Jason Weisberger is Boing Boing's publisher. He often does what he ought, instead of what he should. On instagram and twitter he is @jlw

62 Responses to “Vixen Motorhomes”

  1. nachoproblem says:

    “…giving the Vixen less wind-resistance than a Chevy Camaro and a For Taurus.” You mean, less wind resistance than a Chevy Camaro with a Ford Taurus welded to the roof? So help me, I’m curious.

    • Kimmo says:

      They were probably trying to pull a fast one with that but ended up with an outright lie anyway.

      Aerodynamic drag of cars is referred to by cd, coefficient of drag, which is a unitless measure. Multiply by frontal area to get a meaningful number…

      So anyway, it’s a more streamlined shape than a Taurus or Camaro; that’s what the statement actually means.

    • chgoliz says:

       What they meant to say was “…than a Chevy Camaro OR a Ford Taurus”.

    • Ronald Pottol says:

      CD was just 0.29, which does beat just about any car of the mid 1980s. But since drag is CD time frontal area….

  2. Grahamers2002 says:

    4:04:

    “Is a motor home that can be driven easily….whether by men or women!”

  3. Halloween_Jack says:

    It was probably too small for a lot of people. There were no built-in cooking facilities and according to the video, even with the roof extended there was only 66″ of head room (5’6″), although Wikipedia claims 6’2″. So, if you were short and ate out on the road, you’d be OK. Otherwise, it seems like a neither-fish-nor-fowl compromise between a VW camper fan and a full-size motorhome. 

    •  You may be right about the too small, but according to the video, there were two versions, one with a kitchen and one without.

      • Halloween_Jack says:

         Well, again according to Wikipedia, after the original (smaller) version didn’t sell, they made a bigger one that had more room but at the sacrifice of being able to park it in a standard size garage–in effect, turning it into a regular RV.

        • The Wikipedia article is unsourced. I can find no evidence that more than one size was made. There was the original RV model with a diesel engine, and RV model with a gasoline engine, and a luxury touring “limousine” model with the diesel. All three were the exact same exterior size. Where do you get the information about a larger one?

    • There were built-in cooking facilities in the original Vixen 21, it was the “grand touring” model that did not have kitchen facilities. And the video clearly said “6 feet 6 inches” NOT 66″. 66 inches is 5’6″, a whole foot shorter than they claimed. 6’6″ is 78″. And the (completely unsourced) Wikipedia article didn’t claim the interior was 6’2″, but that a 6’2″ person could walk around comfortably inside. Did you even watch the video? Because everything you contend is untrue, based on this video presumably made by the manufacturer.

  4. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Foxy!

  5. Stefan Jones says:

    EAT YOUR HEART OUT ENNIO MORRICONE! Whoever composed the music for this commercial will be getting the Oscar for best score next year.

  6. BDiamond says:

    This sooo reminds me of my days in corporate stoogeville, producing multi-projector shows and then later, video programs using that totally awesome and rad needle drop music library. GACK.

  7. Rusty says:

    Built in response to the GMC Motorhome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_motorhome Now if only the designer could have gotten it to look a bit more like the EM-50…

    •  I would STILL love to get one of the old motorhomes. I wonder if I could retrofit a VW V-10 TDI engine into one?

      • Ronald Pottol says:

        There is a large and active GMC Motorhome community (just google it), with good vendor support. Given that they made 12000 of them, there are more than 10x still on the road than there were Vixens ever built. Probably the best non current RV to own. And with the state of the economy, you can get a fairly nice one for under $10k.

    • gracchus says:

      The EM-50 was my first thought seeing this, too. Of course they made only 587, it’s a top-secret military urban assault vehicle!

  8. Mark Dow says:

    Wait! There’s more! Computerized modal structural analysis of the Vixen 21 prototype, with dynamic wireframe overlay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=F0b7ucqwFP0#!

    Geek ASMR alert.

  9. I AM SO FUCKING READY

  10. RaidenDaigo says:

    The music made me think I was in a Final Fantasy battle.

  11. Ryan Griffin says:

    perfect for driving like assholes through small towns.

  12. phlavor says:

    I’ve been in one of these. It was not only the perfect size for a festival RV, it was converted to run on vegetable oil. And considering that I saw it just outside of Yosemite, it could obviously get up a hill. 

    • chgoliz says:

      I was impressed that – at a time when mpg was not a selling point – this RV got between 22-30 mpg right out of the box without any modifications.  Two out of three models were diesel engines, but still.

  13. L_Mariachi says:

    I like how the “crowd” in “crowd-stopping looks” consists of two old ladies outside a cabin in the Poconos.

    • chgoliz says:

       Even better is the last shot of the video: a couple drinking wine by candlelight, and the parting words of “meet the vixen” while the camera closes in on a candlelit shot of the woman making googly eyes at her husband.  Oh, those randy retirees!

  14. Ian Wood says:

    what the hell just happened

  15. ldobe says:

    It looks like an elongated Aerostar with a low body kit to me.

    I find it pretty hideous, and flimsy looking.  But I’m not an aesthetician, so what do I know really.

