There Are Many Insane Custom RVs, but None Are Even Close to the Fabulous Flamingo Camper
If you thought the custom camper and RV markets have gotten a little carried away over the years, you’ll lose it when you see the Fabulous Flamingo. This insane custom RV was built by jamming an abandoned airplane and a delivery truck together. The results are hard to put into words, but I’ll try. The Fabulous Flamingo looks like if Willy Wonka skipped Home-Ec and went to shop class instead. (That actually wasn’t too bad.)
What in the Hell is The Fabulous Flamingo?
According to Motor1, the Fabulous Flamingo is the lovechild of a Douglas R4D military transport aircraft paired with the chassis of an International DuraStar 4400. The completely wild custom camper you see here might look like it was concocted by an eight-year-old because it was.
When now-retired US Air Force retiree Gino Lucci from Nashville, Michigan, has wanted to build this monster since he first thought it up as a child. The build started when his son found the abandoned Douglas R4D fuselage in Missouri.
Where did the airplane come from?
The Douglas R4D was a military plane flown by the navy in South America. The plane was last flown over 30 years ago by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a test plane. Unfortunately, a tornado put it out of commission. As a result of the damage, the military saw little potential left in the carcass to fool with, so it sat.
As soon as Lucci’s son found the plane, they pounced. Despite the horrendous condition, the Lucci family set work mounting the fuselage to the truck. The fuselage sat on a flatbed next to the truck; they measured and envisioned how it would all link up and got after it. After repeatedly placing the airplane frame onto the chassis to see what else needed cutting, they eventually got it right, employing methods that Lucci calls “hillbilly scientific.”
How big is the Fabulous Flamingo custom camper?
This insane custom RV stands 12-ft and 6-in tall and is an intimidating 38-ft long, making it quite challenging to drive on public roads. The Flamingo might be grounded, but that doesn’t mean it’s immobile. The truck’s original Navistar DT466 7.6-liter unit, available with power ratings from 210 to 300 horsepower, now powers the impossibly cool custom RV rig.
Lucci is asking an awful lot from the Navistar 7.6-liter because of the Flamingo’s weight of over 17,000 lbs. Even with its immense weight, the Flamingo can fly up to 85 mph. In fact, Lucci says that if the Fabulous Flamingo were just a half-inch wider, then the custom RV would be illegal to drive on the roads.
How much did the Flamingo cost?
Surprisingly, the Flamingo RV, all-in-all, only cost $20,000. Of course, that amount of money doesn’t account for the time spent on fabrication. It only took the Lucci family a little over a year to complete their RV’s initial construction and another two to iron out the wrinkles. Even with its aeronautics theme, the interior is still everything you’d expect from most normal campers.