In Greek mythology a phoenix is a bird that is cyclically reborn. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Phoenix is a VW Bus reborn as a plan-built gull-wing camper, a rare bird indeed. Will its price however, prove worthy to let it take wing?
You don't know how excited I am over this VW-based Phoenix home-built. You see, I remember pouring over articles about these in magazines like Mechanic Illustrated (supposedly the originator) and Popular Science back in the day.
Like Make magazine today, those periodicals consistently offered up the dream of demonstrating your own craftiness. They proposed doing things like: building your own backyard Arecibo-like observatory (all you need is about 1.6-acres of otherwise useless land, a shovel, and a whole lot of aluminum foil!); saving money by doing your own breast augmentation at home (practice on the dog!); or building your own amazing minivan from the future because Detroit sure isn't going to get off its ass and do so.
And all you'd need in that last instance is, a minivan.
I am not so shocked that more of these weren't built. I mean I used to read these magazines and I never even retrofitted a older TV with a remote control using nothing more than a rhesus monkey and a government surplus police taser. There was no way I was going to build something as ambitious as a camper van, and I'm pretty sure I'm not that much more of a lazy-ass than the general population. Maybe.
But now here's one that's had most of the work already done, and it looks amazing. This Phoenix is based on a 1973 VW Type 2 and is powered by a 2-litre air-cooled flat four. That engine gets a pair of Weber IDFs and is fronted by a 4-speed shift-yer-own.
The lever for that tranny is a long job, and sits in between a pair of seats from a 914 and under a custom IP with digital gauges, probably from the future. Gull being doors allow egress, as well as weather protection while doing so. Last item of note in here is a single spoke steering wheel that's also fantastic and perhaps from a Citroën.
That of course is not the most amazing bit of kit on this custom van. That would be the pop-out sides and roof which provide room for a hunky six-footer to stand, and four close friends - or perhaps a pair of conjoined twins - to sleep. According to the original plans there's also space for a stove and sink but sadly no place to put your poo so this can't be a complete rolling replacement for your mom's basement.
Speaking of those original plans, quite amazingly, they're still available! They cost $75, which in my case would be money down the drain as there's no way I'd ever attempt to build one of these. That's what makes this one so intriguing, and now I want your opinion as to whether its semi-completed form is worth its $6,750 asking price.
Yes, sure it needs paint - I suggest black overall with a mural involving wolves on the side - but that just let's you finish the van with your own individual flair of personalization. All the hard work here is done.
What do you think, does this rare Phoenix plan-van seem to be worth $6,750? Or, is this one phoenix that can't rise because it's weighed down by its price?
H/T to murphie for the hookup!
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