The Ford House Car: The First Motorhome

We know what motorhomes of today offer: granite countertops, beautiful backsplashes, and even king sized beds. Today’s motorhomes are like luxury homes on wheels, emphasis on luxury. But what about the first motorhomes? Where did they come from? Who were they made for? Well, according to an article written in Old Cars magazine in 1993, the first motorhomes (not RVs in general) were actually called “House Cars” and they were manufactured by none other than the father of the assembly line: Henry Ford. These House Cars, manufactured in St.Paul, Minnesota, were built in the mid 1930’s with around 6 being made each year – that’s about one every two months.
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The pictures show a very well preserved Ford House Car that was built on a 1937 pickup frame. It still runs and includes a 60 horsepower, flathead V-8 engine. The framing, door frames, and roof are all wood and include metal skin and a canvas top – a far cry from our impermeable rubber roofs and 400 horsepower engines of today!
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And, although this beauty doesn’t have an A/C, it’s windshield tilts open so you can enjoy a nice, natural breeze while you drive, without letting bugs in.
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The interior of the House Car featured curtains on all windows to allow for privacy, while the ceiling includes a vent to allow for air flow and an expandable section for increased space. A collapsible table that functions much like today’s collapsible tables, albeit a little more rustic, sits behind the driver’s side, while cabinets and storage can be found throughout. It looks like even RVers in the 1930’s coveted storage space!
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What do you think of this beauty? Do you have any vintage or antique RV photos? Share with us on Facebook or Google+!
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