Nobody knows exactly how many were produced. And no one really knows how many variations officially exist, because there are many more or less successful reconstructions around the world. But one thing is certain. The Western Clipper Motorhomes were designed by Brooks Stevens in the 1930s who loved the Zeppelin.
What connects the car from the picture, Ford Tucker and flying saucers?
Brooks Stevens was a handy industrial designer who gave the world a Jeep Wagoneer with would-be wooden sides, imprinted Harley-Davidson motorcycles as you know it today, designed the stunning Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk coupe, invented a whole pile of kitchen appliances, several cargo ships and he also made glass bottles clear, not brown as they used to be. Meanwhile, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, before the US entered the war, he proposed more than twenty camper models to serve as mobile sales offices at the instigation of Western Printing chief.
And Stevens was definitely not afraid of the task, for he came up with a lot of new ideas when he tried to get the whole flat on a relatively small floor plan. So inside each Clipper you found comfortable sofas and chairs, tables and sample cabinets, some versions also had running water, toilet and air conditioning. And the aerodynamic shapes of the bodywork then referred to the much loved and admired Zeppelin.
Mobile hot dog as a motor home? Quiet in America!
Most of the Western Clipper motor homes were powered by eight-cylinder engines and it is interesting that there was also a front-wheel-drive version, very unusual at the time. The reason was simple – the floor could be lower and there was more interior space. The same idea a few decades later was used by manufacturers of vans and other motor homes.
And why is Western Clipper starting to be talked about now? One of them is going to sale. And while no one knows for sure how many were produced, it is certain that the opportunity to buy such a rarity is and will be like saffron. According to the photos it is clear that this particular car from 1937 has a turbulent history. It no longer has an original engine, because the Chevrolet V8, which now powers it, dates back to the early 1960s. But otherwise it seems to be complete and it is indeed an interesting opportunity to have something truly original in the garage. Moreover, the estimated price of between $ 20,000 and $ 30,000 does not seem exorbitant… Well, what do you think? The Western Clipper will be offered by the Mecum auction house.