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  • In the past two years, obsessive vendors have conceived radical upgrades (heavy-duty shocks, lift kits, on-the-fly drive decouplers) and have even managed to shoehorn modern engines into the rigs—­state-of-the-art and retro. Everyone from pro snowboarder Jussi Oksanen to Maverick’s surfing legend Grant Washburn to actor Tom Hanks, who calls his Syncro addiction “a rare dementia,” has succumbed to the Vanagon. The only drawback: production ceased in 1992, and there are only so many of these babies left (maybe as few as 5,000), so the vehicles are appreciating in value. Then again, freedom, as they say, has never been free.

  • Photo: Chris Mueller

    The Vanagon has plenty of space for man and his best friend.

  • Photo: Chris Mueller

    The cube with pop-top camper roof up.

  • Numerous vendors upgrades have transformed the Vanagon to be state-of-the-art and retro.

  • Photo: Chris Mueller

    The classic pop-top roof.

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    Next Up: Buggin' Out: The Ultimate Camper

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