My first VW Van *1983 Vanagon* April 16, 2014 14:17

When does a car been come classic or vintage? 

Some may consider a car made in the 1950s as a Classic, whilst others consider classic cars to be ones from the 1980s. Although there is no precise definition, the Classic Car Club of America considers a car to be classic if aged between 30 and 49 years, and modern classics are defined as cars aged between 15 and 25 years old.

At the time I had never owned any VW classic or new car, and wanted to dip my foot in to the #VanLife trend and see what all the fuss was about. I searched Craigslist Oahu and found this 1983 Vanagon with a "Pancake motor" ,  it was called that because of how flat the motor would sit in the engine bay. 

I called up the owner via Craigslist and met him at a bar below Aiea Bowls, there was a little sports bar in the corner.

We grabbed some dinner and shared a pitcher of beer and began talking. I wanted to know why he was selling this beautiful van. He said he had this car for many years , and it was just time to let her go to someone else to enjoy. If you're a car guy/gal you'd agree, after being the care taker of a vehicle for so long, unless you are going to pass it down to your child (hopefully they appreciate and will take care of it) or a friend , family member you'd want the car to be loved and on the road again. I made him a promise that if he would allow me to buy the vehicle , that i would wash, clean and love this car daily. So with a hand shake and a hug we made the exchange. 

I love that license plate and wish the previous owner let me have it, but he kept it for sentimental reasons.

The Van was a bright orange bottom with a metallic grey top, House of Kolors paint. The owner  lowered the bus and she sat on some import car tyle , low profile custom wheels. 

I installed some Thule roof racks up top but whats super cool about this Van is inside the cabin of the van the previous owner fabricated and welded inside ceiling racks.

I was about to store 4 longboards  inside!! These benches open up to large storage , 2'x3' and 2'x4'.

Heres a better angle of inside looking towards the front. The Van had surround sound, with a bug sup hidden underneath the bench. The Van had 2 large Optima batteries , one for the vans operation and the other dedicated for the speakers 4 monitors for movies, and secutiry feature.

The Van had a touch sensory that would lock , unlock and alarm the whole car with out a key. This was the best feature, that meant I could go to the beach, hiking, camping without ever having to carry a key in my pocket and lose it. 

The sensory was a very thin low profile device that would lay behind the windshield.

With the security code put it,  all the doors would unlock and the car's smart system would allow the push button to be activated and work. That was also another amazing feature of the car was the push button. 


I just love the retro 1980s style spaceship, KnightRider dash gauges , buttons and wood steering wheel. 

These side vents are where the Air comes in to cool off the motor. All the windows, doors and sliding doors worked smooth and properly.

...But just as I was loving this Van things came up and I had to sell her. The shop  was being built and we needed more funds for materials and equipment. I had made a promise that who ever owned the van would love and cherish it, I plan to honor it. I  put the Van up on craigslist and interviewed ever person who inquired. I wanted to make sure they were going to take care of the van. 

A young military man called and said he would love a chance to care for the Van. He had just moved to Hawaii for work, and hope the van would help get him out of his shell to meet new people, share new camping and beach experiences and make some friends. He was shy and  the van would help. 

I felt his honesty was what helped me decide that he was the one i wanted to pass the van on to. Immediately i called the previous owner to ask for his blessings , and he agreed. So I met up with the young military gentleman , asked him to keep the same promise I did with the previous owner and with a handshake we made the transaction. 

As far as i know  , the young military man spent his 4 years here in Hawaii and got transferred to another state or country and took the VAN with him. I hope during those 4 years, he got a chance to enjoy the Hawaii surf culture made some friends and shared some great memories.