This is a 1977 Mercedes-Benz T2-based motorhome built by Notin, a French company known for their bespoke camper builds – with each tailored specifically to the client’s wishes.
Motorhomes typically lead hard lives out exposed to the weather with significant mileage added to the odometer as each adventure bleeds into the next. As a result, it’s relatively rare to find lower-mileage survivors from the 1970s like this one.
Fast Facts – A Mercedes-Benz T2 Notin Motorhome
- Notin was first founded in France in 1921, originally to build trailer for carnivals and fairgrounds. In 1933 they were approached by a client who wanted a “tourist caravan,” they created it for him and then pivoted the entire company to make them exclusively.
- The company became well-known for building high-end caravans for wealthier clients, and after WWII they began offering bespoke motorhomes as part of their growing model line.
- The Mercedes-Benz T2 was manufactured in Düsseldorf from 1967 to 1986, it was a replacement for the outgoing Mercedes-Benz L 319 series. The T2 would remain in production until 1996 and it would offer a halfway point between the larger Mercedes trucks and the company’s vans.
- The 1977 Mercedes-Benz T2 Notin motorhome you see here has been remarkably well-preserved for its age. It has accommodation for up to four people, a kitchenette, dinette, bathroom, and just 55,592 kms on the clock since new.
Notin – A 100 Year Old French Caravan Company
Notin was founded in 1921 by Francis Notin and his brother Joseph. Initially the company built caravans for carnival and fairground use that were designed to be pulled by horses. In 1928 they began building caravans designed to be towed by trucks or automobiles, and this would be the first step on the path that would lead them onto a 100+ year history.
In 1933 a lawyer from Nice contacted the Notin brothers and asked for a new kind of caravan, a luxury version so that he could tour in comfort with his family.
The brothers obliged and quickly realized how large the potential market for this kind of caravan was, around the same time that Airstream and Bowlus were getting into their stride on the other side of the Atlantic.
Joseph Notin in particular was enamored with the concept of the touring caravan, so much so that he bought out his brother in 1934, then in 1935 he displayed a series of luxury Notin caravans at a large exhibit in Paris.
The company’s prospects seemed bright until WWII broke out in 1939. Notin switched their production over to more utilitarian trailers and caravans, then back to luxury caravans after the war.
The company grew significantly from the 1950s and into the 1960s, and they began offering Notin motorhomes to the well-heeled highway adventurers of Europe. By the 1970s they were offering a popular model range built on the rear chassis of the almost indestructible Mercedes-Benz T2.
Notin remains in business to this day in France, now producing a broad range of caravans and campers, which now also include some more affordable models for those with less exorbitant budgets.
The Mercedes-Benz T2 Notin Motorhome Shown Here
The motorhome you see here is a survivor from 1977, amazingly it’s accrued just 55,592 kms on the odometer since new and it remains in a time capsule-like state of retro refinement.
This example of the Mercedes-Benz T2 would have left the factory with just the cab up front and a bare chassis in the rear, ready for Notin’s workers to build the camper. It’s powered by the highly regarded Mercedes-Benz OM352 diesel engine, with power sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed transmission.
In the camper section you’ll find a two-seater lounge that converts into a double bed, a kitchenette with an oven, gas burners, a refrigerator, and plenty of cupboard space. Further back you’ll find a bathroom with a toilet, a sink, and a shower with hot and cold running water.
In the rear is the dinette area with seating for four, maybe six in a pinch, and it can be quickly folded down into another double bed.
Up front there is seating for three including the driver, the visibility out of the cab is excellent thanks to all the glass and the snub nose design of the T2, though reversing would likely be a challenge.
The motorhome is now being offered for sale by Artcurial with a price guide of $10,900 – $21,800 USD, which does sound like a steal for such an unusual home on wheels. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Artcurial
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.