1980 MODEL YEAR OVERVIEW
1980 was the debut year for the Vanagon model in the USA. Vanagon replaced the venerable "Bus", known by nicknames such as "Breadloaf" and "Bay Window" that was produced during the 1970s. Four models of the Vanagon were built for model year 1980. These were:
- Vanagon (7 and 9 seat variations)
- Vanagon L (7 and 9 seat variations)
- Vanagon Camper P22
- Vanagon Camper P27
Volkswagen sold 14,101 Vanagons in the USA in model year 1980.
(According to CarSalesBase.com)
Notable 1980 Features:
The new name "Vanagon" is a contraction of "van" & "station wagon".
Since this was the first year for the Vanagon model, there were numerous changes from the "Bus" or "Transporter" models of 1979. The most noticeable difference is the very square, sharp edged look of the body. There are simply too many
changes to describe here, but one thing that did not change was the 2.0L air cooled engine located at the rear of the van.
1980 Visual Cues:
All 1980 Vanagons came with one grille at the front of the van, not for engine cooling air intake, but for interior fresh air ventilation. A pair of single round headlights are mounted in the grille. This one-grille look distinguishes all of the air cooled Vanagons from 1980 until 1982, when the air cooled Vanagons were joined by a water cooled diesel option. The single grille of the air cooled vans was discontinued, mid-year 1983 with the introduction of the "waterboxer" engine which replaced the air-cooled option.
On the rear of the van was a "Volkswagen" emblem on left side and a "Vanagon" or "Vanagon L" emblem on the right side. The rear hatch does not have a "VW" logo. The cooling air intake grilles on each side of the van, behind the rear-most windows and their steel louvers were an integral part of the body. Along with the early 1981 models, this louver design distinguishes them from the later models that were equipped with removable black plastic grilles.
1980 Brochure Gallery (Click any page to open)
Clips from Volkswagen's 1980 Brochure
Vanagon and Vanagon L Features