United Kingdom

Mechanic transforms a rusty old Volkswagen into a retro vehicle - which sold for $60,000 on Gumtree 

An Australian mechanic with 24 years of experience has transformed a rundown retro van into a fully-functioning motorhome.

Phil Hoken, 39, said he 'jumped at the opportunity' to purchase the 1975 Volkswagen Jurgen Autovilla in its rusty condition for $5,000 after seeing it advertised on Facebook and eagerly started working on restoring it.

The New South Wales business owner of RETRO RV and Kombi Keg said he has 'always loved the look of Kombi vans' and first started working on cars with his dad when he was 16.

Phil said the project took seven months to complete and cost close to $30,000 to restore. 

After completing the transformation, the van was listed for $65,000 on Gumtree and sold for $60,000 within 17 hours of advertising the vehicle.

 An Australian mechanic with 24 years of experience has transformed a rundown retro van into a fully-functioning vehicle

Phil Hoken, 39, said he 'jumped at the opportunity' to purchase the 1975 Volkswagen Jurgen Autovilla van in its rusty condition for $5,000 after seeing it advertised on Facebook and started working on restoring i

'RETRO RV only launched as a registered business three weeks ago and this 70s Volkswagen is the first vehicle we transformed,' Phil told FEMAIL and said the van was restored last year. 

'The original owner was selling it online and said it would only be good for van parts to use on other vehicles - but I figured we should fix it.'

The father-of-two said his family were shocked when he purchased the old van but were amazed with the stunning transformation and selling price. 

After completing the transformation, the van was listed for $65,000 on Gumtree and sold for $60,000 within 17 hours of advertising the vehicle

The father-of-two said his family were shocked when he purchased the old van but were pleasantly surprised with the stunning transformation and selling price

The outside of the van has an original retro 1970s style, but the inside has a new toilet, double bed and upright and overhead storage.

Phil said it has a small retro fridge, stovetop and table that are all in the original appliance position spaces.

Due to the state of the van, Phil and his team were faced with a few challenges during the restoration process.

Due to the state of the van, Phil and his team were faced with a few challenges during the restoration process - including replacing the engine and timber frame

Phil said it has a small retro fridge, stovetop and table that are all in the original appliance position spaces (pictured)

'One issue we had to overcome was the unreliable engine of the Kombi van and another problem was the rotten timber frame on the side,' he said.

'We swapped the conventional engine and replaced it with an EJ20 Subaru Forester engine, and the result was great.

'We also had to re-do the entire timber frame and replace it with new wood,' he said. 

Phil said the response online have been fantastic and people have loved seeing the before and after images

Phil and his team are currently working on three other 'rust to riches' kombi vans and have purchased another three to complete.

He said the response from others online have been fantastic and social media users have loved seeing the before and after transformation images.

Even though RETRO RV only recently launched, the business has already gained more than 3,800 likes on Facebook - and Phil assured he will share more restoration projects in the near future.

His other bar franchise business Kombi Keg launched in 2016 and swiftly grew from one to 49 franchises in eight different countries.

Phil has travelled across Australia buying vans and hopes customers will consider purchasing a motorhome to travel around the country too. 

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