1959 Mercedes-Benz O319 Panorama BusO 319 Custom
Year of manufacture1959
$150,000 - $175,000
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1960.
Mercedes-Benz has had a long history with commercial vehicles. Prior to merging in 1926, both Daimler and Benz ventured into truck production; this development continued with the first diesel-powered light truck in 1932.
In the 1950s, Mercedes-Benz’s commercial lineup expanded to include both trucks and busses. In 1955, the firm introduced the medium-duty L 319 truck and its counterpart, the O 319 bus, as worthy competitors in Europe’s burgeoning market. Both featured a front-engine layout and “forward control” cab with a large greenhouse and simple but distinctive styling.
This incredible O 319 bus has been fully restored, while being extensively and subtly modified into a luxurious camper. A previous owner—an eccentric computer engineer—used his wide-ranging skills to painstakingly refurbish and upgrade this unique vehicle over a 15-year period.
The exterior boasts exceptionally straight panels and paintwork in factory colors done to a very high standard. Underneath is a modern air-ride suspension system adapted to the standard factory dual rear-wheel setup. Workmanship is meticulous, with precise plumbing and expert electricals designed to handle the demands of modern accessories. Details include a centralized circuit-breaker panel and lighting for every cubby and compartment upon opening. Propane and water tanks are installed underneath the body and cleverly integrated along frame rails.
Inside, one will find modern leather seats up front and a comfortable rear berth. A custom-made cabinet houses the sink and stove and provides storage. Dual front and rear audio systems are also housed within custom-made cabinetry. A cleverly stowed solar panel is fitted for those treks “off the grid.”
A modern, fuel-injected Mercedes-Benz gasoline engine and automatic transmission with Gear Vendor overdrive and oil cooler provides power. An assortment of re-mapped ECU chips is included, presumably to accommodate all kinds of driving conditions. Additional accompaniments to this lot include a set of manuals, period literature, and a photo album documenting this unusual but masterfully executed restoration.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.