For $17,000, Could This Custom “1940 Ford” Camper Be A Phoenix Rising?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ford Camper is really one of the most bizarre meldings of marques you’ll ever see. We’ll need to see if its price is less than the sum of those parts.

Hey friends, please allow me to summarize the discussion around last Friday’s custom 2000 Subaru Legacy with a drivetrain out of an ’06 GTO. It went mostly like this: rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble, rabble. Yep, not too many of you were all that happy about there being one less AWD Legacy wagon in the world.


Fewer still liked that sleeper Subie’s price, dunning it with a 68 percent Crack Pipe loss. I still aver that it was a laudably awesome car. I can’t however, decide just what to make of today’s contender.

Presented, and apparently registered, as a 1940 Ford Coupe, this custom camper looks more like something Dr. Moreau would employ when vacationing off his foreboding and freak-infested island.

That’s because it’s a weird mix of machines, only just starting with that 1940 Ford Coupe. It does appear to be just that, from the B-pillar forward, and in metal too, not just some fiberglass analog bought out of the back of Hot Rod magazine.


From there however, it gets interesting. Grafted onto the back of the coupe body is a Boler 13-foot trailer body, now with a pass-through to the driving compartment, and fully flashed-in with the classic Ford front end. The running boards and overall width seem to work perfectly with the Canadian camper’s dimensions, giving it over all pretty decent proportions. On the inside of the camper it’s also pretty well laid out, with a dinette and diminutive kitchenette, as well as a chemical kybo for all your pooping needs.


The space looks serviceable and the curtains are cute AF, although facilitating the cab pass-through has meant a loss of one of the bunks in the front gaucho. The driver’s compartment is likewise very tidy, presenting a mix of old Ford and not so old gauges and control.

Okay, so all pretty laudable so far, right? Pop the hood however, and realize your own personal Crying Game moment. That’s because you’ll discover that this “Ford” isn’t powered by any sort of V8, nor any sort of North-South engine for that matter. No, this camper rocks a 2.5-litre OHV inline four out of a 1983 Pontiac Phoenix, otherwise known as an Iron Duke. Other, more popular names for that engine include Iron Puke, Filling Dislodger, Soul Sucker, and Fiero Failer.


Mated to that is a TH125 three-speed transaxle, an institutional automatic with an enjoyment factor along the same lines as sex with jello.


The engine is claimed to have been rebuilt less than 800 miles ago, so recently in fact that the ad notes it still sports its break-in oil in the sump. It looks all shiny and new but the PONTIAC badge on the rocker cover and the 90-horses beneath that are both sad reminders of a less than venerable past.


You can close the hood and just forget about that for a moment and consider the rest of this odd bodkin of a camper. The ad lays claim to it having been built in 1995 and touring with Goodguys Rod & Custom that same year. Aside from the weird choice of drivetrain and the Ford Fusion(?) wheels, the build seems well thought out and complete. It features power steering and brakes, a heater (though no A/C), and dumbo mirrors to allow you to see past the camper in back.

That camper portion is also well equipped, with a microwave oven, fridge, 110-power, and a propane heater featuring a new tank.


If you’re going to go camping, you might as well show up at your KOA destination in something that makes a statement. This custom camper makes a pretty bold statement in its fly yellow paint and odd amalgamation of machinery. And, if you consider the number of small FWD campers out there, the Winnebago LeSharo and their ilk, having only 90-horses isn’t all that odd.


The price tag on this custom camper is $17,000 and you’ll now need to decide whether or not that seems like a fair deal for this unique opportunity to poop at home no matter where you go.

You decide!


San Francisco Bay Area Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.