Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Apparently this home-build mobile home was lived in by someone in the 1960's and 70's, finally being decommissioned only a few years ago. [liz west/Flickr, 2006]

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I wonder what they used for the hamster-ball at the front — it looks like some kind of transparent sphere. War-surplus bomber gun turret maybe? (Looks a bit big and not the right shape for the little navigation dome they'd look through for celestial nav in those days...)

Where I went to college, someone in town had a school bus with a mid-50s Buick body welded to the top as an observation cupola. It seemed derelict by the time I came on the scene (if indeed it had ever been carried through to roadworthy completion). It was behind a fence in a junk-strewn yard that did not invite stopping by for a chat, if memory serves.

That area also brought my only sighting of a WW2-era aircraft fuselage made into an RV (just passing through; I was going the other way and didn't get a good look, but I'd bet it was something like a Lockheed Lodestar, the DC-3 being just a bit wide for strict highway legality in the US).

A few surplus or lightly crashed fuselages were made into trailers or (on truck chassis) motor homes over the years. Pretty cool if you do it right, though I'd imagine that even in the early postwar era it was more of a hobby than a practical and inexpensive way to get a motor home. Certainly today, with purpose-built RV's pretty thick upon the ground — many of them well thought out, many of them not holding their value very well on the used market — it'd take real artistic commitment to do that.

Today, I'm sure they're worth far too much for restoration or at least aircraft parts, but there was a time when war-weary or technically or economically obsolete planes were sold for pretty much their scrap metal value if the government bothered repatriating them at all.

(An interesting sidelight — so want that Chevy-based woodie; so don't want to maintain that acre of varnished brightwork!)