We’re used to seeing Porsches and Jaguars being restored and upgraded to cope with the modern needs of the owner, and even Mercedes models qualify for the restomod process thanks to their wide cultural influence.
But we haven’t come across very often upon a restomod that focused on… a minivan. It’s true the US market has a special place for restored Airstreams, so this old-school camping vintage Mercedes-Benz O 319 might hit the soft spot for some people. It certainly did for us, even though we’re not exactly the types to go on an adventure in the wilderness in an old vehicle. We’re pretty sure RM Sotheby’s won’t have trouble finding a buyer for this 1959 Mercedes-Benz O 319 that’s been thoroughly restomoded and is now ready to hit the red carpet of the Arizona auction on January 18 and 19. In case you don’t know your van history, the O 319 was actually the microbus version of the Mercedes-Benz L 319 medium-duty commercial truck.
It’s quite similar in design to the much more popular Volkswagen Transporter, but here the engine is positioned in the front, with access provided to it through the cabin. The powertrain also includes an automatic transmission with a Gear Vendor overdrive and an extra oil cooler. The restomod is the work of “an eccentric computer engineer”, who needed 15 years for this pristine camper conversion – it now rides on an air suspension, while the interior is packed with everything one would need. We speak of bespoke cabinets, each with its own lighting, a separate area for the sink, stove, and refrigerator and a bed in the back – along with no less than two separate audio systems. Below the bus there are also storage areas for propane and water tanks – and there’s even a hidden solar panel for off the grid experiences.