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

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

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

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?