Originally Posted by TomH
It used to be that almost all Sportsmobiles were built on Ford Econoline E350 cargo vans, mostly on the long bed, but a few short. Some had penthouse tops, some had aftermarket tall roofs. SMB-W began offering 4x4 conversions of their own design. They built their own low range transfer case, swapped out the 2wd parts with Ford 4x4 truck parts, put on F-550 brake systems, Dana axles, and suspension systems with high articulation.
Sometime around 2009 Ford announced that they intended to phase out the E350 and bring over the Transit, which had been selling in Europe for decades. The E series has a frame, the Transit is unibody like Sprinter, etc. Production of E350 ended in 2014, however the demand for light trucks and Class C motorhomes caused them to continue building the E350 cutaway. SMB-W took a cutaway and built a prototype vehicle on it around that same time and dubbed it the Classic. They had someone else build a fiberglass cabin for them that is 4" wider than the original cargo van cabin. They tested it rigorously and spent a long time troubleshooting problems like leaks. About a year ago, they built 3 beta test models and continued trial runs in the CA mountains and deserts. The Classic is the same length as the previous E350 LB, is available only with the penthouse, and is technically considered Class C, though to the eye, you'd think it is Class B.
Less than a week ago, SMB-W announced that they had begun production of this model for sale. Twenty people currently have a deposit, the oldest made over four and a half years ago.
This short thread
contains links to several longer threads regarding the Classic.
Aha - many thanks - very interesting! :-).
Anyone have a ballpark idea of starting g cost for a 2018 Classic?
Yeah I donít think a penthouse suits us... removes the ability to stealth camp.
Also I bet the Classic would cost more than a Transit + SMW interior.
Although the Classic would be far, far more offf road capable, of course.