This Modified Jeep FC-170 Project Could Be The Coolest Off-Road Camping Rig Ever!

This Modified Jeep FC-170 Project Could Be The Coolest Off-Road Camping Rig Ever!

If you are a regular reader of BangShift, you know right away that we LOVE the old Jeep Forward Control trucks. Built by Willys and Kaiser between 1956-1965, the Forward Control’s many variants could be found hauling payloads of hay on farms, acting as delivery trucks in the city, and even on military bases in a variety of applications like cargo trucks and ambulances. One variant that they did not build from the factory, however, was a camper. That hasn’t stopped people from building their own, and a variety of different approaches to doing so, from building a custom camping platform to just attaching a “canned ham” trailer behind the cab have been built by people looking to take their FC onto the trails directly to their campsite of choice. This one, based on a long-wheelbase FC-170, was built nearly 50 years ago by someone looking to do just that. It’s still in “project” status and a little rough around the edges, but man, it is cool. Let’s take a closer look!


This FC started life a 1960 FC-170 with a cargo bed. In the early 70’s, someone decided that it would be way cooler as an off road-capable camping rig. We agree, as this thing is all sorts of badass! And hey, the tin worm hasn’t eaten this one yet! Bonus!


Personally, I’ve always loved the looks of the FC’s. Like other cab-overs, the Forward Control meant that you sit right up front with nothing but some Jeep-flavored sheet metal and glass between you and the road with the engine placed elsewhere in the chassis. The current owner also added an optional factory 8000lb PTO bumper with a winch. Between that and the 4×4 Dana axles, getting stuck just isn’t going to happen.


The FC also has a few other modifications, like front disc brakes instead of the old drums and a Chevy 283ci small block instead of the engine it came with. This is most certainly an upgrade, since you can still find SBC parts at just about any parts store in the country sitting on a shelf if something grenades in the woods or elsewhere. And for the row-your-own crowd, it has a 3-speed manual transmission with a Borg-Warner overdrive unit. Awesomeness!


Now about that camper shell… The seller says it was fitted to the FC in the early 70’s. To do that, someone had to both lengthen and widen the original bed. It looks like it could have been an existing camper shell or even a hacked-up tow-behind, but it’s not specified. To I’m leaning toward the former rather than the latter. Anyone recognize this design? It almost looks like it’s meant to be on there!


Another view of the camper shell, this time from the rear. Also dig the modified step bumper on the back. Sadly, there’s no interior shots of what’s going on inside, so I would expect a full gut-and-replacement of everything inside.


This homemade step hangs off the back of the bumper. We’re assuming the W is for Willys. Very cool.

The cost for entry for this impossibly cool vintage camping rig is $15,500. Seems like a lot, but there are two things to consider:

First, Jeep FC’s that are still intact command premium prices, which is not a surprise in today’s climate. Cool, old trucks are in right now, and ones that haven’t rusted to dust are getting harder to find by the day. And the FC’s are among the coolest of the cool! This one lived in Arizona for most of its life, which is probably the reason why it’s still around today.

Second, When was the last time you saw a Forward Control-based overland camping rig you can take on a trail into the wilderness with the family/friends in tow for the most epic camping trip ever? These things will pretty much traverse any terrain you can imagine, albeit slowly. And it’s simple enough that you can fix the thing with sticks and rocks if need be.

If it were up to me, I’d clean it up a little, refresh and modernize the camper interior, fill it with gas, grab some friends and/or family looking for adventure, and find the nearest woodsy wilderness trail and point that blunt, seven-slotted nose into eternity. It’s a vacation on wheels!

As always, shoot us your thoughts on this beast below in the comments section!

You can find a link to the ad HERE. 

up for sale is this 1960 jeep forward control [ fc 170 ] this is a true Arizona truck all its life its been in side here in florida for the last several years cab and box are rust free , actually rot free with minor surface rust . this has a running 283 chevy engine with a standard shift 3speed tranny with a borg warner overdrive yes its 4 wheel drive , has front disc brake conversion on the original dana 44 , the bed has been widen and lengthen to accommodate the homemade camper which is wood framed with fiberglass on the outside , this was built approx. in the early seventies many cool features were built into this truck I added the front 8000 lb pto factory optional bumper and winch , this is still a project but does run and has functioning brakes

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4 thoughts on “This Modified Jeep FC-170 Project Could Be The Coolest Off-Road Camping Rig Ever!

  1. john

    Old Jeeps are cool but all those old Cab Forwards…the passengers ARE the crush zone. If I remember, your knees are in your chest if your over 5’6″ and the seats will give you “monkey butt” after the first 100 miles. Still a good project.

  2. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Great rig – but I lost interest after I saw the words Chevrolet small block…

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