If we're ever in Norway, we know where we're staying.
Vintage Volkswagen vans are all the rage right now, but people often forget the lovable old L 319 from Mercedes-Benz. It was later rebranded as a range of models from L 405 through L408, but this particular L 406 from 1968 is special. It served as the personal vehicle for the fire chief of Gothenburg, Sweden for 20 years, but that's not necessarily out-of-the-ordinary for an old L. We highly doubt, however, that any of them became a bed and breakfast in Scandinavia.
After decades on the road, this old Merc came to a couple named Bente and Pål, residents of a small town in Norway. Rather that rack up more miles or put the van through a restoration, they chose a slightly more relaxed life for the L 406. Its raised roof and bank of windows already made it rather roomy and open inside, so most of the interior bits came out, a thick coat of pink paint covered the weathered blue finish on the outside, and voila, it became a cozy bungalow.
We don’t know the details on how the project went down, but from what we can tell it looks downright comfy. There’s room for two in the bed, with a comfortable sitting area where driver and passenger used to sit. Typical house décor is found throughout the van, but we love how the dash is still there with the key in the ignition. Judging by the painted rust on the outside we suspect it’s not safe for road use, but to us, that key is a bittersweet reminder of the old Merc’s previous life.
The van holds a permanent station in the couple’s garden now, where it’s a legit home-away-from-home for travelers as an Airbnb guest house. Or at least, it used to be – the story of this van recently posted on Daimler’s website but try as we might, we can’t find an Airbnb listing for “Pink Swedish Firetruck.” We hope it’s at least still holding strong as a cozy getaway for someone, because this little van has managed to capture our hearts.