1987-’91 Ford F-Series Bustruck – Monster Mashup

Here’s a compelling argument for body-on-frame construction, eh! Somebody cut together a 4-wheel-drive ’87-’91 Ford pickup and a school short bus, as it seems.

Whoever it was, they really meant business; viz the heavy-duty mechanical jack –lashed– bolted to the front bumper. But they built up a big, tough bruiser like this and equipped it with these mini little horns? Disappoint, but I guess horns aren’t all that important when whatever this might hit will become a crumple zone.

(These headlamps—a Ford Better Idea™—aged poorly and sucked even when they were new; real, working ones were export-only items)

The co-adaptation of the bus and truck bodies reminds me of a careful, craftsmanlike job of plenum-and-ductwork coming off a furnace or air handler.

Chrome housings in place of what used to be the bus’ front warning lamps…what’re we hoping to see with spotlights pointed straight ahead? With silly dichroic-coated lenses for yellowish light in the beam and blue stray haze everywhere else? »tsk« I mean!

I like the red wheels with the blue bus. Looks like multiple fuel tanks; diesel, at a guess. What’s that port (or…?) there between the two fuel fillers?

There’s something of a red-ivory-and-blue theme going here, with that red cowl plate. The doorstep looks useful, particularly if one is trying to schlurpf oneself up out the mud and into the cab.

Smashed/missing right front and rear clearance light lenses, h’m. Or maybe those dual tanks don’t hold diesel; the tailpipe appears maybe more gasoline-sized. Looks as though the trailing lower edge of the body has been upcut for a steeper departure angle nullified by the rear bumper.

Hell of a stout bumper it is, too!

I’m seeing curtains; a bed; a sink, a table…no stove, though. Or maybe that whatzit between the two fuel fillers over on the left side is stove-related?

Stick-shift because of course it is. The cab is configured and in condition pretty much just like I imagined it when I came round a corner and saw it on my walk from the detailing shop, where I’d dropped my Accord to get it spiffed up for sale.

Zoiks! Hey, Scoob, that sounded like a clue!”


After I emerged from breakfast across the street, this truckbus hadn’t moved. Right, then; more photos!

Yeah, the rear bumper cancels the departure-angle body cut from this angle and I wouldn’t want to run into it from this view, too and either.

Donno if these rear door hinges are original to the bus body, but they’re the only items painted that colour.

This 80-watt sealed beam is what was behind pretty much all school bus warning light lenses for many decades, back before LEDs. Again, what’re we planning on seeing with spotlights way up here, aimed straight back? Aw, well; it looks tough and the shapes and curves and lines are interesting. And we see a bit of school bus yellow paint from this bus’ previous life.

So far, I was still imagining this conveyance being used for research fieldwork in hard-to-access places. Maybe so, but then I went back round the front to grab a pic of the VIN plate so I could pinpoint the truck’s model year, and found this:

Black Rock City. Ah. This thing’s been to Burning Man at least once, then. Which doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t used for fieldwork, but.

As to the VIN, well…LOLnope, it wasn’t telling.

And it even had the nerve to pull a face at me!