When Ford introduced the Flathead V8 for the 1932 model year, it ushered in a new era of affordable motoring – one that we’re celebrating throughout the month of September as the V8 swansong. This Ford-based RV known as the Kamp Kar deserves its place in our unofficial V8 hall of fame.
September 2022 is V8 Month here on autoevolution: a month-long celebration of the iconic engine, as it’s preparing for its curtain call after a glorious run. Today’s episode of Blast From the Past brings a V8-powered RV, which also happens to be one of the first with this powerplant produced, an impeccable time capsule, and a slice of RV history.
It’s called the Ford Kamp Kar or the 1933 Ford Runkle Housecar, with the latter name offering some insight into its origin, and the former erroneously leading you to think it had some kind of connection with the Kardashian family, aka the world’s most famous klan for their love of names and words that start with the letter K. Jokes aside, this self-sufficient housecar is on permanent display at the famous Recreational Vehicle / Motor Home (RV/MH) Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, which also hosts Ford’s first production-series RV and the first-ever motorhomes built.
Walter Runkle of Macomb, Illinois, was a house builder but, for about ten years of his life, he did low-volume production of custom motorhomes. People would bring him automobiles and he’d convert them into tiny houses on wheels using his experience in construction. This unit is a good example in this sense, if not the best, since it was for his personal use: a converted Ford V8 that he’d use between 1933 and 1947 for his yearly winter trips to Florida.
Sometimes all it takes is one photo to tell a vehicle’s story. The seller of this 1972 Chevrolet C10, for sale on Hemmings.com, included plenty of pictures showing its reportedly original green plaid interior, that period camper shell from the outside, even the factory options list. The one photo that encapsulates the pickup, however, shows the interior of the camper shell, still outfitted for the original owner’s last fishing trip. Not everything’s vintage in there–the fisherman obviously upgraded his equipment over time and added little personal touches here and there, but seemed to keep what worked for him, too–which tells us the fisherman wasn’t too precious about keeping it period correct, but he did maintain it well so he could keep using it for his getaways until relatively recently.
Pick of the Day is a vintage coupe, and for $5,000 more, you get the UHaul trailer as well
Pick of the Day is a vintage coupe
If the Pick of the Day captures your attention, you need to know that it comes with more than just the usual challenge of the price its owner expects. The car is a 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe that its private owner is offering for sale on ClassicCars.com for $32,500.
But if you’re willing to cough up another 5 grand, for $37,500 you get not only the Plymouth but a vintage UHaul camping trailer in a matching shade of Solar Yellow paint.
It’s not often you see one of these even in the States..
1959 Edsel Ranger 4-door, 64,000 miles
always stored inside
5 almost new ww radial tires
Edsel OHV 6-cylinder engine. Runs strong.
Torque and power are well balanced.
Handles well with the heavy-duty front and rear springs and sway bars.
Spinner orignal hubcaps
Chrome and stainless are bright and original
Dashboard and steering wheels are excellent.
All gauges work and has an AM radio & a CB radio
Interior is super nice and original. ( Black/Silver/Gray)
Purchased car 9/30/13 fomr a 86 year-old man. Original owner
Clear Kansas title, factory shop manual, service book, owner’s manual
Repainted in the 70s with chrome removed and done right.
If you want attention THIS IS THE PACKAGE FOR YOU!
THE KOZY TRAVELER KAR KAMPER
ITS ONEOF A KIND, 1 OF 24 Manufactured & the only survivor. We researched the internet and the Indiana Motor Home Museum, and they know of them but only have seen pictures of them.
We have complete history of the Wilson Manufacturing INC
ORIGINAL PICTURES, SALES BROCHURES, BUSINESS CARDS ETC
WE PURCHASED THIS LAST UNIT FROM THE ORIGINAL DESIGNER/BUILDER, OWNER & PRESIDENT (GERALD W. KLEMA)
THIS IS A MUSEUM-QUALITY PACKAGE
How does Kozy Kar Kamper work? Much like a pickup truck slide-in camper works. The trunklid of the Edsel is removed from the car. The Kozy Kar Kamper is jacked up (jacks are attached to the sides of the Kozy Kar Kamper) to the proper level. The car is back under the Kozy Kar Kamper and aligned with the trunk space, and is cranked back down to fit in the trunk opening. (The floor of the car’s trunk is now the floor of the Kozy Kar Kamper. The front overhang (bed of the Kozy Kar Kamper) is supported by a left & right side support brackets that attaches to the rain gutter of the car (much like a canoe mount). The body of the Kozy Kar Kamper is resting on the car’s inside frame trunk and body supports, with the trunklid braces securing the Kozy Kar Kamper to the car.
Long before today’s #vanlife movement, another generation of travelers and wanderers who carried their houses around with them put down some roots, so to say, as the Tin Can Tourists, a group that celebrates 100 years of “autocamping” this year.
Even after Ford’s Model T put many Americans on the road starting in 1908, those roads remained unpaved messes, prompting Carl Fisher and other likeminded entrepreneurs to start instigating for paved highways criss-crossing the country. One of those, Fisher’s Dixie Highway, connected the Midwest to Florida and made seasonal long-distance vacation travel possible for middle-class motorists.
This is the story of Zack Bowman, his wife and young daughter. They’ve sold up and created a custom camper out of an aged 300,000 mile Dodge truck. The object of the exercise is to tour the States and watch their daughter grow up together.
Zack’s articles from the road can be found on The Drive website Here
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