Well, the pleasure was in seeing this rig and it was all mine. I was in line at the junkyard with a few baubles to pay for and the owner of the truck was ahead of me; apparently the junkyard will let you pay them to take an old unwanted camper off your hands, or, in reality, off your truck.
I followed them out into the lot to make sure they weren’t getting rid of the whole kit and kaboodle including the truck, no, no, the truck will live on, the camper has just served out its useful life, for this owner anyway. Too bad, as I had a little change in my pocket…
The truck is a honey of a 1972 Ford F-250 Camper Special with Explorer package which I believe means it’s based on a Custom or Custom Sport trim level. This one has the lower bedside tool storage compartment option as well.
There were four packages if you opted to go the Explorer route, all stacking atop each other, i.e. you started at Package A, or upgraded to Package B which included A and some other items, or Package C included both A and B and even more stuff, etc. I didn’t look into the cab of this F-250 but it appears that it would have come with this splendid yellow and green plaid motif.
The Camper Special package meant you got the 390c.i. V8 amongst other stuff, and when this one fired up, yup, that’s a 390. It fired fast, sounded good, and likely delivers whatever goods need delivering. Other included items were a 55-amp alternator, 70amp-hr battery, oil pressure gauge and ammeter, bigger mirrors, better cooling, rear shock absorbers, and a wiring harness for the camper.
I was surprised to learn that if you wanted the Explorer package in 1972, you were limited to three otherwise not available color choices; those being Durango Tan, Bright Blue, or Avocado as by default this one has to be. Avocado would have to be the color for me, both back in 1972 and today in 2023, although I’m guessing sometime around 1978 it would have seemed to be far too common. But time has a way of healing such wounds, style is ever (r)evolving. The interior combination is especially inspired as the bench seat really is the color of the inside of an Avocado. The kids would constantly be stopping to make toast.
Those hubcaps look quite good on the truck, and I don’t recall the last time I saw a set of Pirelli Norseman tires. Or ever for that matter.
The Mitchell camper has the quilted aluminum bits that I love so on a topper or a camper or an RV, and the trim color matching the truck leads me to think that it dates to not much newer than the truck itself, or most likely was purchased as a package within the same week or so. The owners were in a bit of a hurry (or simply tired of me, I can’t deny the possibility) and so that’s it for the pictures I was able to get while chatting with them. They fired it up and wheeled down the ramp to where the claw was going to lift the camper off their truck for good. I wonder how different it will feel to all of a sudden not have an extra thousand pounds or more of dead weight on the back after five decades with it on there.