I think I might be losing my mind. On the bright side, my madness could end up being one of the biggest prop projects I or anyone else has ever tackled.
For a while now I've been considering semi-retirement. One of the options calling to me is just hitting the road in an RV, spending the winters in my native Texas and then returning to New York during the summer to spend time with family. I'm lucky enough to have a job doing voiceovers that I can do anywhere with a microphone and a laptop, so making a living shouldn't be an issue.
To make a long story short, while tossing the idea around with some friends I mentioned how cool it would be to have a retro camper. Something like an on-chassis Airstream. Taking the idea one step further, I thought one painted like a Vault-Tec van from "Fallout" would be seriously awesome.
That's when fate intervened and one of my buddies, far more familiar with classic cars than I am, said "Hey, that looks like a Corvair Ultra Van. You should get one of those." A little Googling demonstrated that it would, indeed, be a pretty sweet ride in Vault-Tec colors.
The Ultra Van was a limited run RV manufactured from the mid 60s to the early 70s. Two things made it special. The first is the infamous Corvair engine that powered it. The second is the unique monococque construction. The frame and hull is a single structure put together like an airplane, similar to the construction technique used in Airstream trailers. It is, in almost every respect including the engine, an aircraft without wings.
Only a few hundred Ultra Vans were produced, and of those a limited number are still on the road. That said, it's considered a genuine Corvair by car aficionados, so it has it's own sub-site as part of the national Corvair collectors organization.
Here's the real kicker. Googling "Ultra Van for sale" revealed there's one for sale literally ten minutes from my house. Seriously, what are the odds?
I'm so, so tempted to just pull the trigger. A custom Vault-Tec van would be the coolest thing imaginable to hit the road with. On the other hand, I can see it turning into the kind of money pit that nightmares are made of. Having known a few guys who've tackled amateur restorations and rebuilds I've learned they can end up swallowing huge amounts of cash.
But man, would that be a sweet ride.
Update: Here's a gallery of the Ultra Van in question when it was used as a staging vehicle during Coachella 2012. The interior hasn't been changed, but the exterior color wrap was removed to expose the base white.