Not Your Average Overlander

This Is the Ultimate Starting Point For an Adventure Van Project


April 1, 2019 Cars By
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If you’re looking to start an adventure vehicle project, it might be tempting to go the obvious route and pick up a Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser or VW Westfalia. They’re the go-to overlanders for a reason, and end up as decked-out overlanders and mobile campsites more often than most trucks — as bone stock, they’re already incredibly capable of handling multi-day trips and dirt trails. However, if you’d prefer a more unique route for your adventure vehicle, this 1979 Volvo C202 Laplander 4×4 is the way to go.

If it wasn’t immediately obvious, the Volvo C202 Laplander 4×4 started life as a utility truck for military use as the L2304, first for Sweden (because, well, it’s Volvo), after which the Norwegian Army, the Royal Netherlands Army and Saudi Arabia took orders. The C202 is stripped-down for civilian use, but it’s a blank canvas for your wildest overland upgrade dreams.

The C202 already has requisite ground clearance, massive tires, a snorkel and a cavernous cargo area — all you have to do is get creative. The rear center-facing seats fold up and out of the way, but a twin-sized bed and a countertop and kitchenette would quickly transform the area into a cozy living space. The removable hard top might make it tricky for a roof rack or rooftop tent, but if you build up the living space inside, you’ll have the option to sleep under the stars, weather permitting.

As for the driving portion of your adventure, you won’t be setting any land speed records with the 82 horsepower four-cylinder engine, but between the part-time all-wheel-drive and big beefy BFG all-terrain tires, you’ll have no problem trucking up mountain trails to find the perfect campsite.

Finding an adventure to get your dream overlander project started isn’t difficult. A quick Google search and you’ll be tripping over more Defenders, old Broncos and Tacomas than you know what to do with. But, if you want to stand out from the rest of the adventure community crowd and still have a go-anywhere vehicle, this 1979 Volvo C202 Laplander 4×4 is up to the task.

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