Bring a Trailer is a site where you’ll find countless Porsches, tons of money and sometimes oddballs like a crashed Oldsmobile Bravada. What I don’t expect to see on the platform is a camper with more awesome than I can physically describe by typing words on a keyboard. This restored 1968 Chevrolet C20, its camper and its flamethrower longhorn hood ornament might just be the most spectacular thing ever featured on Bring a Trailer.
Brianna Wu found this masterpiece, and I can’t stop laughing at the premise of the listing. It initially presents itself as any other normal Bring a Trailer auction. On the surface, it’s another squeaky clean vintage camping rig. But Bring a Trailer really buried the lede way too far down on this one.
Let’s start with what you’re looking at, here.
The truck is a 1968 Chevrolet C20 Longhorn. These pickups — part of the C/K’s second-generation and produced from 1968 to 1972 — were designed to capitalize on the booming camper market of the era while also offering more truck to ranchers. Available in three-quarter ton and one ton configurations, these trucks set out from the rest of the lineup with frame and bed extensions. The truck’s eight foot bed was extended by six inches with the frame gaining length to account for it.
These beds got wooden floors and underneath were extra leaf springs to carry the weight of a pickup bed camper, or whatever else you’ll be hauling. The listing says that just 1,902 of them were built in 1968 and forums suggest that 25,442 of them were created through their short run.
The camper slid into the bed is a 1968 Franklin 11FK6.
Amazingly, little information is readily available out there about Franklin, with just about the only site offering detail is Tin Can Tourists. However, the information provided is pretty sweet. Franklin Coach was founded by Paul Abel in 1945. While his campers don’t look like anything revolutionary, Abel sought to bring standards and regulations to the RV industry. His work helped in founding the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, which has a major impact on RV building today. Abel ran Franklin all the way until his death in 2016.
The camper itself originally started life 11-feet-long, and it was extended by another six inches by the seller. And that’s not all that was done since the seller got it in 2011, from the listing:
[R]ecovering and repainting the aluminum exterior, and installing camper-mounted side mirrors and outdoor speakers. Exterior equipment includes a rear ladder, onboard propane and water storage, a power receptacle, rooftop marker lights, and a galvanized steel roof. The seller notes a leak in the secondary black water tank.
Work completed as part of the refurbishment reportedly included installing automotive carpet on the floors, and replacing the interior paneling, cabinetry, insulation, and wiring.
Check out the interior of this thing:
It’s probably about the closest you’ll get to what this looked like fresh out of the factory.
The truck is even more impressive, from the listing:
The seller is said to have acquired the truck in 1989, and a refurbishment completed in 2012 included replacing the cab, repairing and repainting the body, and rebuilding the engine and carburetor. The truck is finished in white over teal and equipped with a Scranton Manufacturing “cheetah” axle, Firestone Ride-Rite rear air springs, and 16.5″ steel wheels as well as power-assisted drum brakes, power steering, a wood-lined cargo bed, a fire-breathing longhorn hood ornament, and a push-button AM radio.
The flamethrower system is just the ridiculous cherry on top the build needs. There’s an animated longhorn hood ornament bolted on there. It has a skull that shoots fire with a propane torch and a CO2 sprayer.
And if that’s not cool enough for you, the truck features dual exhausts and they too get their own propane-fueled fire shooters. So you will definitely arrive to any campsite in an overwhelming amount of style. Oh, and I forgot, you also get a Playboy Magazine.
The pictures show that the seller took a lot of care in the restoration and I’d say it looks better than museum quality.
Moving this rig is a 6.5-liter L66 V8 with towing cam. These made about 242 net HP from the factory. It got an overhaul in 2010, but sadly, there’s no word on the power that it currently makes.
Power is sent to a Dana 60 out back from a New Process 435 four-speed manual and of course, there’s a tandem axle to handle the extra weight.
Bidding on this one is already hot at $8,500 with seven days to go. It really doesn’t matter what this one sells for because the buyer will get one epic truck and camper.