Base vehicle: Ford Transit Custom Price from: £52,950 Berths: 4 Travel seats: 5 Length: 4.97m Width: 2.08m Height: 2.00m Gross weight: 2,800kg Payload: 270kg
Words and photos: Geneve Brand
Speeds dates back to 1997, specialising in prestige and luxury cars. However, like many other companies during the Covid pandemic’s lockdowns, it decided to branch out into campervan conversions. Unlike many a start-up campervan converter, though, it has avoided the obvious Vee-Dub route by building on Transit Custom base vehicles instead. That makes sense, the Ford being cheaper than a VW Transporter but actually offering a little extra interior space.
Of course, with a heritage in luxury vehicles, the campervans Speeds wanted to create were never going to be ordinary and we spotted its stand from a mile off at the National Motorhome & Campervan Show, where its brightly coloured campervans certainly stood out from the crowd. There were red ones, blue ones, orange ones and yellow ones, all with colour-coded pop-tops and sporty decals to match.
We could have photographed any one of them but, being a hot and sunny day, it was the camper with a bright yellow open-sky canvas and map of Scotland printed on the underside of the roof bed that caught our attention. It’s a limited edition but, at the time of writing, it was still available for sale on the company’s website for £52,950. And, if the colour or the JPS branding aren’t quite to your taste, a further nine alternative conversions are on offer, too.
The features of the JPS Edition shown here start on the outside, where striking gold decals and matching 20in Velare alloy wheels on a gloss black Transit Custom recall those Lotus Formula One cars driven by the likes of Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna. You certainly won’t mistake this campervan for someone else’s after a few too many festival ciders and the racy look is continued with a body kit providing front and rear spoilers, a rear bumper apron and extended side sills.
If you’re beginning to think this is a lot of campervan for the money in this post-pandemic world, well, that’s because it’s a new conversion on a used vehicle. Basis is 2018 van with 130PS (128bhp) engine, manual gearbox and 37,000 miles on the clock. However, since Speeds sources good-quality, high-spec used vehicles, the cab comes with many of the bells and whistles you might order if you were specifying a new campervan from scratch. Features include heated cab seats and air-con, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, built-in sat-nav, Bluetooth, cruise control, a multifunction steering wheel, electric folding mirrors and remote central locking with an alarm.
To coordinate with the outside, the cab seats and rear bench are upholstered in Cognac diamond-stitched leather with gold stitching and embroidery. Five can travel (but only if some are small kids – payload is just 270kg) as there’s a double passenger cab seat. This swivels once you’re parked up, but we noted that the FabworX bench is rather short in the squab and its design leaves a very small rear boot area behind for storage. Come night-time, the bench folds flat to form a (leather!) double bed and a second bed is fitted in the Westdubs Sky Scenic pop-top roof – the one with the map, of course.
Home comforts consist of a 2kW Autotherm diesel heater, built-in microwave, Smev combined sink and two-burner hob unit, Vitrifrigo compressor fridge, chemical loo (stored in a kitchen cupboard) and a 12-litre on-board water container. There are two tables, including a small cranked leg one in the cab. On the outside, you’ll find a Fiamma F45 wind-out awning and a 100W roof-mounted solar panel. For your electrical gadgets, there’s a wireless charger recessed into the kitchen worktop, two 230V sockets, one 12V and a couple of USB ports.
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