in your blood and there's no cure.
Trish has always wanted an RV for photography, and I've longed for a VW Bus that runs. With our plan of skiing all over Colorado this year (Abbie gets free days at every resort), it should be a heckuva ski season!
I can't wait to go and rescue it in December with my Dad. We figured it'd be fun since we did our first bus rescue in 2004. For more pictures, see my 1990 Syncro Westy SVX Full Camper set on Flickr or the original listing.
As for my '66 Porsche Bus, that's progressing nicely. It should be starting and drivable (though not street legal) in the next couple weeks.
Update: Dad is out, Trish is in for the Syncro Rescue Road Trip. She wasn't about to let us have all the fun.