Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Doors to the Soul: 1997 Ford F-350 7.3 Turbo Diesel Centurion

By K2 Mystery Car --

Centurion [sen-too r-ee-uh n, -tyoo r-] noun

1. (in the ancient Roman army) the commander of a century.

2. (initial capital letter) Military. Any one of various British battle tanks in service from 1945 to 1967.

Don’t judge me. Like many of my fellow DTers, I peruse the Craigslist car ads for hours. It’s like crack, I tell you and when you get the itch it’s hard to stop scratching. It’s a wonderful place to find hidden treasure and horrible horrors; all equally entertaining. So, it will come as no surprise when I share with you this 1997 Ford F-350 7.3 Turbo Diesel Centurion.


Since many of you could probably quote the entire history of Centurion Vehicles (RIP) from memory, famous for converting Ford trucks and vans, I won’t repeat it here (or just look it up). Nor will I discuss the gigantic motor, the battleship dimensions or even if it is a true Centurion conversion (but feel free to if the mood strikes you, of course). The few I’ve seen were either basically four-door Broncos with a fiberglass shell or a truck-van monstrosity that El Jefe must surely count instead of sheep when he goes to sleep at night, unlike this open-bed model.


But that’s not what caught my eye; it’s all about the doors. Remember when trucks had a door for the driver and another one on the other for a passenger, dog or stuff? It was like that for a long time but at some point things started to get fancy when the car companies decided to tart them up with fancy interiors, designs and paint. After a while, it became clear that people were using them for much more than just a work tool or down on the farm pulling stumps.


The extended-cab was one of the first innovations in truckdom and it was actually a great idea; it gave you a place to stow your gear away from the elements and prying eyes. Then things got weird. Though third-world countries had quad-cab trucks for, well, ever, we didn’t get them in full force until relatively recently (outliers aside). Four doors  or “quad-cab” in market-speak are the bombdiggity and now soccer moms are buying these things, never using the truck bed for anything other than Home Depot runs. Potting soil does not belong in the back of the minivan or sedan; heaven forbid!


So what’s a compulsive over-consumer with far too much money, a deficit of taste and zero understanding of handling to do? Why, bigger has just got to be better, right? RIGHT?!? That’s right! Climb aboard the USS Road Hazard, Captain and set sail for the Walmart seas! Who needs four doors when you can have SIX; yee-haw! And you thought that luxo-barge you were driving had a horrific turning circle; forget three-point turns, try three hundred-point turns, Me Bucko! Arrr!


Here’s what the Craiglist ad reads on this mysterious behemoth; 
This truck makes its own statement, it is a must see. 1997 Ford F 350 Centurion, 7.3 Turbo Diesel, automatic transmission, power everything, CD player, 4 captain’s chairs and the rear has a bench, comes with Power Edge programmer, brake control, 5th wheel / goose neck hitch rail set up, pulls a camper and 7 people no problem. Has 157,000 miles on it, no rust, clean title. It was serviced 4,000 miles ago. New brakes, master cylinder, all gaskets replaced and had the engine checked. I made sure it stays in tip top running condition. The truck was built by Centurion which is a company who has been customizing ford trucks for over 20 years. There were very few 6 door F350s made. I was told 24 but have not found any documentation. The truck runs like a champ and catches attention everywhere. Asking $17,000 obo; trade possibly for some type of new toy.

See a better six-door commander of the century? tips@dailyturismo.com

20 comments:

  1. Loggers around here used to call pickups with more than two doors Crummys. They were usually beat to sh!t and were used to transport the crews up to the site and back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now it's strange to even see a two-door these days. Of course, it could be argued that the same could be said of regular cars.

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  2. I give up on trying to submit articles properly formatted. Can any of the staff help a brother out? It's a mess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure. As soon as you make me part of DT staff.

      Delete
    2. There, should be better now. A bit more pleasing to the eye. Nice writeup - and I have to add I've seen a few local Centurion 4-door Bronco conversions, and think that would be the one to get. It's a proto-Excursion with a removable rear roof, and the classic 80s/90s Ford truck styling.

      Delete
    3. SO much better! Thank you! Like my bladder, I've got no control of my spacing. Life is so very difficult.

      I really appreciate that, CFlo. You da bomb. Props to G too, who was in the process of helping me when CFlo sprang into action. Thanks fellows!

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/Wk689hS.gif[/img]

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  3. Being from Texas I grew up seeing the Centurion Bronco's around the oil fields with my dad. Now living in Denver and driving a 1969 Karmann Ghia and being 6', 225lbs. I guess you can say I am NOT compensating for anything. :)) Right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BUT! I also saw some pretty crazy sh*t in the oil fields in Texas in the 80'. Including a Lambo! I kid you not.

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  4. You forgot this definition of Centurion:

    3. [img]http://www.buickcenturion.com/1971/jim_c/Untitled-1.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see this as a clear upgrade to your GTV, Laika.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/mxLZ1sP.jpg?1[/img]

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    2. My grandmother had one. Beige with a black vinyl top. My brother and I called it the Centurion Tank.

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    3. [img]http://i.imgur.com/zssyIJI.jpg?1[/img]

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  5. For visual reference if you are unaware of the typical Centurion conversions.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/ZgQPUYF.jpg?1[/img]

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/1XKX9Uk.png?1[/img]

    As I mentioned above, they also made van conversions that pop on the market on fairly regularly.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/R6epiY0.jpg?1[/img]

    There are several companies that specialized in these conversions. Notably, there was also the hilariously named Cabriolet, from a company by the same name. Maybe they didn't really understand what that word means, I don't know.

    [img]http://i.imgur.com/wXlVrXS.jpg?1[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rumor has it that this is an early Centurion prototype
    [imghttp://images.craigslist.org/00L0L_eFXKn11ydr_600x450.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  7. [img]http://images.craigslist.org/00L0L_eFXKn11ydr_600x450.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here is a 94 that just posted. I wonder what the interior is like.

    http://lincoln.craigslist.org/cto/5192505600.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. That's the model I've seen in the past. These pop up quite often and aren't all that hard to find but I've never actually seen a truck like the one I stumbled across with my own two eyeorbs.

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  9. Bring A Gas Tanker................I know...........I know............

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  10. Speaking of which........I passed one of these yesterday on the freeway dressed out in yellow with flames........the owner must be compensated for.ahem.ahem.some shortcomings...amazing to see the difference in bulk.even though I'm comparing a 350 to a 650..makes the Centurion look svelte..

    [img]http://www.bestcarin.com/manufacturers/ford/ford-f650/ford-f650-raptor/ford-f650-raptor-7.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete

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