Custom restorations

Maybe you're a new owner of a Vanagon and want to invest in bringing it up to modern safety and performance standards. Or perhaps you've owned your air-cooled bus for 30 years and it's finally time to put some new paint on it and freshen up the interior. Maybe you have a generous budget, or maybe you want to do your project in phases. 

Our goal in restorations is to understand your project goals and then build a plan to get it done. Typically, a restoration project is defined as a comprehensive overhaul - this can be focused on the just the mechanical systems, just the body, or a combination of both. Restoration projects are managed outside of our normal workflow and often require significantly more time to complete. It is not unusual for projects to take 2-3 months, and a complete restoration of interior, exterior, and mechanical can easily exceed a year in length.  

We work with many clients from around the country. Shipping vehicles to Peace Vans is simple. While we can't cover the shipping costs, we will generally cover airfare when it is time to come pick your van up and take a road trip home.

The easiest way to get started is to reach out to us.  Email or give us a call.  

Many people will initiate a project over the winter with the goal of picking it up in spring and road tripping home.  Those slots do fill up and we are currently writing this in the Fall, so get in touch soon if you want Peace Vans to give your project some love this winter.

Our current restoration projects include:

  • 73 Bay Window, full restoration
  • 77 Bay Window, complete restoration
  • 87 Vanagon major collision repair
  • 91 Vanagon Syncro full body restoration (this van will be for sale soon - ask us)
  • 76 Bay Window Vista Edition High Top - full body restoration
  • 91 Vanagon, mechanical overhaul


    We did a full body restoration on this 1985 Vanagon, including a color change to the classic Maus Gray color. The customer also had us install an epic in-dash AC/heat solution that works like a dream. 

    1973 Transporter - Full Restoration: Mechanical, Exterior and Interior

    The customer came to us to create a one of a kind "surf bus" for a present for his daughter.  The dad owned a business that did body and paint work so the bar was high.  The bus was delivered to us with no motor and a transmission sitting inside on the floor.  We scoped a full restoration and budgeted $75,000 and year.  Less than $75K and a year later (on time and under budget, thank you!), we delivered a true piece of art.



    A Peace Van is a late model Vanagon where we rebuild and upgrade every system. These projects involve restoring a van exclusively for a customer and building it to your specifications (we have a well-defined set of best parameters and will help in the selection process). While most of our Peace Van restorations have Subaru motors, that is not a requirement - in fact, since it's your vehicle we are building, there are not any true requirements other than what you want.  

    These are very special projects and are essentially custom built vehicles - we tend to do less than 3 of these restorations per year. The timelines for these project are typically a year in length. To learn more about working with Peace Vans to build a custom Peace Van for you, contact us!  

    PEACE VAN #17

    Deanna and Jorge contacted us back in 2013 to inquire about a Peace Van for them. Over the next year, they often contacted the shop to ask more questions, get more information and figure out if a Peace Van was something they really wanted. In the fall of 2014, they answered with a resounding 'YES!' and we started work on the Bordeaux Red 1989 Vanagon we had in stock for the next Peace Van project. The build list was extensive, but here's a high level summary:

    • Subaru EJ25 motor:  165HP and modern engine performance and electronics
    • Rebuilt automatic transmission with addition of a Limited Slip Differential for significantly improved traction
    • Complete body restoration with brand new paint job (windows out, doors off)
    • Addition of sound deadening insulation for a quieter and warmer ride
    • Windows tinted with highest quality, ceramic tint
    • Full suspension overhaul - rebuilt with all polyurethane for a smoother and tighter ride, including all components removed and powder coated
    • Rebuilt brake, fuel, and coolant systems - upgrades including stainless steel pipes and big brakes with all new lines, parts, and more
    • Fully upgraded camping experience
    • Other details including LED lighting, South African Grille and high watt headlights, bluetooth radio, new speakers, and carpets

    The customers were thrilled:

    'Having camped our entire lives we were finally ready to move up to something like Vanagon. We thought long and hard about the decision, but ultimately decided to work with Peace Vans to build the van of our dreams. We were lucky enough to have them build Peace Van #17 for us.  The project was an extensive one, but they were wonderful to work with, kept us informed throughout, and were always available to answer any questions or adjust the plans. We love, love, love our Peace Van and would recommend them for a custom build like ours or any type of restoration or service. Thank you Peace Vans!' - D. and J., Seattle, WA

    PEACE VAN #14

    Coincidentally the same color as #17, the customization of Peace Van #14 was as just as extensive as Peace Van #17. However, #14 included a full overhaul of the interior as well - all new fabrics, seat coverings, curtains and those awesome leather Recaro seats.