This Porsche-Powered Camper Van From The 1950s Is As Cool As Family Transport Gets
Most people would love to take their sports car on a family holiday, but the realities of life soon put paid to such impractical aspirations and everyone piles into the seven-seater Minivan instead. Why suffer through such an ordeal, the German coachbuilders Mikafa must have thought as they pulled the covers off the Porsche Tempo Mikafa Sport Camper in 1955. There might not have been any SUVs or even Minivans around in the 1950s but there sure were plenty of lardy underpowered sedans out there and, on the face of it, this Porsche-powered camper was surely a great compromise between sharp-handling sportster and family-friendly carryall.
Offered between 1955 and 1959 as a built-to-order model, a total of three customers must have thought so and that is exactly how many Mikafa Sport Campers were eventually made. Sure, there were other non ’sport’ models built too but these made do without a Porsche engine. These days any variant is extremely rare and only two Mikafa Campers reside in the States, this being the sole Sport model.
Now before you imagine yourself speeding across the landscape in a high-powered camper van, note that the engine in the Mikafa was sourced from a contemporary 356, which when new made a grand total of 60hp. Tasked with pushing (or in this case pulling as it is front-wheel drive) approximately 4000-pounds of mobile home around would have severely dampened its enthusiasm, and the intervening 64-year would surely have seen some of those horses going lame too but exactly how many is hard to say as there is now a VW flat-four engine in its place, of unspecified power and capacity. Still, the Mikafa Sport retains its Porsche badging which surely counts for something and it has a four-on-the-floor manual transmission to more effectively execute any ambitious overtaking maneuvers with.
So, while the only sporty thing about this vehicle is its name, it is still a fascinating thing and while it is offered in totally unrestored condition, there is something very alluring about its ‘50s design style and quaint─and totally original─interior fittings. Those fittings include a stove, sink, refrigerator and working restroom. It will go up for sale at the Mecum Monterey sale taking place between 15-17 August and is sure to attract a lot of attention, both from those wishing to return it to its original splendour and perhaps those who see the opportunity to fit it with a modern-day Porsche motor for the ultimate ‘sleeper’ van.
Images courtesy of Mecum Auctions