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Farm Find: 1976 Ford F250 Trailer Special

Sometimes you stumble upon a vehicle that was optioned out for a specific purpose.  For Ford truck enthusiasts, one of the most desirable versions of the F-series is the Camper Special.  However, the truck you see in the picture above is badged as a Trailer Special.  Are these packages basically the same options?  If you are looking for a well optioned low mileage workhorse, then have a look at this 1976 Ford F250 for sale on craigslist in Albion, California.  At an asking price of $8,000, is this coastal California barn find the perfect truck to fix up for heavy duty work and play?  Thanks to intrepid reader T. J. for the tip!

We are very fortunate here at Barn Finds to have a legion of well educated readers who are specialists in the history of nearly every automobile ever produced.  On this one, I would like to put up the Barn Finds version of the Bat Signal and ask for clarification.  This truck is not listed as a Camper Special, but it has Trailer Special badging.  What is the difference between the two?

Looking at the few pictures provided show that this truck was obviously built with heavy work in mind.  It also has the door on the side of the bed for a spare tire.  Every Camper Special I have seen has this, but I am not sure if it was standard on F250s overall, found on the Camper Special and/or Trailer Special only, or if it could be had as an option.  I would also like to know what came with each package and how they differed.

The seller lists a number of desirable options on this truck.  It left the factory with a 390 cubic inch V-8 with a four barrel carburetor, an automatic transmission, a limited slip differential, a second gas tank, and more.  Looking at the pictures, we can also see the boxes for power brakes and air conditioning were checked.  It would seem logical that power steering was installed as well, but the pictures don’t give is a look that deep into the engine bay.  The truck also comes with all of the documentation from the original dealer ranging from the bill of sale to the cancelled check used to purchase the vehicle.

The rest of the information on the truck is equally thorough.  The seller seems to have purchased this truck off a farm.  The story is that it was used as a farm truck until three years ago, and it has just 69,800 miles on the odometer.  It also comes with a camper shel and a utility rack.  What we are not told is if the truck is in running and driving condition.  Considering that there would be a lot of work getting the tanks cleaned out, rebuilding the carburetor, and all of the other refurbishment needed, having this knowledge would put the asking price in better perspective.

There is a lot to like here.  This is a well optioned, heavy duty truck that would be perfect for towing a vintage camper or even putting it back to work towing heavy things.  F-series trucks of this vintage are appreciating in price thanks to plentiful parts, their rough and rugged reputation, and a lot of nostalgia for vehicles of this era.

I hope we see this truck back on the road earning its keep soon.

As previously stated, if you can clarify some of the information on how these trucks were optioned, then please share that information in the comments.


  1. angliagt angliagt

    Albion? That’s right on the Pacific,& vehicles like this tend to be
    rust buckets.I also think that asking $8000 is insane.
    My Wife bought a 2010 Ford Fusion,with a 6 speed manual.
    When I went to remove one of the wheels,the lug nuts were corroded-
    badly,& had to replace all the lug nuts.It came from Big Sur.

    Like 3
  2. Frank M

    That bin on the passenger side is for tool storage. My brother has a 76 Highboy with this bin on the bed. It is only about 18″ deep.

    Like 10
  3. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking truck. Assuming everything is solid and there’s no rust holes in the body or the frame, I can imagine this being a good resto project, at least make it safe enough to be a daily driver. My grandparents had one that they used to tow their Terry 5th wheeler. The 5th wheeler was larger than the truck. I remember asking myself “Holy crud! How the hell are they going to move this beast of a trailer? I hope it has a good engine to move this thing!”

    Like 1
  4. Jerry Parmer

    The”door” on the side is a small took box. Only the F-350 Camper Special had a spare tire mounted on the side that a spare would fit in. It mounted vertical. The rear axle was pushed further back and 1200X16.5 tires were mounted on the back. Ford did this in an attempt to not have to put dual wheels on a pickup with a pickup bed.

    Like 1
  5. mrgreenjeans

    A 390 and C6 automatic are two of the most rugged and long lasting drivetrain components ever built by Ford. Other than issues with outer rust spotting (which appear superficial) the dormancy of fuel in the dual tanks would be my only other concern. Add the ultra rare Trailer pkg. and the asking price of 8,000 and I do believe it will not last very long on the market. People that really know these trucks won’t hesitate one bit ……

    Like 1
  6. Brad460 Member

    Are we sure this isnt a 460? It has the huge 4 core radiator that came with both camper and trailer specials. Also the ac compressor and associated brackets look exactly like those on my 460 powered pickups.

    To the best of my knowledge camper and trailer specials both included dual piston brake calipers, bigger sway bars and provisions for camper and or trailer wiring leads. I believe the trailer specials had more wiring to the rear of the truck where camper special as my dads 76 was had wiring leads under the front of the box to power the camper.

    I know the 460 came out in 76 as the largest engine and was what was typically ordered for these specials. Wish the engine photos were of better quality.

    Like 0
  7. George Birth

    I had a 69 F-350 Flat bed dump truck had a 390 under the hood. That truck was a beast. I could pull a G-60 Chevy dump with 10 tons of dirt when my dad missed a shift and blew the clutch in the Chevy. I had to tow him about 10 miles in the mountains in N.C. That Ford dump was a real work horse. Hated to sell it but I was moving and could not take it with me.

    Like 2
  8. Tom L

    Vin is: F25MRB28767
    forth character in the vin is M:
    M – V8 – 390cid – 4BBL carb – 1974-78

    Like 0
  9. Dan

    My 76 250 trailer special doesn’t have the box on the side. I thought the trailer special never had that only the camper special. Mine also didn’t come with air conditioning. There’s not even any vent on dash.

    Like 0

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