The year 1968 changed America and the world, with unforgettable events both entertaining, awe-inspiring, and devastating. There was the “Game of the Century,” an NCAA basketball matchup between the UCLA Bruins and Houston Cougars. The unstoppable Bruins—led by Lew Alcindor, who would become future Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—had a 47-game winning streak that came to an end with a two-point loss to Houston, 71-69. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. Apollo 8 orbited the moon and returned safely to Earth. Future pop-culture superstars were born: actors Will Smith, Josh Brolin, and Molly Ringwald, along with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk. In the middle of it all, the cute and fabulously awkward Winnebago F17 RV/motorhome was traversing American roads.
The company in a 1969 brochure promoted the F17 Winnebago model as follows: “For the young family on the go, Winnebago’s F17 is an economical motorhome no [physically] longer than today’s compact-size station wagons. Goes anywhere a car can go, cruises at turnpike speeds, parks anywhere with ease. The F17 offers far more living area than a camper coach.”
In our ongoing perusal of Bring a Trailer for humorous and peculiar finds, we stumbled upon this 2019 listing for a 1968 Winnebago F17, which sold for $28,500. The original owner purchased the ’68 F17 new in Forest City, Iowa, and held onto it for nearly 50 years before it first went up for sale in 2015.
Built on a Ford P-350 chassis, the groovy two-tone white-and-gold box on wheels can sleep up to six people. Powered by a straight-six paired with a three-speed automatic, the Winnebago F17 covered approximately 51,000 miles by the time of its latest sale. It underwent a detailed refurbishment in 2016 that consisted of replacing the carpet and upholstery, plus updates to the exterior paint, graphics, grille inserts, and wheels. The reupholstered cabin adds a touch of luxe and reminds us that even old-school Winnebago motorhomes can be fashionable.
Inside is where the peculiar-looking F17 motorhome especially shines; check out its lovely turquoise-themed interior and available amenities, all of which certainly make it feel like a cozy home. Among the standard equipment and furnishings of this gem are a dinette, complete kitchen, wet bathroom, double-wardrobe closet, wall heater, and full-length mirrors. That’s all fairly standard kit. The F17’s standout feature, then, surely is its body, specifically how its profile abruptly zigs and zags at the front and rear. But even this makes this Winnebago classic all the more charming.
We can’t help but think about all the cool road trips—and who knows what else?—this 1968 Winnebago F17 endured, and the stories it would tell us from its 50-plus-year history. If nothing else, the winning bidder surely considers that wild year of 1968 every time he or she enters this fantastic time capsule.