Everyone knows the Volkswagen Microbus, which stands as an icon of the German automaker to this day. The Mercedes-Benz O 319 bus is likely not as well known, but this fine example is just the ticket if the VW bus is just a little too commonplace.
RM Sotheby’s will offer the pristine 1959 Mercedes-Benz bus at its Arizona 2018 auction later this month, but this isn’t an average O 319. The previous owner spent 15 years restoring and upgrading the bus with modern amenities and luxurious touches. Onlookers won’t know it from the exterior, which has been fully restored with factory paint colors, but inside, the vintage Mercedes is a very nice place to be.
Its camper van upgrades include a custom-made cabinet that houses a sink and stove, and a centralized circuit-breaker panel that provides light for every single cubby and compartment. The previous owner also replaced the original upholstery with modern leather and included propane and water storage underneath the body.
An equally modern air-ride suspension functions with the factory dual-rear-wheel setup. Heck, there’s even a solar panel tucked away to provide power for when the Merc’s next owner wants to fall off the grid. The powertrain is also of the present day; it’s a fuel-injected Mercedes-Benz gasoline engine and automatic transmission. A variety of re-mapped chips is also included, perhaps for different driving conditions.
We’re absolutely digging this modern, yet vintage, Mercedes bus. Whoever scoops the vehicle up will end up with one very intriguing vehicle, but we’ll have to wait and see if it matches RM Sotheby’s $175,000-$200,000 sale estimate when it goes under the hammer on January 17.