Horrific Hyperbole: 1978 Ford F-350 Camper Special – Sold!

Apr 2020 | Classifinds, Truckin Tuesday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

Rust-free California truck that eventually made its way to equally dry Montana. 53,700 original miles.  Nicely optioned and preserved. Market-correct asking price.  For any Ford truck lover, that’s plenty of information to give this 1978 F350 Camper Special posted on Craigslist in Portland, New Jersey serious consideration.  The third owner is asking $19,500, which a review of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms he has his F350 priced $2,500 below the current #2 “Excellent” estimate of $22,000. 

Ford produced its sixth generation of its F-Series trucks from 1973 through 1979.  While the sixth generation’s chassis was essentially a carry-over from the previous version, the most notable change was the relocation of the fuel tank out of the cab to underneath the bed.  Ford also improved the corrosion resistance in many areas of the truck through increased use of galvanized sheet metal, zinc-rich primers, and zinc-coated steel.  Engine choices ranged from the standard 113 horsepower 300 cubic inch (4.9 liter) inline six-cylinder all the way up to the 220 horsepower 460 cubic inch (7.5 liter) big-block V8 the example featured came equipped with. F150, F250, and F350 denoted 1/2-, 3/4-, and one-ton load rating capability, respectively.

We like this truck however, its the details in the description making us cringe.

The first example is our quote of the day:

A/C functions perfectly, needs recharging. ” Um, no.  I have a freezer sitting in my basement that also “runs perfectly” but can’t keep anything cold let alone freeze a freshly filled ice cube tray.  New rule:  if the air conditioning system can’t cool off the cab, its not running perfectly and needs to be attended to immediately to prevent damage to the compressor.

As optioned, this is a 1 of 17 truck!! A dealer installed alarm was purchased after the truck was ordered (fender key pictured), therefore it was not documented. If this option was on the order form, you would undoubtedly be looking at a 1 of 1 truck.”  Stop! Just stop.  If you haven’t read it already, you owe it to yourself to read our post Fool’s Gold: The Flawed Rationale Of Why Nearly Every Marti Report is “just 1 of 1.”  At the risk of alienating every Ford enthusiast out there, we’re sorry but the Marti Report is nothing more than a great way to document what options a vehicle came with for restoration/preservation purposes only.

Those are the two stand-outs from the description below.  We’ve left a few more for you to find.  Please comment below on whether you agree or disagree.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:


1978 Ford F-350 XLT Ranger – Super Camper Special with 53,700 original miles. Powered by a 460 fe motor paired with a C6 auto, 2WD. This truck is 100% rust free.

Some major options:
– Tilt Wheel
– AC
– Security Lock Group
– Aux Oil Cooler
– Dual Batteries
– Dual tanks
– Please see Marti report for complete list of factory options.

This vehicle was purchased by a commercial airline pilot in California – April 1978. He owned the vehicle until 2016, after he moved to Montana for retirement. I purchased it from the second owner in Montana, who hardly drove this truck, keeping it in a barn.

Both owners lived on country dirt roads which is evident by several paint chips on the lower portion of the vehicle. A crack remains in the windshield from backroad driving. A SLIGHT crack remains in the hood from striking a deer. NO DENTS OR FILLER in this truck what-so-ever. All original Ford metal. All trim is in excellent condition. The grille and front bumper look almost new. The original spare tire remains inflated in its carrier. Cab surround seals are in good condition. Door surround seals may need replacing soon. All window seals are good.

The original owner had the truck repainted in the late 80s to repair typical California sun damage. The interior of the bed was not repainted, showing its light use. It’s obvious that he was very meticulous about keeping the truck in top condition.

-Rear bumper is Not original.

Motor/Drive Line:
The truck runs and drives like a dream. The 460 runs like a top and retains its factory decals and stamps from the factory. Very MINOR typical seal leaks noted, but are far from a concern. The C6 Auto transmission shifts perfectly, also retaining all tags. Lastly the 4.10 Dana 70 rear is perfect, tagged accordingly. Both batteries are from 2017 and are in great working order. Tires and wheels are not original. Tires are about 90% and wheels are in very good condition.

Under Carriage:
In perfect original condition. No rust or rot at all. I believe the shocks may be original. A steering stabilizer / shock was added. The original California emissions system / reduced noise optioned exhaust remains in near perfect condition. The under carriage is 100% rust free.

The original owner had a seat cover installed over the XLT Vinyl Blue Knit bench seat at the dealer, keeping it in mint condition. He also had the dealer put a dash pad in which has kept this dash crack free for all these years. The covers were removed for photographs and will go with the truck. The carpet has extremely light wear, matching the mileage on the truck. Headliner is in great condition. A compass was installed in place of the rear view mirror for 1970s style GPS. Three levels remain all the around the top portion of the interior of the cab for camper leveling. Cruise control and gauges all function properly. A fuel saver gauge was added in place of the ash tray, I have the original ash tray.
-Radio is NOT original.
-A/C functions perfectly, need recharging.

In the photographs will be a marti report detailing all of the factory options. A certified Marti Report will come with the sale of the truck. As optioned, this is a 1 of 17 truck!! A dealer installed alarm was purchased after the truck was ordered (fender key pictured), therefore it was not documented. If this option was on the order form, you would undoubtedly be looking at a 1 of 1 truck.

Any one interested, I will send you a google link containing many pictures of this truck. The pictures will show every aspect of this piece of history.


Please feel free to ask questions.

Do you have a Ford Camper Special story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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