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Land Speed Record Camper? 1970 Chinook 2200


Speed is not something we usually equate with an RV, however, there is a land speed record for them, and it’s faster than you might think! This particular classic chassis is up for sale right now, here on craigslist from Canby, Oregon. It looks to be in nice shape, let’s thank reader Rocco while we check it out!

If you’re still with us, you probably know that RVs as we know them today were unheard-of in the early days. We tend to take for granted that air conditioning, running water, and entertainment programming that beams down from the heavens exists, but in 1938 when Sy and Rose Mair started Mair & Son (the early name of Chinook) in Orange County, California, they could not have dreamed what ups and downs their enterprise would endure over the next 80-odd years.

Fast-forward to 1965, when the brand name Chinook was copyrighted by the Mair family, and a competitor (and eventual owner) Don Lukehart, Sr., would be hot on their tails with the first conversions of regular vans into “camper-vans” Skipping ahead then to today, Chinook is is in new hands and doing business after a short hiatus in the 2010s, making rather nice machines once again. Our RV-knowledgeable readers will recall that the 2200 and 2500 series started rolling out soon after the devastating factory fire in 1967, as the company’s first fully self-contained models.

We look now at the example presented, and it’s built a Dodge truck chassis, with quite a bit of its fiberglass construction. The pictures are not as good as we would like, but we can work with what’s there.

The seller tells us that it has a 318 cubic inch Chrysler powerplant and automatic transmission, but doesn’t specify exactly how many miles it has seen. We are also told that it runs great, has an upgraded fuel tank, and has had some recent maintenance. We can see in the pictures that it looks as though one of the widows has been replaced by sheet metal, and the seller says that it could be used as a food-truck type of machine. They say that it’s very rare, but we at Barn Finds couldn’t authenticate that, or the land-speed claim in the seller’s description, on short deadlines.

Look at this thing! When was the last time you saw one, let alone one in nice shape? I know I’ve never seen one at all, so I was fascinated to learn the slightly complicated story of the company over the years. I will freely admit to appreciating old campers and RVs like this, ones that have been kept well and could possibly be turn-key. Fuel economy in the single digits be damned, I want to travel around the U.S.A. in this! Oh, and before I forget: The land speed record for an RV (as of the date of this publication) is 141.3 miles per hour, set by an Englishman in the U.K. in 2014


  1. Avatar photo RayT

    When I saw the headline, I was hoping someone had filled the habitable space behind the driver with something like an Allison V12. But noooo….

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Mitchell Gildea Member

      Buy it and give it the Allison V12 it deserves

      Like 12
      • Avatar photo Tman

        And how long did it take to stop this thing. Handled like a dream on the straight away. And no crosswinds? And where did this guy have the room to reach 100+mph?

        Like 2
  2. Avatar photo michael streuly

    12k no way. More like 1200.00.

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo Moparman Member

    So, was the land speed record setter driving a (perhaps 440 c.i.) Chinook??
    Inquiring minds want to kn ow, LOL!! :-)

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Catimann

      No not a 440 or a dodge or anything that one would think is a motorhome. But it “The motorhome contains a double bed, sink, stove, and toilet.” has what one would need to call it that.

      Now is someone transplanted a Hellcat motor into an old unit like this (plus a self contained roll (survival cage). Took it to Bonneville . . .

      Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Cncbny

    Up in NY. These are frequently blue and white, with custom graphics, and a mega sound system! They’re called Mr Softee trucks, and they crop dust the towns with thick blue smoke while they sell $7.00 soft ice cream cones. Seen them my whole life long

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    I was unaware they made “Shnooks” like this. I had seen the Toyota versions, and that Dodge truck/van dash can’t be mistaken. While it looks okay, it’s a glorified bread van and will drive like one. I’m simply bamboozled as to where they get the prices on these. Not a bad unit for a couple grand, but again, 5 figures? Yep, here it comes,,,,they’re nuts,,,

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

      lol Spot on HoA……………

      Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Chris in Pineville

    How do I submit a vehicle to be featured on this site?
    do I have to be a member?
    or is there just some secret button I don’t see on the home page?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Russell Glantz Staff

      If you haven’t already found it, there is a Classifieds page and a rectangular button near the top where you can “Place Ad”

      Here’s the direct link to the Classifieds page: https://barnfinds.com/classifieds/

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Tony Primo

      Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on contact. Then you will see how to submit tips.
      No membership or secret handshake required.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Tony Primo

      Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on contact. Then you will see how to submit tips. Click on that link.
      No membership or secret handshakes required.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

      There IS a ‘secret ‘ button.

      But of course you can’t see it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a secret. I wish I could show it to you, but I cant because, if I could, well, then it wouldn’t be a secret.

      It ‘s a conundrum all right

      Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Bruce

    If this was Jeopardy and I had to guess, I’d say ” doesn’t that sheet metal window cover tip up to become an awning?I
    Wonderful face on that thing.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Chris Londish Member

    I think you’ll find the record is for a towed caravan and the vehicle was a Merlin powered custom but I could be wrong

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Wayne from oz

    Looks more like a horse float than an RV.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Autoworker

    Let the Boys on “Roadkill” have it and put in a blown big block, or make it mid-engine. Then go for the land speed record.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Martin

    The land speed record for a motorhome is held by a GMC.

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Bones in AK

    This one that is on my local Craigslist looks faster. I never heard of a ELDarado Starfire but with that long nose it just looks strange.

    Like 0

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