Buying a Van

Yesterday I saw the following ad on eBay:

Due to a change in my plans, I have decided to sell my LT35 Diesel, which I had intended to convert to a camper. I bought the van last summer, and since have put an MOT on it, having sorted the brakes (new front calipers & pads, new rear wheel cylinders, bled right through with fresh fluid). Also changed radius arm bushes, new exhaust mounts, serviced the handbrake mechanism and sorted a few minor jobs. Second time around it passed with flying colours so now has an MOT to 25Sep09.

It starts and runs well, seems quite economical - it has the “1S” diesel which is 55KW - 75BHP - not the fastest in the world but cruises comfortably at 60mph. It has power steering and a 5 speed ‘box - the gearchange is a bit vague - typical of LTs of this era, I believe a couple of new plastic bushes can help this. The van is quite solid, with just a bit of surface rusting on one or two of the lower seams - again typical of LTs. Amazingly, there is ABSOLUTELY NO RUST AROUND THE WINDSCREEN! - a problem that aflicts 8 out of 10 LTs I’ve ever seen! There is some rust on the o/s floor inside near the rear wheel arch which I was going to weld up before I started the conversion - but this is not serious - couple of hours work at most. (MOT man was not concerned - he said it wasn’t structural). Tyres are all good, they are proper commercial-rated ones with good tread, spare has less tread but is legal.

You can see from the pics that there are a few bumps on the lower flanks. NOTE - the signwriting is made of vinyl stickers which will come off easily with a bit of help from a hairdryer or heat gun - The driver’s side has been removed already. On this side the lower third has been brush painted blue - not very well, needs flatting and redoing to make neater, but I think the two-tone looks quite good. The cab area could do with a clean, but is all intact - dash, floor mat etc. all ok and it doesn’t leak around the screen so the cab floor has no rust. Seats need cleaning.

You are welcome to come and look at the van before bidding - I would recommend this for any vehicle purchase. Please e-mail via “contact seller.” I will try and upload some more/better pictures over the next few days.

I require a £100 deposit by paypal or cash within 24hrs of the end of the auction, and ideally would like it taken within 7 days as I could do with the space. Cash on collection is required for balance of the payment. As you can see I have good feedback, I do my best to describe what I’m selling as acurately as possible, and treat people as I would like to be treated - with honesty and respect. Please therefore do not bid unless you are serious about buying this van - bidders with less than 10 feedbacks or less than 98% positive score please e-mail before bidding - non complying bids will be removed.

The van is advertised elsewhere, so I reserve the right to end the auction early if sold.

…complete with the following pics:

I’ll no say it was my dream van or that my heart turned somersaults on gazing upon its loaf-of-bread-like visage, but - after ploughing through pages and pages of boring rusted to fuck transits [which seemed to be the only thing on eBay in my price range at the moment] it did have a certain individuality about it that was quite attractive in an ugly sort of a way [a bit like me really!] it also had the advantage of being in Sale, about five miles from where I live, and having only been bid up to £200 odd. So I decided to email the seller and ask to come and take a look on the Sunday.

When me and Marie got there, I was immediately struck by how feckin’ big it was. I’d read that the LT35 was [when introduced] the biggest van VW made, but I was kind of expecting something a foot or two bigger than and old VW combi bus. This thing looked like you could park a VW combi in the back of it! - a bit scary, but ideal camper wagon material.

We had a look round the van and it seemed in reasonably good nick; rust free underneath and only a couple of spots on the bodywork and a couple of holes in the back in the floor - thankfully nothing structural and a fairly easy weld, even for a clot like me!

As we fired it up for a test run round the block, I asked the guy [or ‘Peter’ as he shall henceforth be known] what he was after for it. I was aiming to spend a grand maximum. Peter said he’d take £600 for it, so the price was right and -when Peter showed me how the engine was accessible from inside the cab by tipping the seats out of the way and lifting a cover [no more tinkering out in the rain!]- I was actually starting to get interested.

Peter warned me about the godawful gearchange and I had a fiddle about with it, sitting on his driveway and it was indeed terrible - worn linkage bushes, methinks. Then Peter jumped behind the wheel and we went for a spin. On the road everything seemed fine; it started, it stopped and it rolled along as slowly, rattly and sedately as I’d expected. So after we got back to Peter’s, I duly offered him £600 and we shook on the deal. A quick trip to the cashpoint for a £50 deposit and we drove home in GULG the proud [if slightly dazed at the suddenness of it all] owners of a VW LT35 van.

The next stage of the plan is for me to go down to Peter’s and pick it up sometime early next week.

Meta TAGS: purchase
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: 25 Jan 2009
AUTHOR: stíobhart matulevicz