Overland Expo 2013: For Sale – 1973 M35-A3

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Anyone who has visited an Overland Expo can tell you that there are more cool and interesting vehicles to see than you can believe, but there are always a few that stand out. At this year’s Expo, a totally cool, and amazingly luxurious, M35-A3 was among the best for sale, and stole the attention of many people, including my own. Although from first glance you can tell that this truck is in fantastic shape, you would never guess that it contains a custom camper built with the highest attention to detail from the maple cabinets to the marble countertops.

One of the primary attributes of a great overland vehicle is capability, a category in which trucks like this excel. This six wheel drive camper is powered by a Caterpillar 3116 engine which, when coupled with the Allison transmission and over-drive gearing system, allows it to reach speeds close to 70 mph while still retaining the ability to crawl over technical terrain. Instead of having to get out of the truck to fuss with the pressure of the six enormous tires, a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) is used to inflate and deflate as needed without having to ever leave the cab.

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The many improvements in comfort can be seen from the moment you climb up into the refinished cab. Replacing the simple military seats, which can hardly be classified as such, are extremely comfortable leather set, equipped with air ride suspension to cushion you during your trip. While the seats help to prevent a rough ride, a double layer of soundproofing helps deaden the driving noise for fewer headaches and a quieter ride. A large screened GPS unit has also been mounted in the center of the dash to provide accurate directions whether you are just cruising down to camp or traversing the Sahara desert. Finally the owner connected the camper and cab via a passage between the seats, so moving between the sections doesn’t even require you to leave the comfort of your vehicle.

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After entering the camper section you quickly realize this is unlike any normal military truck. The floors are all made of natural cork while solid maple cabinetry lines the insulated walls. A full kitchen has been installed including granite countertops, a stainless steel sink, and all the cooking amenities including a three-burner stove, gas oven, microwave, and a fridge/freezer to keep things fresh.

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With such a great kitchen you’ll need somewhere to eat all the food you cook. That’s why the owner has turned the rear of the truck into a dining nook with a faux granite table, ample seating, and windows to let you enjoy the scenery.

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In terms of sleeping accommodations you will find a comfortable queen size bed positioned over the cab with an included sky light for warm nights when you want to enjoy the stars. It also doubles as an access hatch to the walk-on roof, which houses the solar panels and additional cargo space. If you prefer another form of entertainment try watching a movie, or perhaps some satellite TV by using the flat screen mounted on the wall adjacent the bed.

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Among all the other great amenities is a full service washroom including a standing shower, porcelain sink, and functioning loo, as well as heating and air conditioning and a six gallon water storage tank.

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While similar vehicles can easily cost more than $200,000, this truck comes in at $75,000, which is a steal for a turnkey world traveler. If you’re looking for something that can take you anywhere adventure leads while bringing all the modern comforts of home, this truck could be your answer.

If this sounds like the truck for you call the owner at: 619-322-6287


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Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.