At a glance, it's tough to believe this egg-shaped motorhome is actually 53 years old. It's a 1968 Ultra Van, and for the record, this isn't some weird version of the infamous Chevrolet Corvair stretched into a camper. However, there is a Corvair powertrain at the back, and we're forced to admit there's an odd resemblance to the Corvair in its shape. And if you're keen to own a cool piece of motorhome history, this particular model is for sale.
That's notable, because only 376 Ultra Vans were reportedly built through 1970 and they're quite special. Technically speaking, it boasts a monocoque structure not unlike what you'd find in a modern supercar. According to the Ultra Van Motor Coach Club's website, the construction is more like an aircraft with aluminium ribs and a combination of aluminium and fibreglass for the body. There's no separate chassis underneath; it rides on a fully independent suspension front and rear, and power comes from the same 140-bhp (104-kilowatt) flat-six engine used in the Corvair. It drives the rear wheels through the same automatic transaxle, too.
This Ultra Van is identified as number 358, according to its auction listing at Clasiq and a listing on Craigslist. Per the listings, it shows 56,512 miles and it's not entirely original. A repaint is mentioned, and the headlights were upgraded from original round lenses to the square lights we see here. The wheels are 15-inchers pulled from a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette, and it reportedly runs well. The interior is original and very 1960s in nature with an abundance of wood and shades of brown. It carries only modest features – a three-burner stove and sink along with a folding table, a full bathroom, and a bed at the back.
The Craiglist ad shows an asking price of $17,000 (approx. £12,700). The Ultra Van is also listed as an active auction at Clasiq, with four days to go as of this article posting on December 24. The current bid price is $8,100, and it does have a reserve. For something as rare and quirky as this, it seems like a neat opportunity for someone seeking a vanlife experience of a decidedly different nature.