‘Camping Stove’ a 1986 Bedford Bambi Campervan, crossing Eynsford Lock, Kent.

Since I first passed my driving test I’ve wanted one of these. A small, reliable, useful, but totally silly camper van. -The Bedford Bambi. Finally I have one! -Joining GladTimes as an arts space to use when travelling.

The Bedford Rascal (later Vauxhall Rascal), also built as the Suzuki Super Carry, was a Kei truck – a small but practical micro truck for the Japanese market.

Back in 1986, Autohomes was the UK’s largest volume manufacturer, and had already forged a mutually beneficial relationship with Bedford.

As a result, the Autohomes MD was shown a prototype Rascal before its public launch.

Bedford wanted Autohomes to build a camper van on the panel-van version, however, the converter claimed it was too small and came up with the Bambi design on the chassis-cab as a more appealing alternative.

Disney granted the use of the Bambi name and thus a little legend was born!

The van was produced at the IBC Vehicles plant in Luton, England, adjacent to the main Vauxhall factory (GM’s British-based passenger car marque). Alongside the Bedford, the Suzuki-branded twin was manufactured for the European market (where Bedford is a less established brand).

Sold from 1986 to 1994, many of the Pick-Up vans were converted at purchase to ‘Bambi’ models, where by a ‘Camper’ section was added to the chassis.

Named by previous owner’s as “Lady Penelope’ but now called ‘Camping Stove’ as a joke about taking the van hiking with the Scouts to use the stove. Hopefully this will inspire and be a part of many new artworks to come!