The Ideal Bedroom?

I Kept Hearing About...

 

 

 

 

...these unique Corvair-powered vehicles with their true, “monocoque” design.  When the Ideal Garage was first published, Ken Wildman contacted me to let me know that the Ultra Van should be included.  I decided it was time to learn more about them.

 

 

 

 

Click on the photo to see a larger version!

 

 

 

 

Ken maintains an excellent and informative website devoted to the Ultra Van.  The following summary is quoted from the home page of Ken’s Site:

 

 

    “The Ultra Van is a unique motorhome.  Powered by a Corvair engine and transaxle, it was designed by David Peterson (a professional aircraft designer) in the early sixties.  These units were produced in limited quantities by the Ultra Van Corporation of Hutchinson, Kansas until June of 1970.

    As a true monococque structure, the Ultra Van has no chassis.  It is constructed like an airplane with aluminum ribs covered with riveted sheet aluminum on the top and sides.  Compound curved areas (front and back corners) are fiberglass.  All wheels are independently sprung with coil springs and tubular shock absorbers.

    These units cruise easily at 55 mph and deliver 15 plus mpg.  More than 250 of about 370 units produced are still on the road, many with between 100,000 and 500,000 miles of use.

    The Corvair Society of America (CORSA) recognizes the Ultra Van as a true Corvair marque.”

 

Please take a moment to visit Ken’s site and read up on the history of these vehicles and the statistics concerning their design and operation.  The one statistic that amazes me most is the fact that 250 out of 370 (i.e., 2/3rds) are still on the road.

 

 

 

 

Maybe we can persuade someone to pull his or her Ultra Van into an airplane hangar and snap a photo.  The result, of course, would be a Size XXL Ideal Garage.

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder why they call these vehicles whales?  :)