Family Finds Home’s Bathroom Was Made From an Old Ford Transit Van

They unknowingly used its interior as a pantry and a bathroom for over 20 years.

byMay 5, 2022 5:12 PM
Family Finds Home’s Bathroom Was Made From an Old Ford Transit Van
ShroomzTV via Reddit
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During the demolition process of a house, it's not unusual to find things people discarded and never retrieved. That said, it's usually just small items that fell between the floorboards; finding an entire car in the walls of a home is a lot less common. That's what happened to one person who shared their story on Reddit and, soon after, us.

While the Reddit user's family was demolishing one of the buildings on its property in southern Germany, it was discovered that the pantry and bathroom of the vacation home was built inside of a Ford Transit van. They had been using both rooms for years and never even noticed.

They asked not to be named to protect their family's privacy, but they gave us details of how it all came to pass, along with photos. "The demolition started yesterday, May 4," they told us, and soon after the process began it was clear that the bathroom slash pantry the family had been using for years wasn't what it seemed. "The crew and us started on that outside wall... and it became clear that it's a car."

Yes, those two rooms were built inside a van and no one had noticed for over two decades. The group's reaction? "It raised eyebrows but wasn't too crazy," the user told me. "We joked that it might be involved in a murder."

The van, as they discovered, seems to be a Ford Taunus Transit or Ford FK 1000, likely built in Germany in the 1950s during the postwar period. The entire vehicle was altered heavily in order to transform the passenger cab into a pantry and the back into a bathroom, a process that included covering the entire vehicle—including components like the headlights—with a thick coat of rust-proofing paint. Just the same, the drivetrain and many of the windows were removed. So yes, this van-based addition was at least a thorough job.

Our new friend from Reddit explained that their family never thought much of the rooms' low ceilings or cramped quarters since they acquired the property and home in 1998. They also noted their family isn't particularly tall to begin with, which definitely helped. "I'm 165 centimeters, my dad is like 168 cm, my mom is 155 cm—tiny people," they said. The low doorway wasn't an issue, then. This, plus the fact that the inside and outside of the van was framed like a regular room, made it impossible to tell what was really going on in the walls. The only thing that might've given it away, the user explained, is the vaulted roof that followed the contours of the van's interior.

The user suspects the home was originally something along the lines of a vacation campsite with the van as its centerpiece, and eventually, a larger lakeside hut was added to it. "Considering the history of the garden community and the lake there, it made sense to us that they probably just started their vacation hut with the bus and simply built around it," they explained.

The previous residents either never knew about it or installed it themselves, simply not telling the new caretakers about the situation. The property, for the record, is a "'Schrebergarten," or a small parcel of land used for personal and agricultural purposes that's leased from the German government.

As far as the van's fate, the user tells us it will not be restored, as apparently it's been modified too extensively to really be of much use. As previously mentioned, the entire body structure was painted with rust-proofing paint, and all of the doors and windows were glued shut. It was truly serving its most valuable purpose as a bathroom and pantry combo, as it turns out.

In the end, it will probably just get scrapped. "Sadly not much material to salvage," the user said. "It's also flooding area and the ground floor elevation is not up to standard anymore so it kinda has to go entirely."

So while the van is going away, its service to this family won't be forgotten. And for anyone else out there with unusually low ceilings in their house, all I'm saying is it might be time to check if there's a car in your walls. Who knows, might be something valuable.

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