original motor home - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-09-2012, 09:53 PM   #1
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original motor home

THE ORIGINAL MOTOR HOME

Ford House-Car


One of only six said to have been made per year in the mid-30's at the Ford plant in St.Paul, Minnesota , according to an article on this car in a 1993 "Old Cars" magazine article.
Very few others - perhaps none - remain on the road, and certainly not in such amazing original condition.

The only other known example that I heard of was supposedly housed in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn , Michigan. But that turned out to be an early 1920s Model T conversion, the curator told me. He said he'd never seen anything like this '37!

When discovered in a garage (under a heavy cover) in Northern Minnesota in August 2001, she had only 19,000 miles, and the owner's manual was actually still in the glove box in like-new condition!

She had always been garaged and treated with 'Much TLC' as a collector vehicle.

The interior, all wood lined, was still the way it appeared in the '30's and '40's, complete with framed photos of the original owner on his travels (mainly to Florida) and his cabin in the North Woods, plus and other memorabilia from the era.

Built on the '37 Ford Pickup frame and cowling (powered by a 60-hp flathead V8 with aluminum heads), the rear framing is all wood, with the metal skin wrapped around it. The roof structure, too, is all wood, over which the heavy, waterproofed canvas top is still very securely fitted. The structure of the Body is solid, appearing from underneath to be all oak, and still in a remarkably unaltered, undamaged condition.
The door frames are thick, solid oak, and oak is visible around the window openings (as on the four side windows in back) -- though it is painted over.

She was a big hit at this campground once we got that Great old flattie V8 hummin'! Note her expanding roof and the original dark green color, which had been repainted. I figure the canvas roof was originally painted in reflective silver to keep it from getting too hot inside. All four side windows open, while the back one tilts out to three positions. The windshield also tilts open at the bottom for natural AC while driving.

Here are a few shots of her in August 2001, out on the road in the Chippewa National Forest north of Grand Rapids , MN ... Practicing for her next adventure: "Destination Wavecrest 2001."



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Old 02-09-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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A peak inside: A slice right out of 1930's, just as the original owner left it. All the windows open, with curtains on the four side ones and pull-down shades on the back window, as well as on the driver's and passenger door windows.
A wide storage cabinet is located under the bed.

The wood headliner, with vent and canvas expanding portion visible. Four wood pieces hold it securely in the up position, while clamps hold it down while driving.
More interior views....note the cedar branches hanging in the corners for that north woods aroma. Cabinets andAluminum sink (with a wood cover insert) are visible on the left. All the antiques stuck away inside, as well as those hanging on the walls, came along for the ride. Also note the table behind the driver's seat, which folds down.





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Old 02-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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this came as an email to me today. i do not know the source, and of course, the "i" that is referenced is not me. but i thought it was worthy of a nod here.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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To see the original article, with the pictures go to: Graeme's 1937 Ford "Housecar"

(and I thought I had seen that on this forum before?????)
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:30 AM   #5
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Very cool. I'd love to see this end up at Henry Ford Museum.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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You never know what's hidden away in some old barn. Mine contains a 1946 teardrop, a '43 International truck, some early Ford Broncos and early 60's Fairlanes and other stuff. My kids will have fun cleaning all that out after I'm gone!!! Bob
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:06 AM   #7
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I'd love to rummage thru your barn, I owned some early Fairlanes.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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You can see one of my Fairlanes in the movie "Taking Woodstock", for about 10 seconds. Most of the movie was filmed near here a few years ago. I'm also in another scene sitting in a restaurant/store. Bob
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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After my grandfather's hardware store burned prior to 1920 he had a carpenter friend tear off the Model T Ford truck body and build a housecar. They used it into the mid 1930s. I still have and used (with our Egg Camper) a wooden slat rollup table top and folding legs. Nothing built in. For years it sat abandoned by a roadside. I've been in it and have been kicking myself for not taking pictures of it. Later the body was knocked apart and the truck stuff was gone.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #10
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Very COOL
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:01 PM   #11
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Check out these house cars on the Old Woodies site
Woodie Gallery: Woodie Motorhomes & Campers - Old Woodies
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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Just wounderful, the workmanship is just breath taking
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
You never know what's hidden away in some old barn. Mine contains a 1946 teardrop, a '43 International truck, some early Ford Broncos and early 60's Fairlanes and other stuff. My kids will have fun cleaning all that out after I'm gone!!! Bob
You should get the teardrop out and the IH truck and go camping, that would be too cool.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:54 PM   #14
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Name: bob
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Greg: Sometimes we will take the teardrop to a cruise-in or show or camping with our '76 Ford pickup. The teardrop gets lots of attention, the pickup not too much. Most times we don't use the pickup with the teardrop, because with a 390 V8 and a 650 lb trailer it's kind of overkill, plus terrible gas mileage. Because it's a 1943, the IH truck is a military model, former Navy fire truck that I made into a dump truck, so totally impractical to take camping and not registered at this time anyway. We regularly use the teardrop to camp with, and it's so light we can pull it with anything and not even notice it's there. Bob
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