Everyone knows the connection between Porsche and Volkswagen, though we suspect few people might know about this particular creation. It sort of looks like a vintage VW bus, but there are Porsche badges front and rear, not to mention a peculiar likeness to the classic 356 with its big round headlights and bullet taillights. Technically speaking, it’s not a Porsche product at all, but rather a Tempo Mikafa Sport – a curious camper built by German coachbuilder Mikafa on a Tempo chassis. No, not the terrible American 1980’s Ford Tempo; this was another German company that built a range of vehicles from the 1920s through the late 1970s.
So why does this van have Porsche badges? That would be the engine, specifically a 356-spec flat four-cylinder that was originally equipped in the van. Mecum Auctions will send this rare gem across its Monterey block in August, and according to the auction description, it’s only one of three such vans originally built with the Porsche engine. Hemmings has a broader story on the Tempo Mikafa Sport, explaining how VW and Austin engines were also used in these special creations but for a very select few, the Porsche mill was chosen.
Gallery: 1955 Porsche Tempo Mikafa Sport Camper
Photos Courtesy Mecum Auctions / Dan Duckworth
Unfortunately, it appears this particular model doesn’t have the original 356 engine. The auction description says it currently has an unspecified Boxer four, which is actually mounted behind the front seats and turns the front wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. It’s listed as an unrestored survivor with its interior still in place, including the kitchenette and functional bathroom. It has a pop-up roof, VDO instruments, and it’s thought to be the only Sport model in the United States.
It certainly has a brilliance factor, especially for those who love classic 1950s campers. It’s also exceedingly rare, so all bets are off as to how much it might bring at auction. Mecum has no estimates at this time, but Hemmings reports that a similar van with an Austin engine brought $132,000 (approx. £104,000) back in 2017. With this example having a Porsche connection, there’s every chance it could go significantly higher.