Let me tell you a bit about The Camper Vansit…

A few years ago, my apprentice and I graduated from a short mechanics course at Mid Kent College with a dream to fix up a little old vehicle. Something like an old Fiesta or Corsa – you know, a bit of rust, maybe a proper service or even a suspension replacement. Then sell it on and start on another.

Then this came along!

new campervan

A ‘vomit’ yellow, 1988 Ford Transit (Charisma) campervan. It’s (from what I can tell) one of a kind, in that it’s the only surviving 1.6 litre Pinto-engined Transit that exists to my knowledge. When we got it, it was completed gutted – I can only presume someone had the best intentions of rebuilding it, but was daunted by the work that was required.

We want to restore it to its former, if not better, glory. And we want you to come along with us!

We’re not looking to make a profit on this creation – just enough to cover our costs in the repairs and conversion, which will (mostly) all be done by us. And once she’s roadworthy, MOT’d and kitted out, we want you to join us in our adventures!

What we’ve done so far…

First we got it home.  Then we cleaned itChanged the locks.  Tried to service it.  Took the engine apartConverted the engine for unleaded.  Put the engine back together and started it again.  Then started a load of work to prepare it for an MOT, which included removing the windscreen and then starting to repair its metalwork.


I decided to do some digging on the history of this van, and got in touch with the DVLA.  They managed to let me know that the first owner of this van was a franchisee of Hertz Rent-a-car, and they owned it for three years.  After this it was bought up by someone else (names unknown) and then converted to a campervan a month later.

That explains why I’ve not seen any other 1.6L campers out there, as it wasn’t a conversion from new (new conversions sensibly used the 2.0L engine).

If you know how I can find out any more on the history of this vehicle, please get in touch.