Ever since we saw those cool models of old VW buses mated with rock crawlers I’ve been obsessed with this idea of an extreme off-road hippie van. So far, this is as close as I’ve been able to find.
What you’re looking at is of course not a VW at all; rather it’s a 1979 Mercedes-Benz Unimog with the body of a Volkswagen pop-top camper from around the same era.
Volkswagen “Westfalia” campers, named after the German region of Westphalia in which the camper-upfitter was headquartered, switched over to to this boxy bodystyle (from the rounded wagon you associate with Woodstock ’69) in 1980.
Looks like the interior of the camper has pretty much been preserved, just dropped straight on top of what must have been a chassis-cab Unimog. The plumbing and heating system also appears to be operational.
Did you see the rear tire carrier on this monster? It’s got its own winch! Guess you’d need one to get a wheel that size five feet in the air.
For a bastardization, this build actually looks pretty clean. Everything’s color-matched, the carpets don’t appear to have any blood stains and all the soft materials look well maintained.
The idea behind such a machine is “extreme vehicle-dependent expeditions.” I still think you’d get further with a Jeep and a tent, but I can appreciate the capability of something like this and I’m impressed with how well the builder melded two vehicles that aren’t even in the same weight class.
If you like it even more than I do, and have $45,000 on hand, you can make the seller an offer as the rig’s currently for sale.
Hat tip to James!