Rare Rides: The Crazy 1998 MSV, an RV That Time Forgot

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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rare rides the crazy 1998 msv an rv that time forgot

Look at the large creature before you. A fiberglass cacophony of components from various manufacturer parts bins, known as the MSV. Initially, I thought the short acronym could only mean My Special Van, but those letters actually represent the company behind this beast: Mauck Specialty Vehicles.

Hop in the back, and we’ll embark on a voyage to… recreation.

A small blip on the RV radar, MSV was around for just three years — 1996 to 1999. Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio (a northern Columbus suburb), the company partnered with Custom Coach Corporation in Columbus.

Production figures totalled over 100 vehicles, delivered to domestic and overseas customers. MSV managed to wrangle a couple of celebrities out of their hard-earned cash, as Alan Jackson and George Foreman both took an interest in the company’s luxury RVs.

Prices were high, usually over $200,000 per unit. Available in both commercial (30 feet) and personal (25 feet) lengths, each MSV required 600 man hours of hand assembly. An underlying carbon steel frame is concealed by 37 custom fiberglass panels and 13 specialty windows. Over 2,700 unique parts went into each MSV.

Power is delivered by a GM Vortec 454 engine, paired with a GM 4L80E truck transmission, though a diesel option exists in the form of a Cummins 5.9-liter straight-six unit. That mill pairs with an Allison heavy-duty tranny. These taillamps should look familiar to anyone who lived in North America between 1993 and 1998.

Parts bin components were used throughout the vehicle in order to keep costs down to moderate Midwestern home levels. GM provided the engine, suspension, wiring, and brakes, while headlamps came from Ford and their Aeromax semi truck. Front wipers came right from the Toyota Previa.

Do you recognize the driving lamps? Here’s a hint: Dodge V10.

The MSV featured butterfly doors, a unique design in the RV spectrum. Also of note: the cyborg roof-mounted spotlight.

Customers could select from a list of options, though all versions came well-equipped. Our example today was specified to the luxury end of the scale.

Beyond the jet black exterior lies an interior of wood and jade-green leather. Would you care to sit and watch Ellen?

It seems additional seating was added later. These black seats appear to be from a minivan, but which one?

This MSV is on offer via a sales aggregator, Auction123, for $49,900. Small potatoes for any vehicle with butterfly doors.

[Images via seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.

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  • SCE to AUX Another outsourced battery goes awry.
  • Jkross22 Nah, If I needed a truck, I'd get a Nissan titan or for nearly the same money a 20 yr old SR5.
  • Kwik_Shift No. It is hideous and jarring to look at. Why would I need this anyway?
  • Jeff From the side profile this gives off Taurus wagon vibes. Nice looking wagon love the exterior color and the interior. The burled walnut interior trim is beautiful.
  • Jeff I think initially there will be a lot of orders for this truck and then sales will crater. Those that want this truck mainly the Tesla fans will buy them and then anyone that wanted one will have already bought one. The Cybertruck kind of reminds me of the Delorean which was widely anticipated and once it was out and those who wanted a Delorean bought one that was the end. Both the Delorean and Cybertruck are stainless steel and both are weird looking. Maybe they could release a new Back to the Future sequence and have Doc drive a Cybertruck.