Would you buy this classic Mercedes-Benz camper for P10 million?

A restoration masterpiece
by Stephen Dobie | Jan 12, 2018

We're a sucker for a campervan, and Mercedes-Benz launching a rival to the Volkswagen California—the properly posh V-Class Marco Polo—made us very happy indeed. But perhaps this is even cooler. It's an old Mercedes commercial vehicle that someone's had the good grace to turn into a bedroom.

Let's start on the outside, though, because that's where this O 319 Minibus looks at its most wonderful. It's a bit of an iconic design, the base 319 van, and its 13 years of production turned out everything from pickup trucks to fire engines.

This Minibus was produced in 1959 but, as you might suspect from these images, has had a thorough restoration spanning 15 years. Its two-tone paint looks good as new, while the restoration has also seen it decked out with a double bed and all the modern accoutrements you'd want from a campervan.

You might argue it's a bit too modern inside; the steering wheel and dials look nice and '50s-esque, while everything else lies between the van's original decade and the current one. But if it means everything works—and that you actually use the thing to camp in—what's the problem?

That theme continues beneath the skin. While this 319 retains its original rear-wheel-drive setup (with dual wheels at each end of the back axle), it's now powered by a modern gasoline engine and automatic gearbox. Again, with original 319s having just 43hp, it's easy to argue that's a good thing.

Like what you see? It’s being auctioned at the RM Sotheby's Arizona sale on January 18 and 19. It's offered without reserve, too, though don't think that means you can throw in a cheeky bid and get it for next to nothing. Its estimate is $175,000 to $200,000 (P10 million).

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made. 

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PHOTO: RM Sothebys
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