Ex-McLaren Engines Ford Motorcoach is one of the coolest vehicles ever listed on Bring a Trailer

Bring a Trailer has established itself as a platform to buy and sell some truly special vehicles, such as Miuras, 300SLs, and other eye-catching classics. They list some incredibly cool cars. And also old Porsches. One of the most unique automobiles ever listed on the site, however, is not a car. It’s a bus. And it is the 1970’s.

According to the listing, McLaren Engines’ chairman custom ordered the 1972 Ford Condor II and originally used it in racing as a hospitality vehicle. A CB radio, onboard generator, and emerald green carpeting throughout are just some of the many period-correct features. The automatic transmission is a three-speed “Cruise-O-Matic,” a wonderfully retro name.

The color is officially dubbed ‘Papaya Orange,’ but can easily be mistaken for mustard yellow upon first glance. The driver’s seat is fashioned of brown cloth and trimmed in what appears to be brown vinyl, while the rest of the interior is finished in lovely 70’s walnut and more emerald green carpeting. Details such as the off-white stovetop and the pastel green toaster add further to the charm.

Source: bringatrailer.com

And then there’s the styling. The windshield tilts forward, which presumably violates every known aerodynamic principle of vehicle design. The parallelogram-shaped side windows tilted in the same direction helps keep the design cohesive. Finally, there are the white side stripes and white wheels, which bring together the unmistakably 1970’s look.

The bus does appear to need a little love, with corrosion evident in some places on the body, and some cosmetic paint issues here and there. The vertical striping on the bathroom walls exhibits some patina. However, the upholstery looks in great shape, and the coach is reportedly drivable.

Located in San Pedro, CA in the Los Angeles area, the coach sold with no reserve price. It includes a clean California title, a significant selling point for those who in the Golden State. It sold for $32,500 on June 30, 2020.  There are few vehicles this interesting on the market for that money, and it’s doubtful another will ever come up for sale again.

13 Comments

  1. If it wasn’t for that story with this one then that price would seem extreme. If they can show McLaren’s ownership then it is likely a good buy. If only to hold on and pass it off to a person who has a collection of McLaren’s. All one to two people that this situation fits.
    Otherwise you are looking at a period GMC Motorhome thing. Pull that period motor out with its wildly outdated three speed transmission and put something far more modern in its place. Retromod just enough to make it useful but leave it looking period.

      1. Yes it does. Quite a good story with that one. I just read through all the comments because of you.

  2. Theoretically cool but what do you do with it? Maybe if you wanted to take it to local historic races.

      1. Hadn’t read the listing, but I wasn’t far off hey? No doubt the team will be thrilled to have another thing to drag around, or is Zak going to drive it…

  3. My 1960 Thunderbird has a 352 FE V8 and a 3 speed Cruise O Matic. The 390 FE V8 (0.050″ larger bore and I think a 1/4″ longer stroke) in this probably has a bit more power and torque, but it has to be pulling something like double the 3,900 pounds of my Thunderbird and pushing a much larger hole in the air. I’m sure that the 2 speed rear end helps, but acceleration has to be leisurely to say the least. My Thunderbird hits 60 in around 10 seconds.

    Also, my COM starts in 2nd gear by default. If you want 1st, you have to put it down in D1. If that’s how this one works, that’s not going to improve things.

    All that said, it’s undeniably cool and seems like a good buy at that price.

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