CC Capsule: 1972 Chevrolet C30 Longhorn Custom Camper – Very Aptly Named Indeed

(first posted 9/4/2011)    So did these folks who commissioned a fine woodworker neighbor of ours to build them this fine custom camper seek out a Chevy Custom Camper because of its name? Actually, they know their way around Chevy pickups, because the Longhorn had an unusual aspect itself; an extra six inches in the bed, making it an eight and a half foot long. Perfect for…custom campers.

This vintage of Chevy truck is one of my favorite, and a C30 Longhorn the cream of the crop. It was added to the pickup line in 1969, in both 3/4 ton (C20) and 1-ton (C30) versions. To see one topped of with this woody topper makes me both jealous and happy for the folks that are living out their fantasy.

The Custom Camper was built during the heyday of the slide in camper, a package with all the goodies a serious slide-in camper devotee would want.

And the Longhorn was the top-dog of the bunch,

thanks to that six inch bed extension, clearly visible here. That means a correspondingly longer wheelbase, to better balance out the long loads it was meant to handle.

And this one can take the heavy loads, with an 8000 lb max GVR, as some states require trucks above a certain weight category to make quite public.


Power to haul that? No problem, with a 402 cubic inch version of the big block motor. For some reason, Chevy called it a 400, perhaps to confuse the public with the 400 small block that also came out about then. But it seems only the big block was used in the trucks exclusively through 1974 or so.

Teamed up with the turbo-hydramatic, this powertrain is ready to haul, as long as one isn’t shy about paying at the pump.

Enough with the heavy metal; how about that fine woodwork. This truck belongs to some folks who live a few blocks away, so this is buying locally at its finest. I see it driving around regularly now.

This is not a slide-in unit, but a “topper”, mounted on the tops of the bed. I don’t know how they’re going to use it exactly, but there’s plenty of potential.

Time to hit the road.

CC 185 081 950

Oddly enough, Chevy dropped the longer-bed Longhorn after 1972, and Ford picked up on the extended-wheelbase camper-special truck theme the following year, 1973. But they went about it differently, pushing the rear axle further back, but not extending the length of the bed. The resultant F350 Super Camper Special (CC here) had the same benefit, in reducing overall total rear overhang with a big camper mounted.