Marine & RVs

This Rare Vintage RV Oozes Charm

RVs have been on a tear lately. The ability to travel with a sense of safety and comfort has become one of the most valuable things during Corona times. RVs allow us to isolate ourselves on the move. So, with this boom in RV sales and rentals, new markets have opened up to give people of all tastes and budgets a way to join in the fun. This restored 1964 Clark Cortez Coach is a great example of this expanding sector, offering cool additions to an often sterile market. 

The Clark Cortez legacy

Expedition Portal explains that the Clark Cortez camper achieved legendary status by being the vehicle that transported the Apollo 11 astronauts to the space shuttle. Anything connected with NASA in the late ‘60s immediately earns icon status. NASA connections aside, Clark Equipment only ever made 4,000 examples of the Cortez Coach, making it rare and collectible in its own right. 

Apollo 11 Crew transported to shuttle in a converted Clark Cortez Coach RV
Apollo 11 crew on the way to the shuttle in a Clark Cortez Coach | NASA

This specific Clark Cortez RV is special

While the exterior looks charmingly ‘60s, the interior has been completely gone through and updated for modern living. The seller says he wanted to build the Clark Cortez to support full-time living and traveling. He originally planned to restore the camper to its original ‘60s look, but after finding extensive damage behind the scenes, the seller decided to update the camper’s cabin completely. 

1964 Clark Cortez Coach RV
1964 Clark Cortez Coach RV | Matt Swartz

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The Cortez has received full re-insulation using modern rigid foam insulation. Expedition Portal covers the renovation and redesign by the seller who knocked down hard walls and replaced them with curtains and separators that open up the floorplan. The flooring and walls were replaced with tongue and groove pine paneling adding a warm and modern feel.

Clark Cortez RV Specs

Although the Clark Cortez Coach seems like a large RV, it measures only 18-feet long. Considering the length of most campers of this style, it’s fairly manageable. For all my motoring nerds, this Clark Cortez has a manual transmission! It is a four-speed on the floor, and while it would be hard to live out your Trans AM-driving Bandit dreams with this RV, you can live your Smokey fantasies.

Some modern additions have been made, like a new, larger radiator, 19.5-inch wheels with HD truck tires, and a custom front receiver for bicycles. 

Cabin amenities for the Clack Cortez camper

The camper features custom overhead storage and cabinetry made from pine and sheet metal by the current owner. Along with the storage compartments, the kitchen and plumbing are all updated as well. The seller installed a new 30-gallon water tank with a two-basin sink and a DC pump. The kitchen also sports a two-burner range-top stove, ample pantry storage, and a water heater.

1964 Clark Cortez Coach remodeled interior
1964 Clark Cortez Coach remodeled interior | Matt Swartz

Of course, this vintage beauty has an updated bathroom with a flushing toilet. The bedroom has a queen-size bed and a MaxxAir fan. To really launch the classic RV into the future, the seller added a 200-watt solar panel system with a 200 amp-hour AGM battery bank and 1,500-watt AC inverter. The cabin is littered with USB charging ports, recessed LED lighting, and even lockable, hidden storage for valuables.

The Cortez camper has been looked after mechanically as well. 

The seller has replaced parts from the rooter to the tooter; new brake lines, fuel pump, clutch, and distributor were all seen to. He replaced major parts as well, like the front shocks, ignition switch, and starter. It really is a clean and formidable camper with all the charms of the ‘60s with none of the headaches.

As of this writing this rad, retro RV is for sale at $16,995.