If Winnebago and BMW got together and had a love child, it would likely produce this motorhome that you’ve (probably) never heard of, the Vixen 21. Referred to as the DeLorean of RVs, the Vixen 21 had a top speed of nearly 100 mph!
The Vixen 21, the DeLorean of RVs!
Outfitted with a 2.6 liter turbo BMW diesel engine, not only would this RV outhaul anything in its weight class, but it would get on average 22-30 mpg while doing it.
An original image from the Vixen 21 manual.
Designed to be small and easy to drive, the Vixen featured a low center of gravity, with an automatic lift roof that took the inside ceiling to a comfortable 6’ 6” while parked.
Layout of the “TD” model.
Standard equipment included a 25 gallon fresh water tank, a full bed and additional sleeping space (depending on the model), a 4 cubic foot 110 or 12 volt refrigerator, and a built in bathroom with a 12 gallon black water tank.
The “XC” floor plan with luxury seating for ten.
The Vixen came in three floor plans, one traditional RV style (the Vixen 21 TD) with a four seater dinette. One (the 21 XC) with three luxury couches to seat up to 10 passengers, and one hybrid camper (the 21 SE) with luxury seating and some of the motorhome amenities of the TD version.
The “SE” floor plan, luxury and utility.
There were only 587 Vixen 21 motorhomes ever made, and Tao Ruspoli found #171. Tao located his Vixen in Nevada, and with his love of luxury yachts as inspiration, set out to remodel his rare treasure.
Tao’s Vixen 21 starts conversations wherever it goes.
He chose teak, sapele and wenge woods for his console and trim, with fabrics and carpeting reminiscent of the mid-eighties.
The beautifully veneered dash featuring sapele and wenge grains.
Although he doesn’t say, we think this is a TD, as evidenced from the flip top table on the passenger seat that Ruspoli had outfitted with a custom inlaid marquetry chess board.
Custom teak inlay on the built-in chess table.
Carpenters Steve Levinson and Richard Draut contributed the 200 hours of woodworking needed to finish the project, including the new front dash.
Working on what looks to be the dash.
Ruspoli also ordered a custom side console for his captain’s chair to accommodate his camera, specialty lenses and coffee cups, keeping them all within easy reach for refreshment and roadside photography.
Custom captain’s console for coffee, camera and lenses.
The five-speed stick shift and powerful turbo allows for very sporty driving, but while the top speed supposedly is 100 mph, I’ve never taken it past 87 mph.
The Vixen at Salton Sea with some colorful neighbors.
While its small by motorhome standards, the refurbished Vixen 21 can supply all of the modern comforts with two batteries, a built-in 110 V inverter and a generator for those out-of-the-way places.