Classic Cars: Phoenix Campervan

Saturday March 10, 2018 Written by Smith

Campervans are rarely the most stylish vehicles around. That’s not a criticism – looking good just isn’t their primary concern.

But there was one model that managed to be both stylish ­– in an angular, retro-futuristic kind of way – and functional. It was known as the Volkswagen Phoenix, and it was truly a thing of misguided, '70s-era beauty.

Based on a VW minibus frame that’s had some serious protractoring done to it, the Phoenix (later renamed the Renegade) converted into a 3.5 metre-wide tent for four, and had space for a sink, stove and an icebox.

It was designed as a do-it-yourself alteration (Popular Mechanics magazine published the plans back in 1978). Provided you can get your hands on an old VW chassis, you can actually build your own today by ordering the plans from automotive DIY-er Robert Q. Riley.