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Van

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class Camper AMG | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class 6.9 | Luxury Camper Conversion

Some of you might remember the Bischoffberger camper conversion or the SAAB Toppola campers from the 1980’s . Brilliant ideas, but all of them somehow lacking style, because they are cursed with odd proportions. I thought it must be possible to create such an integrated camper based on a passenger car chassis, but with more pleasing and elegant proportions. Many tries and many fails later I came up with this rather luxurious camper conversion. It is based on the Mercedes-Benz W116, has a pop-up roof and may be built in various configurations. The standard version features a semi-integrated camper body which ties nicely into the overall design with matching chrome trim. Access to storage compartments left and right is possible via the converted rear doors, which now open like suicide doors and feature central locking.

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class Camper AMG | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

The roof raises by the push of a button and once fully extended provides ample headroom in the living quarters. A second set of windows appears and floods the interior with daylight. All windows are equipped with chrome plated sliding blinds. Not visible in the pictures are the glass windows in the roof. They open by operating regular Mercedes-Benz sunroof switches.

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class Camper AMG open | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

For customers who wish to drive on roads less traveled or off-road, the vehicle could be converted to four wheel drive. In this case, a Mercedes-Benz G Geländewagen donates the frame, running gear and axles. Full 4×4 capability with three differential locks and a snorkel for fording rivers should take you to the most remote campsites. Or all around the world, should you fancy an extended getaway.

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class Camper G 4x4 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

People with children, or a general need for more space to carry their gear, might want to consider a long wheelbase (LWB) version or an extended version with three axles.

Mercedes-Benz W116 S-Class Camper AMG 6x4 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

FIAT Ducato Dangel 4x4 Surf Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

FIAT Ducato Dangel 4×4 | Surf Van

“Eat. Sleep. Surf.”

Great idea, but before embarking on an adventure and just doing what the sticker says, you have to build a go-anywhere vehicle that will take you even to the most remote of beaches. Let’s suppose your funds are limited and you have to make do with whatever base vehicle you find in your area. If it happens to be a FIAT Ducato Mk1 or Peugeot J5 with Dangel 4×4, you’re a lucky chap. Provided the rust has not eliminated most of the metal, it is a fairly good base to start with. Build a lift-kit, add overfenders, source some nice wheels and appropriate BF Goodrich rubber, build a camper interior that suits your needs, load up the surfboard and drive to the beach. Should you have forgotten to stop at the supermarket, it’s just surfing and sleeping for you and you’ll have to ask fellow campers for something to eat. 😉

FIAT Ducato Dangel 4x4 Surf Van | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

P.S.: The trim-line stickers are losely based on the original stickers of the Ducato 4×4.

Click here to see the original picture.

Toyota Previa All-Trac 4x4 Wanderlust Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Toyota Previa All-Trac 4×4 | Wanderlust Van

Vanlife doesn’t only mean living and traveling in a van full-time. Most people actually just use for recreational purposes on the weekends and during their holidays. I found a picture of a 1990’s Toyota Previa All-trac and wondered if it would be possible to create a low-budget vehicle that has the ability to take you off-road to those remote hiking trails. After returning from the trail you could cook a meal, have a cold drink and sleep until the next morning. I removed the rear windows to make insulation easier and create room for storage. A body lift helps to tackle dirt tracks with more clearance and the light guards protect all four corners of the Previa. The bumpers have been shortened to improve approach and departure angles. And if you manage to get stuck, the winch will pull you out of trouble. Old school Wolfrace slot mags give it a that 1970’s vanlife touch and the roof rack provides storage for the spare tire and a couple of gas and water canisters. Add a CB-radio for those areas without cellphone reception and you’re set to go exploring. Happy hiking!

Toyota Previa All-Trac 4x4 Wanderlust Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone Veloce

The Lamborghini Espada is a vehicle with a very different design approach and reflects the adventurous Seventies very well. Nonetheless it is a beautiful or even sculptural vehicle with stunning details. Believe it or not… this Furgone Veloce version happened by accident. I just wanted to lower the Espada and remodeled the rear wheel arches to fit bigger diameter wheels. It looked horrible with the stock rear window. Consequently I had to design a new window and eventually came up with the idea to convert it to a panel van. Similar to the Citroën CX Tissier shuttling newspapers, it might have been utilized to get the Gazzetta dello Sport to the chiosco quicker.

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

If the diligent newspaper shuttle driver needed more space, he might have ordered a furgone veloce with even more space for cargo. This would have necessitated extensive drivetrain and frame geometry modifications, of course.

Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE Furgone Prototipo | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Daihatsu Materia Sport Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Daihatsu Materia Sport | Panel Van Conversion

Lately I had a phone conversation with a friend and he asked me what I think about Daihatsu. Due to my experiences with Daihatsu vehicles, I’m quite fond of the engineering, reliability and longevity. I drove my first Daihatsu Cuore (aka Mira) while studying in Karlsruhe, had a long-term hire Sirion while living in South Africa and even took that one to 4×4 trails without any worries or problems. Mind you, it was not the all wheel drive version. I have never driven a Materia, but it definitely is on my bucket list. I like the styling of the body very much, but the dashboard with the centered instruments doesn’t do it for me. Researching the PCD and availability of tuning parts, I stumbled upon the Inden Design shop truck. Taking this concept a bit further is easy with photoshop. Remove the rear doors, convert it to a panel van and it’s done. Or isn’t it? To make the converted car look good, I modified the rake of the B-pillar and changed a few things here and there to get the proportions right. Once finished it received some spice: I lowered it, added vintage Gotti wheels and converted them to multi-piece with BBS barrels. Now, would you jump into this Materia to fetch some parts or deliver pizza?

Daihatsu Materia Sport Panel Van Conversion | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Click here to see the original picture.

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Assistenza Servizio | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Sportivo

The Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Sportivo pictured here is a follow-up to the Alfasud Furgone Sportivo I created last year. Basically the same idea, executed on a far more modern chassis (Type 939). I found a great picture of a metallic red 159 ti wagon and started, with the finished picture already in my mind. But then… I did the sensible thing got carried away and one idea led to another. From a simple all-red panel van conversion it escalated to a two-tone Alfa Romeo Assistenza & Servizio wagon, inspired by this Giulia Giardinera. To break up the hard contrast at the B-pillar and to lessen the impression of a simple hack-job, I added a small quarter window. This would also help the driver to better see pedestrians and cyclists when turning corners. I would really love to build this in 1:1 scale…

Alfa Romeo 159 Furgone Assistenza Servizio | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Surfer Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser | Surfer Special 1967

A quick sketch on a napkin during lunch break last week inspired me to transform a full-size Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser into a station wagon surfers would have loved back in the late Sixties. Thanks to deleting the rear doors, the trunk space now reaches all the way forward to the B-pillar, which gives you plenty of room for the gear and a large sleeping area. The side glass has been replaced with metal, allowing for insulation and storage compartments on the inside walls. To ensure the period-correct look and feel I added fake wood to the sides, which is sourrounded by chrome trim. This also helps to stretch the lines of the vehicle. Imagine to lie in there with your favorite beach babe after a long day of surfing, pulling the curtains shut and gazing at the stars through the vista roof.

Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser Surfer Special | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2018)

Check out the original image for comparison.

Chevrolet Express Van 3500 Roadtrek 210 Popular Drift Camper | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Chevrolet Express Van 3500 Roadtrek 210 Popular | Drift RV

This was another one of those 15 minute challenges: create a camper van or RV that would be fun to drift, if equipped with an engine that makes suitable torque and horsepower. I started looking for a base picture to begin the photoshop chop. The Roadtrek 210 Popular, based on the  rear wheel drive V8 Chevrolet Express Van, has a very nice and sporty looking body kit that accomodates a set of overfenders nicely. With a set of Watanabe-style wheels that are converted to an 8-lug pattern and a healthy drop in ride height this beast might take you to the race track, provide all kinds of drifting fun during the day and living quarters for the night. You would have to secure all your cutlery and other items very securely for the drift sessions, though. 😉

Chevrolet Express Van 3500 Roadtrek 210 Popular Drift Camper | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

PS: It could also be a nice and capable tow-rig for a drift car.

Opel Signum Steinmetz Panel Van with gold Rays TE37 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Opel Signum Steinmetz Panel Van with Rays TE37

When the Opel Signum first came out I thought it was a horrible design with odd proportions. Not much has changed over the years – I still think the proportions are not great on the Insignia. But nonetheless, my motto is that you can turn every boring car into something more interesting. Et voilà – let me present the two-door Opel Insignia Panel Van with a Steinmetz bodykit and a Thule box on the roof rack. Gold colored Rays TE37 wheels look good on most cars and prove the point that often the wheels make the car look good in the first place. It was fun creating this with Adobe Photoshop. Now, who dares to do this in real life?

Opel Insignia Steinmetz Panel Van with gold Rays TE37 | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike

“Every great inspiration is but an experiment – though every experiment we know, is not a great inspiration.” Charles Ives

Inspiration comes from many sources. When it comes to cars, a friend of mine often unwittingly provides inspiration for photoshop chops. He had been looking at a car with the possible intent of buying it and sent a set of pictures to our Facebook group. None of us recognized the vehicle even after he told us what it was, but everybody came up with the same joke in return: Plymouth Reliant? Oh wait… wasn’t there a funny tricycle called Reliant Robin that kept rolling over in one of the TopGear episodes a few years ago? We had a good laugh and forgot about the malaise era car immediately afterwards. See it, turn around and the next second the memory is blank again. Not really what you would call an enthusiast car, right? Yes… but hey, I can’t help it: the pictures of the pale yellow car and the Reliant Robin jokes sparked an idea…

Plymouth Reliant Robin Panel Van Trike | photoshop chop by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

Here is the inspirational TopGear video mentioned above: