Tuesday, January 13, 2015

5k: Apocalypse Wow: 1973 Volkswagen Phoenix Camper

The Phoenix from Greek mythology was a legendary bird that would consume itself in flame and then rise from the ashes.  This next thing won't exactly help you rise from the dead, but it could be used to avoid the apocalypse for a few weeks.  Find this 1973 Volkswagen Phoenix Camper offered for $6,750 in Granite Falls, WA via craigslist. Tip from Kaibeezy.



The Phoenix is not a kit car insomuch as it is a set of instructions for create the beast you see here-- which are published here on the thesamba.  To build this thing you are going to need a few items, first a VW Bus donor vehicle, and then...in no particular order..some wood, fiberglass supplies, scrap metal, Buick headlight bezels, some foam, and 25 yards of "Hide-em edge welt" which I haven't the foggiest idea of what it is, other than it sounds like it would come in handy for concealing domestic abuse. 


The instructions read like a home brew apocalypse survival guide written by secret agent Angus MacGyver who coincidentally works for the Phoenix Foundation...or is it really a coincidence?  Regardless, the 24 page instructional booklet is worth the read and includes such gems as "The transporter body...will have to be cut free of the floor pan with an air chisel.  Essentially it is a simple job of cutting through the side of the body" and "Carefully inspect the perimeter of the body for possible water leaks.  Seal potential leaks by pressing putty tape into cracks and crevices."


See a cooler car for filming your own personal Mad Max sequel?  tips@dailyturismo.com
Bonus question: What kind of van is in the background in that first picture...and what is the big green/white/black striped thing on the side of the "barn"?

27 comments:

  1. I would drive this thing everywhere.

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  2. Fleetwood T. BroughamJanuary 13, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    So forgive the unscripted "what am I" moment, but what the heck is that what van-ish thing in the background of your first picture? Only thing I can think of is a Greenbrier, but it looks too small to be that.

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    1. sorry, meant to type "white van-ish", not what.

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    2. FTB -- Hey, I had the same thought, which is why I published the "Bonus question: What kind of van is in the background in that first picture...and what is the big green/white/black striped thing on the side of the "barn"?" I think it might be one of those mini Subaru vans. -Vince

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    3. Doh.....that'll teach me to read the ENTIRE post.

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    4. Oh, that thing on the side of the barn might be where the kids shelter while waiting for the schoolbus when the snow is really deep.

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    5. Looks like a little old subaru van, but ironically its too big! Yeah, I'd say that picture should be reposted as a What Am I with all the appropriate spots and arrows pointing to it. However; KBZ doesn't get to use his super powers to read badges or hub centers!!

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    6. The thing on the side of the barn looks like a cross section of a plane or glider wing???

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    7. I think the van in the back is a 1970-ish Daihatsu Hijet. The airplane part looked like a C-47 fuselage with invasion stripes, but the door is too square... it may be a c-46

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  3. Man oh man... that thing is COOL!

    I probably am glad I did not know about that instruction manual back when VW transporters were languishing in fields and junkyards for cheap. I might be "of no fixed address" right now (oh, and also very single).

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    1. Man oh man... that thing looks dangerous.
      It is especially ominous with the "44" on the front. "4' in Chinese is considered bad luck and synonymous with death!

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  4. These plans seem like they would lend themselves well to a trailer. A cross between a teardrop and a pop-up with a space age vibe. Would fit nicely in the wind shadow of a minivan, and be light enough to be pulled by one.

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    1. Funny, I was thinking the same thing. I have always wanted a very light-weight camping trailer to pull behind my Citroen 2CV.

      I wonder what is the source of the tent portion. I did not find that in a quick scan of the build manual.

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  5. Now what does the 44 and 48 have to do with eachother. Aliens!!!

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  6. I have seen pics of these before, but did not know they were actually pop up campers. Very nice.

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  7. Plans available for sale at www.rqriley.com.

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  8. I believe the car in the background is a Subaru 360. Last summer, we made a trip to the Motoring Mysteries of the Far East Japanese car exhibit at the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA. There was a spectacular example of a 360 van in the same off white color. Marvelous, as was the entire exhibit. The real question is the what the orange vehicle beyond it is (no idea) and the lime-ish colored vehicle parked next to it (Isuzu Impulse, possibly?).

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    1. I think the lime-ish thing is a Toyota Sera, from 1990 to 1996. Look at the second photo down in this wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Sera , and it even looks like the same colour.

      (Sorry, can't seem to get my computer to format links in this comment window. Anyone have tips on how to do that on a Mac?)

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    2. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Sera> Toyota Sera on Wikipedia </a>

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    3. Nice eye on the Toyota Sera -- I thought it was just some Saturn coupe. For the link, be sure to close the quotation marks (add one more at the end of the link). It should then look like this

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  9. AW, I think you've got to be right! It's appears to be a Sera. How did one end up in Granite Falls, WA, I wonder? Clearly, this is a collector of the odd and wonderful.

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  10. This guy has a penchant for unusual cars.
    StreetView

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  11. Okay, I just got a reply from the owner. His name is Jason and his message was super cool. That is indeed a 1990 Toyota Sera and a 1969 Subaru 360 Van. He says he's got a bunch of other cars, too. I can't wait to find out what, I will update when I know. Somebody from DT should directly contact this guy and get his story.

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  12. This guy always has something cool or wacky may take a trip up that way and see the oso land slide also.

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  13. Got a GREAT reply from Jason. Here's what he had to say...and several mysteries solved!

    "Thanks for your kind remarks and the heads up on Daily Turismo. I enjoyed reading peoples positive comments on the Phoenix and other cars. A lot of car guys can be cruel and hard on kit cars like the Phoenix (though it's not actually a kit). I bought the Sera last year when it was a "grey market" car. I had gone to look at another car called a Mini Midas and bought it and the Sera together as a package deal. It has become my daily driver. The guy I got it from had several of them he imported from Japan.

    The Orange car someone asked about you can barely see in the background is the Mini Midas. The green thing hanging on the garage wall people are wondering about is a replica C-47 jump door prop I made for a D-day re-enactment I was involved with about 5 years ago. It was mounted in the back of a box bed truck and people jumped out of it at 4am loaded with their gear as the truck drove around a 180 acre field in the dark with sound effects blazing and of course Germans on the loose.

    I have way too many cars and not near enough garage space which is why I offered the Phoenix for sale."

    Somebody help a gearhead brother out and buy this car!!!!

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  14. Man! If I owned this, I could move down to a forgotten spot down by the river and live the rest of my life happily ever after...

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