Thanks to my mate Alex Scott in New Zealand, I learned something new today. Yes, fresh from the continent that brought you the Morris Nomad, Leyland P76 and BMC 1800 Ute, comes this wonderful homebrew that really would suit adventurous types with a severe case of wanderlust.
It’s clearly a mash-up of Austin 1800 and coachbuilt camper – and it looks wonderful, no matter how much of a disaster it would be to drive. The vehicle is for sale on New Zealand’s equivalent of AutoTrader, called TradeMe, and the seller has managed to piece together some of the story, even if he’s not in full possession of all the facts.
Apparently, it was built in 1982, and two Austin 1800s were used for the basis of the project. It’s for sale in need of some tender loving care, after the current owner used it for five years. He even spent his wedding night in her, which to me says that this is one adventurous couple – how many of us would love to have a partner quite so understanding?
Anyway, the ad goes on to say that the car engine and running gear are spot on, the interior looks tidy and in one piece, and it even comes with a three-phase fridge, Calor gas cooker, and chemical toilet (no sniggering at the back).
It’s going to take quite a while to get where you’re going, with a maximum speed of 50mph, and a realistic cruising speed of 45. Would that cut the mustard in the UK? Probably not… Unless it was holding up a Top Gear caper of some description – then we’d love it. Price is $7000, which converts to around £3600. Worth every penny.
I could see myself cruising the South Island in this. My life would be complete.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.