Live Auctions

Barn Find: 1979 Ford E350 Van Pickup Conversion

This 1979 Ford E350 custom van/pickup/RV hauler appears to be similar to a Cabriolet or Centurian conversion but I’m not positive if it is one or not. I don’t see any badges or logos, but it sure is unique. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Fairmont, Nebraska in a no-reserve auction and the current bid price is $2,200.

We’ve seen several interesting and unique Ford van-truck conversions (vrucks?) here on Barn Finds over the last few years and some of them have been really nice. This ’79 Ford E350 one-ton van conversion was really nice at one time but it’s seen better days. This one has been hidden away in an actual barn-barn, it’s not just a “barn find” as is casually thrown around these days, even here.

This Ford E350 was actually in a barn and, unfortunately, they say that it smells like one. Ha. These things are certainly unique and even without hauling a trailer behind it on the fifth-wheel hitch in the bed, the cab is big enough for me to travel cross-country in and sleep in the back portion of the cab. Oh, did I mention that this one runs on the propane tank seen in the bed?

This one is all van in the front, at least the front two plush, puffy bucket seats. You can see that there’s a lot of work to do all over this rig, inside and out. There is some rust in places that aren’t exactly easy to repair and some of the fiberglass fender flares are cracked or missing.

Kudos to the seller for providing a wide range of photos, the good and the bad – there are even two photos with the hood open! Although it’s not easy to see, the engine is a Ford 460 cubic-inch V8 and this one runs on propane. It runs and shifts fine but could use some brake work and new belts and hoses. Any thoughts on this one, is it a Centurian or Cabriolet conversion?


  1. Evan

    For a little context… in 1979, crew-cab pickups were rough-riding work trucks. Nothing fancy like today. This was a much better choice for hauling the family and a fifth wheel to the campsite.

    Like 5
    • nlpnt

      You could option up a crewcab pickup’s interior, to the same level of plush and features that an optioned-up Chevette or Pinto topped out at. Except you’d probably still be looking at a bench seat.

      Like 1
    • chrlsful

      the modern day tuck (‘fancy’) came in mid 70s w/the F series gettin all kinda pass car goodies. We might not consider them that today but they were for then. See how ext/inter trim (panels on exterior) began to happen w/the 6th gen Ford p/u.
      I love these weird p/u -vans. Agreed, does not look like the centerion (even during all the later company ownerships) w/the big window. Wasn’t one of the pass side doors ‘suicide’ – the back the other way? May B not – its been awhile since seeing them.
      As usual w/the larger of these light trucks (class 3, 4: 10K – 16K) I think the 12V & alison a good re-power/transmis. Here? we cam the 460 for the race cars. That’s their best use…

      Like 1
  2. Sam Shive

    RUST NEVER SLEEPS. And this thing has plenty of rust. That roof is enough to say OH HELL NO

    Like 3
  3. Dex

    Pretty interesting vehicle. Doesn’t look like a Cabriolet, Centurion, or Landmark conversion.

    Like 3
    • Bound4Glory

      Interesting, you’re very kind

  4. Claudio

    If the newer vehicles were not soo comfy , convenient , powerful and with no restoration to do
    This would be good
    Its NOT

    Like 2
  5. trav66

    Good huntin’ rig!

  6. rick

    Those are real running boards!

    Like 2
  7. John Member

    Sure beat the new 4 dr. PU’s for room inside but would take a football field to make a U turn

    Like 2
  8. Howie Mueler

    For the price now, not too bad. Runs on propane.

    Like 1
  9. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $3,350.

    • Dex

      Probably a little high for the amount of rust, as well as this being nothing more than a homemade 2 vans put together on a dually chassis build.

      Like 1

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