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Looking for a T4 California

Sleepyboy

Sleepyboy

Messages
57
Location
Towcester
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Hi

I'm looking to buy a T4 California - preferably a late model 2.5TDi pop top but would consider most options as long as it is a 4 berth rather than the "compact roof" 2 berth high top I have seen.

They seem a bit thin on the ground currently in the usual spots - does anyone know of any for sale?

I currently have a LHD T4 Multivan 2.4D, so I am well versed with the base van and in the past have had a T3 California (among many others) but are they any things specific to this van/model that I should look out for?

Many thanks, Paul
 
Padraic

Padraic

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
588
Location
Ireland
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Hi there, it depends on your budget and if you are willing to travel abroad. Poptop.nl have a few, including a Freestyle at the moment, however it sounds expensive, the Netherlands seems to be pricey anyway. mobile.de is another good German website worth watching.
 
hotel california

hotel california

18 'till i die....
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9,946
Location
Antwerp
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T5 SE 140
Welcome on board !
 
Sleepyboy

Sleepyboy

Messages
57
Location
Towcester
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Thanks for the reply.

Budget is depending on condition and spec - I’m realistic enough to know that cheap is normally for a good reason!!

I haven’t got an issue going abroad for the right van - it’s part of he adventure and I follow mobile.de and AutoScout24 already. I’ll check out poptop.nl Though.
Continental prices seem pretty inflated right now though - more choice than the uk but the prices seem about 25% higher plus the import costs and the “unknown” factor.

Its just a case of waiting I guess - condition is most important, I know what a bad van will cost to keep going or what missing parts can cost.

Thanks again
Paul
 
Padraic

Padraic

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
588
Location
Ireland
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Yes the prices can be quiet high, I got lucky and found one here in Ireland, so I saved the import cost and illegal Irish VRT (vehicle registration tax)
If you are in a position to wait, keep looking and you will find the right one, just be careful thought as there are a few dodge ones out there. Feel free to ask questions anytime.
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
537
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Morning,
welcome! and firstly, you're in the right place ;) We've all been at this point and its a great site to get advice...

There are many threads on here with what to look for, where to look and bits of advice in between (Padraic himself went through this process himself recently - i would look through his posts before we end up repeating it all again), but if there's anything you can't find an answer to, then someone will no doubt know it...

Personally I bought mine from Germany and imported it to Belgium (good ones in Belgium were as rare as rocking horse poo!), but my Mrs is German and so we managed the import process on that side ok, but it can be a lot of paperwork and phone calls to here, there and everywhere (and I can't speak for the UK import process what is involved there?...).

Of course all genuine T4 Cali's are LHD, so importing will have to deal with that too.

As Padraic mentions, the main thing is not being stung by a fake - plenty of dodgy one's out there... Do your homework and key here is check the paperwork matches what you're hoping for. You know T4s so you know what to look for in the base van, the key then is to give the Westfalia components a very thorough going over before accepting one - if things don't work, are broken or missing, this is where you will end up spending lots to correct... Not to mention the ever growing difficulty to source good replacement parts - buy to the best of your budget and hold out for the right one.These vans are generally well loved, but a beaten up one will disappoint you very quickly...

Germany, followed by the Netherlands are likely the hot spots for finding the most good vans - what we did was pick a region, trawl through the ads and then spend a weekend going round to see the ones we shortlisted - we managed to see 13 in one weekend...

If you decide to import one from abroad and if you can trailer it home then i think you will save a lot of hassle than trying to manage the transit plates etc, but maybe someone else has better advice on that...

The link below, if you haven't already seen it, is a great source of all that is T4 California - this is where you will find all the info, importantly what is correct for a model-year - good rule of thumb, if you find a van that has features that don't fit the model year as described below, then its likely a fake... At the end of the day, a fake (by which i mean a converted Caravelle or Multivan - but be careful here, a lot of these conversions are likely to have some dodgy history in how they came to be) could still be something of interest, but then don't pay genuine price for it...

http://www.westfaliat4.info/index.html

Good luck, be patient - though now's a good time to start looking, end of season is when most folks begin to sell... :cheers
 
Sleepyboy

Sleepyboy

Messages
57
Location
Towcester
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Thank you for the detail - I've already spotted quite a few fakes Westys on mobile.de, just because it has a poptop and a camping interior doesn't have to mean it was built by Westfalia!

I've spent plenty of time on the website in the link as well - there were quite a few little detail changes across the years, although I understand it can be a challenge to match the build year of the van to the Westy build year as they can differ a fair bit.

I have plenty of time to be patient and wait for the right van, but what I am lacking at the moment is the right van!

I'll keep you posted....
 
sidepod

sidepod

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
3,709
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
My 10 bobs worth. Kick as many tyres as you can.
Find the right van and it’ll be heaven.

Luckily with 4’s you’d have to buy a complete dog to have a bad experience, they are literally unburstable.

Enjoy the search.
 
Jay20cali

Jay20cali

VIP Member
Messages
1,184
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
The t4 Californias are mostly near 20k on .de so very big money,
Amazing how some of these 2.5 tdi' s are doing 300,000 miles easily
There was one on eBay that had done over 500,000miles and still going strong .i have just taken a 2.5 tdi multivan in px on my t5 Kombi,it's done 100,000 miles so it's only just run in .apart from it being a auto that are apparently rubbish I love it?
i must admit I have owned a few 5pot's there awsome
 
Sleepyboy

Sleepyboy

Messages
57
Location
Towcester
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
My multivan is the 2.4 non turbo with over 400k km on it and the engine is lovely if a bit underpowered!

Tempted to go over to Holland and look at the vans at poptop.nl - they are a bit pricey but might be worth a trip.
 
Padraic

Padraic

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
588
Location
Ireland
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
2,758
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
My multivan is the 2.4 non turbo with over 400k km on it and the engine is lovely if a bit underpowered!

Tempted to go over to Holland and look at the vans at poptop.nl - they are a bit pricey but might be worth a trip.
He´s got some nice vans but like you say a bit pricey, That green one looks good for 17,950 it would look even better at 16,500. I think if you managed to get that one cheaper it would be a winner.
I can´t really see a van like that dropping below 15k pounds ever.
They will be classic one day, and a proper camper too.
Good luck seeking one.
 
Jay20cali

Jay20cali

VIP Member
Messages
1,184
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
"Price is negotiable" - I should hope so at Eu 35k! (and I'm a Westy fan).
Sorry I hit the disagree button
Don't even know how that happened ?apologies
 
Sleepyboy

Sleepyboy

Messages
57
Location
Towcester
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
In terms of the interiors - there seemed to be a few changes made in c.1998 - cupboard sizes, water tank etc. - are these beneficial or relatively cosmetic?
 
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