An Amazing Resurrection of an Abandoned VW Van

Seemingly unsalvageable, a French enthusiast brings this wreck off the mountain under its own power.

Florian George performs shockingly ambitious restorations of Volkswagen vans, pulling old Kombis half-submerged in swamps and abandoned deep in the woods, then selling them under the brand Airmapp. Recently, he got word from a mushroom hunter of a 1955 model deep in the French Alps, investigated, and found a rusted heap that had been used as a shack. He ended up buying the wreck from the land owner (let’s hope for cheap) and started the process.

Helicopters are often called into extract the vans, but in this case George envisioned rolling the Kombi down its mountain home under the power of gravity. But then he thought, hey, what if? and so he brought up a spare engine and brakes and installed them onsite. Watch the video, below, to see what happened after that—it’s pretty darn cool. And for the full report on Airmapp’s discovery and more photos by George, go here.

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Shameer

    Wow, that’s amazing. Campers are very resilient in every way. We experienced similar in many ways; one time my friend and I, were travelling across the US and our Camper caught fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Burnt to charcoal, we thought we were defeated. A few years later, he resurrected the same Camper back from a charcoal state, only this time, even better and more resilient! Most importantly, moved the fuel pipe away from the heated engine stay 🙂 This has brought back many memories!

  • Dan Murphy

    Too cool. Reminds me of the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper”

    The big surprise to me was that a mushroom picker actually told Florian where he had been. I understand shroomers are extremely secretive.

    He actually paid for it?

  • Jack

    So sick. Wanted to cry.

  • Ted Alan Stedman

    Inspiring and beautiful.

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