    Maybe I was soured from the start by the gratingly obnoxious fully synthed tunes.  I like chiptunes, I like EDM, I can’t stand the crappy 1980s intermediate genre where they’re using plastic sounding synths as if they’re the same as orchestral and band instruments.

  16. leidentech says:

    Came for the vixens.  Got this instead.

  17. Simon Champion says:

    What Snake Plissken drives on holiday.

  18. Nell Anvoid says:

    A “Selectophonic” headphone system!!!!!  

    I’m in.

  19. Not being funny but the “innovations” here aren’t unique – there’s a massive scene of people in the UK and Europe building custom live-in vehicles for travelling – many of which are home-made. If you find live-in vehicle porn check out the SBMCC for peoples DIY :
      http://sbmcc.co.uk/

    If you like your vehicles ready-rolled, have a browse around : 
      http://www.actionmobil.at/
      http://www.unicat.net/en/index.html

    There’s an interesting (and long rambling) article here : 
      http://www.xor.org.uk/silkroute/equipment/choosevan.htm
    Once you get your head out of the regular world of motorhomes you realise there are way better ways to do things!

    • Halloween_Jack says:

       That “Action Mobil” page is mind-boggling–someone had the idea of combining an RV, tractor-trailer and SUV in one vehicle. It’s as if they heard that someone was thinking of remaking Desolation Alley and wanted to get a jump on recreating the Landmaster.

  20. andy lavioza says:

    thats not a great a incident, come on think if that happen with a train small .. you can imaging with look at http://kerozzi.blogspot.com/2013/03/keretamini.com-pabrik-kereta-mini-no-1.-ready-stock.html

  21. robuluz says:

    If I was looking for a vehicle to transport aliens from Roswell to Area 51, this would be the one.

  22. Doran says:

    Built by a team of automobile engineers!!

    • s2redux says:

      Back when these things were made, “built by a team of automotive engineers” was a good sales hook. Most RVs at the time were coming from Indiana, and the engineering emphasis was on building cheap stressed-skin panels — mount a kinda-sturdy box onto a bus/truck chassis, and then fill the box up with goodies.

      (And FFS, this reel is ca. 1986…I hope all the jokers poking fun at it here have a chance to review the work they’re doing today up in 2040 ;-)

  23. jackbird says:

    I liked the moment where they made sure to include “full serve” in the frame as the driver fills his own tank.

  24. tedrock says:

    Reminds me of one of favorite TV shows when I was a kid. And here’s a tour of a highly modified RV from the 24th century… The Ark II.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWefYn5JkSs

  25. If I ever need to invade the former Czech Republic to rescue my imperiled Army platoon , whom are being held as spies… this is certainly my first choice.

  26. Pokemon Otis says:

    It looks sleek and futuristic, yet mundane, like an alien golf cart!

  27. Ronald Pottol says:

    The company folded not long after this commercial. Also worth checking out (though they will not fit in a standard garage) is the GMC Motorhome, built 1973-1978, the only RV built  by a major US car maker. They built 12,000 of them, and half are still on the road. There is a great community for support, plus very good vendor support, and prices are quite reasonable (as in $10k will buy a nice one). 14″ floor hight, sleeps 6 (in most configurations). Unlike so many older vehicles, if you have a problem, you can have what you need overnighted to you (granted, that’s never the cheap shipping option).

  28. Ronald Pottol says:

    There are a bunch of interesting alternatives to a box on a truck chassis. 

    The Ultravans from the early 1960s use a Corvair power plant, and a stressed skin (rather like a light aircraft), they only weighed 5600 pounds.

    The Clark Cortez and Kent Cortez is another example (1960s for the Clark (yes, the forklift people, 1970s for the Kent)..

    The Oldsmobile Toronado drive train powered a bunch of interesting machines. The most produced was the GMC Motorhome, but also the Kent Cortez, and the Revcons (up through 1978), and others.

    It is a wacky product space with many interesting experiments. The original Vixen (not sure about all of them) had the toilet at a 45 degree angle (the designers daughter came up with that) as a way to make everything fit in the space limits fitting into a normal garage imposed.

  29. chaopoiesis says:

    “Get ready for that ‘oh, wow’ emotional rush you used to feel when you saw something that really was God.”

  30. Read this yesterday; saw one parked in the Wildcat lot in Alta, UT today.

  31. Roger Lambert says:

    Was thinking seriously about a Dodge Sprinter conversion – used to be made (?) by Mercedes Benz.  Pick one up in Germany, spend retirement parking on city streets in Europe. Seen videos of cool electric beds – motor converts from daytime sofa to nighttime bed.

    Sprinters would also get about 30mpg in low gear config, tons of length, height, window, skylight, compartment options.  If you can live on $100.00 per day, you could retire on Social Security in Europe and follow the sun.

  32. billstreeter says:

    30mpg is pretty amazing for an RV, thats better than most mini vans do on the highway. 

  33. idad says:

    Holy Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich.  Does anyone else see Mother Theresa in the middle of the engine at 1:20?

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