Abandoned 1982 Winnebago Camper Comes Back From the Dead, Rocks Big-Block V8

What do you do when you get an abandoned Winnebago motorhome for free? You get it running again and you put it through its paces on public roads.
abandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftain 6 photos
Photo: Junkyard Digs/YouTube
abandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftainabandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftainabandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftainabandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftainabandoned 1982 Winnebago Chieftain
That's exactly what the folks over at YouTube's "Junkyard Digs" did with a 1982 Winnebago that they got for free. Because one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Campers that go into retirement are usually in poor condition, but this 1982 Chieftain still looks the part. The motorhome hasn't been used for about five years, which is not a lot compared to other "barn finds" we usually cover, but it had many issues when it was parked and it no longer runs.

But that wasn't a problem for the new owners, who managed to get the engine under the front seats to fire up without a lot of effort. It runs with a blown gasket and it's not as smooth as it used to be, but hey, it has enough grunt to get this large motorhome moving.

And the even better news is that this Winnebago rocks a 454-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) big-block V8 of the Chevrolet variety. This thing's not only powerful, but it sounds great too.

But is this camper ready to drive for 500 miles to Kansas Speedway? Well, it was a bit too risky given all the issues (including worn-out tires and brakes), so the crew abandoned the idea.

They opted for a different camper that was in better shape but promised that the Winnebago will make a comeback on the channel in one form or the other.

Hopefully, it will get some sort of restoration instead of having its 454 V8 pulled out because I love old Chieftains. Granted, I prefer the older versions, but these 1980s haulers are cool as well. Until that happens, see it come back from the dead in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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