A video intro: For some reason I bought a 2001 VW EuroVanby Drew Johnson
When life hands you lemons, you buy a EuroVan.
As I'm sure some of you do, I have an automotive bucket list. A compilation of car-related stuff I want to accomplish before I head into the pits for good. I've been lucky enough to have already scratched off a few items — things like driving the Nurburgring and owning the nicest version of a normal used car — but there are still many boxes left to check.
So, as I do from time-to-time, I recently revisited my automotive bucket list to see which items I should move to the top. For whatever reason, I decided to move up owning a cheap Porsche, item No. 19, and item 129, making a normal crossover into an overland vehicle. With that settled, I headed off to the classifieds to see which option would be easiest to get my hands on.
Almost immediately I found a slightly tatty Porsche 924 at a local Toyota dealership. Now, just in case you're not familiar with the kind of people that typically shop a used Toyota lot, let me fill you in: generally speaking, they're not the kind of people that buy 30-year-old European sports car that have been out of warranty for well over two decades.
With this knowledge in my back pocket, I was confident I would be able to talk the dealership down from its $3,999 asking price. So, I verified that it was still in stock and headed over to look at it.
Unfortunately, the sales person I dealt with had a very strange definition of "in stock.” When I arrived at the dealership I was promptly told that the Porsche sold the day before. Feeling defeated, I headed home for another search of Craigslist.
As I was browsing for another 924 or a first-generation Lexus RX, I stumbled across something I had never considered: a Volkswagen EuroVan. Now, admittedly, the reason I had never considered a EuroVan before is because it's not exactly the kind of car I lust after. It's essentially a civilized camper van and I hate camping. And yet I felt compelled to go look at it.
That's because this particular EuroVan was pretty special. According to its Carfax report, it stayed with its original owner until 2016 and had traveled less than 44,000 miles during its 17 years on the planet. It was also purchased the day after 9/11, which seems like a strange time to buy a car, but that's a topic for another day.
I quickly scheduled a showing to see if the van's condition matched up with its Carfax report. It did, so I bought it.
Although it's in really good condition, the EuroVan still has some stuff to sort out. It needs new tires (it still has the factory originals on!), a few engine sensors and a good cleaning. Oh, and the AC needs to be fixed. Because who wants to camp in a van without AC when its 90 degrees out with 89 percent humidity?
I'll continue to update this space with the trials and tribulations of EuroVan ownership, along with all the fun adventures that are sure to break out, so check back frequently. And if you have any ideas for what I should do with my new-to-me EuroVan, leave a suggestion in the comments below. See ya at the camp site!