Funwagon!

1967 funwagon for sale

This is a Sunbeam Funwagon. You’re probably never heard of it. Per the seller and like one other online reference, Funwagons were based on the Sunbeam Commer FC Van, a small British van from the Rootes Group. The Wikipedia article for the Commer FC confirms my assumption that all old British vans make like 50 horsepower and top out at about 65 mph. Obviously that platform needed extra weight, drag and a raised center of mass, so Sunbeam added a motorhome body and attempted to sell it exclusively to Americans. Those would be the same Americans just beginning to make use of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways at sustained high-speed straight-line cruising. In a 1500cc-powered, narrow-track, high-roof camper thing. Right.

To its credit, the Funwagon has no fiberglass (that skin is sheet aluminum) and this one is completely mechanically functional. Supposing you were into silly, underpowered British vehicles (a few of our commenters come to mind), the $3k current bid isn’t too ridiculous in that it’s a typical price for an OK condition example of a rare vehicle. I was thinking motor swap, but it’s not like the original transmission or axle would be up to bear the necessary power boost. So, complete drivetrain swap? I’d offer up a Toyota 22RE + W56 + 7.5 or 8″ rear axle.

Your thoughts?
Epilogue: I meant to schedule this for last Thursday, but somehow screwed that up, so it never ran. Since then the auction ended with a winning bid of $6799!
1967 Sunbeam Funwagon for sale – eBay Motors

0 Comments

  1. The perfect Le Mons support team vehicle for a certain team whose name I cannot divulge.
    You’ll have to guess.

        1. Would the sticker on the bottom read “The other side up”, or simply “You’re fired!”?

  2. Keep the stock engine in it and rechristen it Deathmobile, since you’ll likely get bounced into the weeds by a speeding something, as it’s incapable of getting out of its own way.

  3. This article reminded me: Today I saw an older Toyota pickup-based RV with the Ten Commandments plastered on the back of it on a ~3×3 foot bumper sticker. Someone had rear-ended them in the same place as where the bumper sticker was, so beneath that they had apparently put an Eleventh Commandment that said “#11: Thou Shalt Not Tailgate.” I was sad I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I thought it was pretty funny.

    1. You might have seen a unicorn. I’ve noted a missing sense of humor in many of those prone to bumper sticker proselytizing.

    2. (full disclosure: this is my friend’s car. I seem to find myself wrenching on it on a regular basis)

  4. A friend had the bus version of this, 12 or 15 seats I can’t remember now. It was an automatic too, in case the performance potential was too intimidating. In any case that was academic because it was basically a lawn ornament while he had it, sold due to moving house.
    I’m not sure if the engine bay is smaller than a Hillman sedan’s, but a 3800 would go nicely in there. The W56 is a good option if you didn’t want an automatic, and an early Toyota or Nissan pickup axle might not have to be narrowed.

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