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Oddball Project: 1967 Sunbeam Funwagon

1967 Sunbeam Funwagon

With a name like Funwagon, how can you go wrong with an RV like this? Sure it has a face only a mother could love, but it’s so odd that I love it! And think of the endless possibilities with a project like this. You could build it into a full featured RV and travel the country in it or you could turn it into the coolest food truck in the city! You can find this rare Sunbeam here on eBay in Ames, Iowa with a current bid of $2,550.

1967 Sunbeam Funwagon Interior

I’m sure when most of you hear Sunbeam you think Tiger or appliances. Well, this caravan was built by the same company that built the Tiger, well the parent company of Sunbeam at least. It is built on the Commer PB forward control platform, which was developed by the Rootes group for a wide range of purposes. The back half of the body was removed and an aluminum over wood camper shell grafted on, giving you plenty of space for a bed, toilet and a small kitchen.

1967 Sunbeam Funwagon Engine

Don’t plan on getting anywhere quick in your Funwagon though, as it is powered by the same 93 horsepower 1725 cc found in the Alpine. While it’s plenty of engine for the light little Alpine, this is a lot of vehicle to move to down the road. I’m sure you could always squeeze more power out of it, swap a different engine in, or just avoid busy highways! Given how rare they are, I would probably go for the later option and just take the scenic route, in a vehicle like this it’s about the journey, not the destination anyways.

1967 Sunbeam Funwagon Project

I really see a lot of options here and if you don’t mind doing the work, you could build an awesome camper for not a lot of money. Of course, if you want it all original, that could get expensive and difficult to pull off. There really isn’t a lot of information about these floating around, so I’m going to guess finding replacement interior parts will be a challenge. Hopefully one of our great Caravan Fans here will be able to give us more information about the history and parts supply for this oddball! So, do you see yourself behind the wheel of this British? It would definitely be the most unique Brit at any car show you attend!

Comments

  1. Avatar photo AMC STEVE

    You can make that into a food truck with the windows on the side.

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  2. Avatar photo Chas

    A friend of mine found one of these locally, and bought it for cheap money. I begged him to sell it to me if he ever got tired of it and he agreed. Sadly, when I followed up a year later, he had accidentlayy hit it with a backhoe crushing a corner of the camper, and then decided to cut the camper top section off to make a shed for his motorbikes. Sad destruction of a decent original Funwagon. This one is a bit far away to justify hauling it home, though.

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  3. Avatar photo rogerowen

    Looks like a good candidate for a ‘Fish & Chips’ van to me.

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  4. Avatar photo Bill

    Cool little vehicle. You’d have to be real careful how much stuff (weight) you put in it to turn it into a camper, what with that little motor and all.

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  5. Avatar photo van

    Looks like fun
    Unless you tell me it’s worth a lot as is I would have to customize
    Japanese 4cy with power, maybe from a pickup, custom suspension and brakes.
    Just enough to enjoy camping.
    Might sound silly but, the power tour with food, drinks, place to nap, carry all your stuff.
    The muscle car owners would laugh until they stop on the rode for repairs, and you supply the drinks, oh and bandaid’s.

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  6. Avatar photo Andrew Minney

    Sunbeam? Nah it’s a Commer chuck wagon conversion. Used to see loads of these round small industrial estates selling food to the workers. Also used ambulances too.
    Fun but wouldn’t want to own one.

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  7. Avatar photo boxdin

    Really? This is a top heavy vehicle with minimal suspension and tires under it. We have Ford E350 with dual rear wheels for a reason, they actually handle decently, unlike this relic. Drive one of these then you will see what a disaster they are at max speed of 45 or so.

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  8. Avatar photo turretman1st

    I followed one of them in 1980 in Vallejo ca. just a week earlier I purchased a 1969 sunbeam arrow with only 19000 miles and was driving it then, when the people stopped we had a talk,
    they said they were driving coast to coast from Philadelphia and had just gotten to Vallejo on the way to san Francisco. they said it was slow but very reliable and comfortable. and got 16 miles to the gallon

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Ted S

    I have the same vehicle only it is a Commer and the camper was destroyed by hail and removed years ago. I was thinking the mechanicals on mine were Triumph, but perhaps they are Sunbeam like this one–will have to check. Got extra parts for it too.
    It was driven off a trailer into my warehouse yard a couple of years ago…

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  10. Avatar photo RON

    Too Cool, Never seen one before but could think of many cool summer usesfor this especially at car shows etc. Wish I could find ne in my neighborhood

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  11. Avatar photo John V

    That’s a Rootes Group (e.g. Sunbeam, Hillman, Humber, Commer) engine that looks identical to the one in my dad’s Sunbeam Alpine. Gauges are the same too.

    For the U.S., “Sunbeam” was the only meaningful brand the Rootes Group had left by 1967, so they rebadged a Commer camper and .. voila … FUNWAGON!

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Kris

    Very cool!

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo krash

    Love to buy it… and then install two giant slices of toast that would rise up from the top of the camper body whenever it came to a complete stop….

    I’d even order a vanity plate – “BUTTRD”–( buttered……. but by the overall appearance of this vehicle, other drivers may interpret it to mean something far less complimentary)

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  14. Avatar photo Dave Sheppard

    Definitely Commer, mine had a Hillman Minx engine. Drove it from London to India in 1970. Ours had the original van body, not so tall but I did manage to turn it on it’s side on the way. Stood it up and fitted a windscreen and finished the journey. Gave it to Indian Customs. Somebody is probably living in it now in Bombay (Mumbai)

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  15. Avatar photo Rich

    These are rare in any form, even here in the UK. These and the later Dodge badged versions used to be everywhere, British Telecom used them extensively in the 1970’s. Look at it this way; as cool as a bay window VW bus without the “scene tax”.

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  16. Avatar photo cliffyc

    We had a mathematics teacher who had one of these when I was in school. Due to it’s resemblance to an Ice Cream Van he would have a cone and “Frank’s Ices”,drawn in the dust on the windows of said vehicle and also on the blackboards in class,They were the black fabric-roller type and we would wait in anticipation as he rolled the board around to reveal an artfully drawn Ice Cream and his name!. Good times.

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    • Avatar photo rogerowen

      Did you never get hit by a blackboard rubber?

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  17. Avatar photo cliffyc

    @rogerowen. Not me personally but Old Frank, was deadly with that thing !!!.

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  18. Avatar photo George

    The whippets would love it.

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  19. Avatar photo Vic Hanson

    I bought one in the mid ’70s in Honolulu, it was definitely called a Funwagen and built on a Sunbeam chassis. I remember having a hard time fixing the brakes, had to rebuild a wheel cylinder with parts that were close but not exact, somehow I made it work. We did a bunch of interior paneling work and sealed a leak in the roof. Had it for a year or so then had to sell it to pay for college costs.

    Like 0

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