Custom vans from the 1970s were all pretty strange creations by nature, but this re-bodied Volkswagen is unquestionably weirder than almost any of the "more conventional" mural covered shaggin' wagons we've ever seen.

At some point in the swinging 70s this 1971 Volkswagen Bus was refitted with this unique custom body and painted to resemble a space ship. We imagine both of these decisions may have seemed like a better idea at the time than they do now.


An Arizona company called RQ Riley designed and offered the plans to turn your ho-hum Volkswagen van in a "Phoenix". Amazingly there is also photographic evidence included with the auction that at least two other examples of fully built Phoenix's existed at one point. Perhaps even more amazingly, it appears RQ Riley is still in business.

We're not sure how many Phoenix's survived the days of custom vanning, but we'd guess the example you are looking is one of the few left—and that depends on your definition of survived. Although the original 1600cc Volkswagen engine is said to be in running condition, it's clear this van needs almost every cosmetic repair we could possibly imagine.

Our own anti custom van bias makes it somewhat hard to believe, but it's clear several people are interested in taking on the substantial task of bringing this half Volkswagen/half spaceship back to life. With a little over a day left bidding has already reached $2500. We can only guess exactly what the new owner has in store for this old van, but we'd bet it is appropriately strange.

Hat tip to CeRuLeaNBLu - Appreciative of QUADROZONTAL!


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