1959 Plymouth Fury/Leichner Camper Combo

I’ve never seen a camper like this up close that wasn’t a homebuilt conversion, but apparently the Leichner Manufacturing Company of Champaign, Illinois made these conversions for normal sedans. This one happens to be mounted on a 1959 Plymouth Fury that has some rust issues of its own (the camper is aluminum, so that’s not an issue) but is still sound enough that the seller is driving it on a 350 mile trip this coming weekend! You can find the combo listed for sale here on eBay with a buy it now of $6,500 and no reserve bidding starting at $5,000. Home base is Rushford, Minnesota but the camper will be in Byron, Illinois this weekend for the “Meltdown Drags” if you want to buy it now and take delivery there!

It’s surprising to me how well the curvature of the rear of the camper fits the trunk of the Fury, because as far as I can tell from the brochures pictured in the ad here and here, it doesn’t look as though there were versions specific to the car, just six different lengths “…to fit most cars from 1957 on.”

You can see the extent of the rust in the sills and fenders in this shot. Should you wish to restore this combo, most of the work will have to be done on the car rather than the camper. We’re told the camper windows are intact and that it doesn’t leak, and that the camper only weighs about 250 pounds. I found another mention of it in this thread where someone was told 300 pounds, but either way it’s not terribly heavy. I’m pretty sure the NHRA decals are just for looks as the seller doesn’t mention any history of the vehicle.

As far as the Fury’s interior goes, well, if you want perfection you’re going to have to pay for it. Somehow the blanket is in keeping with the whole inexpensive RV theme, though.

Inside the camper, I’m impressed with the space utilization. A twin burner gas stove, sink and storage make up the portion at the immediate rear.

The “bedroom” area features a new mattress and enough room for two to sleep.

We’re not told exactly what V8 this is, or if it’s original or not, but does it really matter? According to this 1959 brochure, it looks like the standard 318 V8 was good for 230 horsepower, while there was a higher performance 318 (260 horsepower) and a 361 (305 horsepower) available. It must run reasonably well for the seller to be willing to drive it 350 miles, right?

Fast Finds


  1. mark

    This is one for the “just when you think you have seen everything” file. I have never seen a trunk mounted camper for cars. Would be a great conversation piece at a car show or vintages races though. Great find.

    • gord

      check out the saab 900 version !

  2. Nova Scotian

    OMG! …I’m almost speechless…this wouldn’t even come close to passing a motor vehicle inspection in Canada. LOL…Cruising with a bungee cord battery tie down says, “I care squat about the safety of myself, passengers, and innocent bystanders”.
    On the other hand, I guess back in the day, if you were a travelling sales “person”, you or your company could save alota bucks buy buying this contraption and sleep in relative comfort…anywhere. Interesting.

  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Maybe this kind of thinking is how the US got to the moon first.

  4. Tony S

    Love it – just like it is…

  5. Damian Campisi

    I didnt notice the camper till the 2nd picture!!

  6. Fred W.

    250-300 pounds? Aluminum is a lightweight metal, but come on….

  7. Alan Brase

    I don’t know about getting to the moon…but THIS kind of thinking is exactly how Apollo 13 got BACK!
    BTW, the bungee strap not withstanding, someone has done a few good things to the ride (besides the blanket): An alternator instead of DC generator, and dual master cylinder. BTW, definitely the “A” engine, 318, not the 361 “B” engine.
    Pretty cool.

  8. Mike

    An Easy-Bake oven on wheels.

  9. Francisco

    Your spare tire is in the trunk. Oh well!

    • Al

      Maybe there is a continental kit mounted on the roof, or maybe the spare could be put between the camper & car roof (this could provide a little springiness to help the bungee cord).

    • Moparman Member

      “Your spare tire is in the trunk. Oh well!”

      Came here to say the same thing! :-)

  10. Ohio Rick

    A nightmare in blue. Should be a song title.

  11. Howard A Member

    Yeah, leave it to BF’s. I’ve never seen this kind of setup. It looks more dangerous than the Toyota Chinook’s. When drag racing was young, early 50’s, Wally Parks, founder of the NHRA formed this “club” to drive around the country in a Plymouth station wagon pulling a small camper, to help organize and preach safety at the events. It was the safari’s job, to set up the event, run the timing, and even supply an ambulance, which, sometimes, was nothing more than a station wagon, seats folded down and blankets. The event could not go on without one. By 1959, clubs and sponsors provided their own safety and event coordination, but I did find a ’59 Ford Drag Safari wagon, so this Plymouth could have been used by a staff person. I find it odd, someone would put that decal on the fender just for the heck of it. http://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/cf/b7/da/cfb7da893422d9668eeeefc68fd6131d.jpg

    • Matt St

      Great eye Howard, thanks for the history lesson!

    • Mike kiser

      Thanks Howard … I didn’t see it until you pointed it out … Thanks Mike ..

  12. Rob

    With those sleeping arrangements you better not be claustrophobic and you’d learn quick not to sit up real fast or you’d be the owner of a real bad headache.

  13. LAB3

    You’re not gonna pass another one going down the road that’s for sure! This thing is a gem, I’d love to have it mounted in a 1960 Buick Invicta.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      If you did pass one one the road, it most likely would be laying on it’s side from a wind gust :(

  14. Jay E.

    These conversions are interesting, but for me it isn’t worth dragging (or carrying) along a camper unless there is a shower. Otherwise a large back seat has worked just fine.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed. I wish My 49 DeSoto was a Carry-All. Pack light, slide in an air mattress and have a comfortable nights sleep.

  15. CCFisher

    This is fascinating! I have been reading and absorbing everything related to automotive history I can get my hands on for decades, and I’ve never seen anything like this.

  16. Craig Brockhaus

    Truck campers rule even if they are in cars….

  17. Bruce Fischer

    Ditch the camper and keep the car.Bruce.

  18. PaulG

    Kind of interesting, but a bit on the small side. I like the idea of easily returning the car back to well, a car.
    This type has been featured here before:
    I would love to pursue a restoration of this Lincoln, but you’d need a warehouse sized shop to do it comfortably…

  19. Rolf Poncho 455

    Cool I will like to have one of them for a road trip

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