Pimp My Ride, a much-loved TV show hosted by ex-radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood, was responsible for some of the most daring decorative and mechanical designs the world has ever laid eyes on. The show, which came to life in America in 2004, took old rust buckets and turned them into intergalactic wagons.
Car fans tuned in to watch drastic transformations that method actors such as Christian Bale could only be proud of. 24-inch spinners, a champagne cooler, and flip-up mini-televisions in the back were a staple addition to each and every car which rolled out the doors of West Coast Customs.
The show may no longer be on the airwaves, but we can assure you the world is still littered with body shops willing to spray any possible color and mechanics ready to fit massively oversized Eibach springs.
Unfortunately, and this isn’t to destroy numerous childhood memories, many of the cars that featured on the show, weren’t actually deemed roadworthy. That said, with the aptly named ‘staycation’ on the rise throughout the UK, we thought we’d take a look at some of the slightly more adventurous campers, who’ve gone above and beyond, ‘pimping’ their rides and creating a traveling home that stays within the legal boundaries.
Having spent years on the road, committing to his passion of road racing, Northern Irishman Darren Gilpin, got to the stage where he had enough of sleeping in the back of his transit van. Unlike other motorbike riders who were supported by major sponsors and teams, Darren was self-funded, which meant he didn’t get a race track or a double bed. With a few thousand pounds in the bank going into the 2013 season, he bought a dilapidated MAN horsebox. Transporting the bikes to and from the racetrack was the priority, so he built a partition wall in the rear of the truck. In the back, he built a full workshop with a tail-lift and ramp that could negotiate four full-size bikes. In the front half, he built one double bed on the ground, two-fold singles which fell from the ceiling, a full kitchen, and the piece de resistance — a fully stocked bar, complete with various optics. Remembering a gaslight suitable for making meals whilst camping, using our handy stove was essential, however, if the baked beans were going to be consumed warm.
Often, many of us living in the hustle and bustle of city life never take the time to sit back and indulge in everything the world offers us — particularly the night sky. In most instances, due to light pollution, we simply cannot do this. Bill and Beck Goddard are here to provide you with that opportunity. The couple, who reside in Herefordshire, have combined their love for textiles and woodwork, developing numerous campers, and they will do the same for you if you want to get away from it all and travel the country. One of their stand-out projects of late is a Mercedes Sprinter which has been completely renovated. Taking a shell, they have fitted various storage spaces, a full-oven, space for four sleepers, and an awning. And the awning or even the back doors is what allows you to pick your spot in the country, kick back, and simply enjoy your surroundings — star gazing the night away.
Unlike anything else you will ever see, the Peugeot Boxer promoted is just one van by Quirky Campers that exist as a simply breathtaking piece of art. The designers have described the 2013 van as ‘having just stepped out of a fairytale’. Complete with a full-sized wood burner, you do not have to be concerned of a chilly night. Originally renting out their van Bella, when they volunteered in Africa, husband and wife team of David and Lindsay have managed to create a collective of ‘staycation’ delights right through the UK, including options available for Glastonbury festival.
Going it alone
The few examples we have looked at above are just a pick of some of the ideas which have been created throughout the UK, some of which will assist in your journey, whether it be designing it for you, or simply renting you one. However, the journey can start with you. Take inspiration from the travel enthusiasts Katie and Ben who built their dream camper in a week. The couple, despite being on a budget, still managed to add all the necessities required. Katie notes how ‘luxury wasn’t present, but we had everything we needed — it was cute, functional and comfortable’.
The stay-cay can be done today, you just need to decide on which way you are going to sway.