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Inside The Front-Wheel Drive Porsche-Powered Camper You’ve Never Heard Of

Stateside the Tempo company is not well known. While the marque’s utility vehicles were well-known in Europe both just before and after the Second World War, most did not cross the Atlantic. Beginning with tricycle pickup trucks the brand steadily branched out into larger and larger commercial vehicles in the years following the war. With great interior volume comes great versatility, and for a company making buses and large vans a camper conversion was virtually inevitable.

All photos from Mecum Auctions https://www.mecum.com/lots/CA0819-381054/1955-porsche-tempo-mikafa-sport-camper/

The Tempo Matador was among the brand’s most successful models, and early examples featured a Volkswagen industrial engine powering the front wheels. Unlike the contemporary VW Type 2 this allowed for a low, flat load floor. Unlike the Type 2, this was nearly textbook-perfect for an RV.

This example, built by Mifaka, uses a contemporary Matador chassis. While Tempo themselves had moved on from VW engines to Austin (among others), Mifaka sought something rather more sporting. This example was originally powered by a 356-sourced 1500cc flat-four. While plenty zesty in a 356, this wouldn’t be our first choice for a recreational vehicle.

The camper has since been re-engined with what appears to be a later dual-carb VW powerplant mounted in a cabinet under the front seats. Still not powerful, but possibly slightly punchier than the original item.

To continue the Porsche theme, the camper uses large, round, 356-style Hella lamps and aluminum exterior trim. A Porsche badge adorns the front of the vehicle, and indeed the vehicle is titled as a 1955 Porsche. Imagine the confusion this would cause at your next PCA-meetup!

Inside the Mifaka-Tempo-Porsche is classic 1950s camper. Though short on amenities compared to today’s RVs, the cabin is exceptionally well-lit, and includes a convertible sleeping and dining area, a stove, sink, and a refrigerator. A functional restroom is also present, and a large pop-up roof panel affords ventilation for the occupants.

A true Porsche or not, we love it in concept. The camper appears tidy, compact, and so far from fashionable that it circles back around to terminally cool. We wish it could be ours, and it certainly could be- this one is crossing the block at Mecum’s Monterey sale in August.



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