Nissan Urvan 1985: $20,000 Retro Van The Perfect ‘Statecation’ Warrior

"Gone Surfing".

Nissan Urvan 1985: $20,000 Retro Van The Perfect ‘Statecation’ Warrior

Hotter than a vinyl singlet: the customised 1985 Nissan Urvan better known as 'Elena'. Image: Gumtree

With international travel off the cards in 2020 and many of Australia’s state borders closed or restricted, many Australians have instead found the unexpected pleasures of the ‘statecation’: vacationing within one’s own state or territory and enjoying the best of what your region has to offer. With air travel also a much trickier endeavour than normal, that’s mostly taken the form of road trips and ‘glamping’.

But if you’re going to travel, even if it’s in one’s home state, you may as well do it in style. Enter this immaculate 1985 Nissan Urvan – maybe the coolest campervan this country has to offer.

“Meet Elena,” the owner proudly starts.

“The time has come to part with my absolute pride and joy, whom I have invested endless time and money into restoring her to the mint condition she is in today! Now it’s your chance to own a unique and beautiful vehicle that is a guaranteed head-turner for anyone you drive past! You will not find any Urvan on the road in this condition.”

Prettier than your auntie’s Kombi. Image: Gumtree

He’s not lying, either. This Urvan (also known as the Nissan Caravan or Homy in other parts of the world) looks like it virtually rolled out of the factory, despite being a good 35 years old.

“This van was sold to me by an older gentleman who was the original owner, having kept the van in immaculate original condition,” the owner continues, “Elena is mechanically reliable and hums along happily at 100km/h – 110km/h on the highway with no problems thanks to a 5-speed column shift gearbox.”

Already in good nick when he bought it, he’s since sunk over $11,000 into its restoration, giving it a pearlescent burgundy red paint job, matching burgundy plush interior bench seats, a new headliner, custom matching vinyl door cards and carpet. It’s also got custom timber storage compartments, and hooks attached to the roof so you can mount a surfboard. Oh, and the engine was completely rebuilt in 2015.

Big summer vibes. Image: Gumtree

What’s the catch? Well, it doesn’t have power steering or air conditioning, so that might be hard to swallow. It’s also a bit old-fashioned: a carburetted engine, original head unit and column shifter might not be to everyone’s tastes. Alternatively, its purity could be a real selling point.

The bigger issue is that it’s in Queensland, so unless you’re already in the Sunshine State, it might be a little harder to get your hands on. You might even need this bombproof Bentley to cross the border to get it, too…

For only $20,000, ‘Elena’ is an absolute steal. Check it (or her?) out on Gumtree.

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