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You want to holiday in this 900bhp Winnebago
This supercharged 1972 ‘Happy Camper’ is our new hero
Ladies and gents, may we proudly present the greatest RV in the world. It’s a 1972 Winnebago Brave christened ‘Happy Camper’, and is probably the most excellent rolling home-from-home on the planet.
No, not because it has a monkey bike attached to the front. Or a Weber barbeque strapped to the back (although they both do help its cause greatly). This is excellent because of what’s nestled in the middle: a supercharged Wegner Motorsports LS 408 that’s powering it with a nutty 900bhp. Yes, you read that right. Nine hundred. In an RV. Shut up and take our money already.
As a point of clarification for our European readers, an RV (or recreational vehicle) is America’s answer to the humble road plug that we call a caravan.
However, these staycation on wheels don’t have to be dragged behind a car. Instead, RVs are self-sufficient corrugated boxes that can nomadically trudge across America under their own steam. Normally, they’re powered by a large capacity, low power but torquey diesel or petrol engine. Clearly, this one didn’t get the memo.
It’s the work of Jim and Mike Ring, co-founders of Ringbrothers, the Wisconsin-based firm famed for putting silly power and carbon fibre bodies on America’s finest muscle cars of old.
And they haven’t settled for half measures with this project. Put simply, it’s basically a dragster dressed up as Breaking Bad. There’s Wegner ported LSA heads, a 4L80 transmission, Flowmaster headers, Inconel exhaust and a rear end from a 2005 F-550 ambulance.
Considering it weighs over four tonnes, it can hit 50mph from a standstill in an impressive 3.2 seconds. That’s the great thing about 900bhp and fat tyres, ya see. But this car isn’t about numbers – one look at the inside will tell you that.
The interior is handmade aluminium, beaten out by the Ring brothers to give a WWII bomber vibe. There are amenities; TVs, a glass cover to show the engine and supercharger, popcorn maker, pizza oven, ratty awning and graffitied walls in the style of a toilet cubical from a London bar. Authentic.
There are also many, many trinkets and mementos from the past. Like an aeroplane propeller owned by Jim and Mike Ring’s father, Clete. He traded a gallon of petrol for it in 1957. Unfortunately, we don’t know the story of why Woody from Toy Story is stuck in a saxophone.
Then we come to the small matter of not one, but two bars. Like, proper bars. Complete with neon lights, hard liquor and an outboard motor on the wall (just don’t drink and drive, folks).
Have you seen anything more excellent than this? We suspect not…