Movies are full of all kinds of cool, iconic sets, props, and vehicles, but no matter how fantastic they are, no matter how vital they are to the plot, odds are, once the cameras stop rolling, they’re simply left to rot. It’s just something that happens in the industry. Sometimes these items are squirreled away in a random storage space on a lot somewhere, occasionally they’re sold to memorabilia collectors, and sometimes, as is often the case with larger pieces, they sit outside, battling the elements until they’re broken down completely. In this regard, nature always wins. Such was the case with the badass RV from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s 1997 sequel to Jurassic Park, until now that is.
For the last six years, the actual screen-used RV—a 1996 Fleetwood RV designed specifically for The Lost World—has been sitting outside in Santa Clarita, California, but then a guy named Franck Galiègue purchased it on Ebay with the intention of refurbishing the vehicle and showing it off to the public. This is easier said than done as Galiègue lives in Switzerland, but a group of dedicated fans have donated their time to return this sweet, dinosaur-hunting ride to its old form, and this video documents the first part of their efforts.
As you can see from this footage, there is quite a lot that needs to be done to get this back in game shape, or anywhere near useable for anything aside from a rodent habitat. There are doors and sliders that are stuck, the engine is covered in rat turds, and the whole thing needs to be repainted, reupholstered, and basically put back together. And it doesn’t help that much of what appears to be metal is actually made of wood painted to be look like metal on screen, much of which has rotted away over time. But first things first, they need to see if they can even get it started.
As you expect, nothing on this project is going to be particularly easy, and as this video says, this is just he first installment, with what is likely to be many more following before they are able to restore this behemoth to its former glory.
Here’s a concept design that shows the vehicle as idealized by the people who made the movie…
…and here is an actual shot of the thing in action onscreen in The Lost World. If I’m remembering correctly, there’s a scenes where it dangles off of the edge of a precipice of some kind while Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm and Julianne Moore’s characters bounce around inside, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen this that it’s hard to recall for sure.