The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by adamshumard, Jul 22, 2009.
The coolest thing I have ever seen. What is it?
joy of google:
It’s hard to believe that this stylish motorhome was built in 1937. Dubbed the Zeppelin by its current owner, famed customizer Art Himsl, the Zeppelin started out its life as a prototype house car built by a mechanic at the Chris-Craft boat dealership in San Francisco. A San Francisco doctor who had high hopes of manufacturing a number of them commissioned the vehicle, but World War II material shortages effectively ended his quest. Although this is certainly a unique vehicle, records show that it was registered in 1942 as a Plymouth house car. Himsl discovered the vehicle in 1968 when he and his friend Ed Green saw the aft end of it sticking out of a barn in California’s Napa Valley. Himsl and Green used the vehicle for a few years as sort of an office, but they did not begin a serious restoration until 1999. The first order of business was to refurbish and modernize the drive components. Air-lift bags were added to all four corners, a 350 Chevy engine replaced the old flathead engine, and most of the old running gear was replaced. The original skin on the vehicle was a mixture of steel panels and stretched fabric. Himsl ripped off all the old skin and replaced it with a modern material Stitz Poly-Fiber. Fenders were replaced (the original vehicle did not have front fenders), the nose was reconstructed, and Himsl applied a spectacular finish in an Art Deco theme. The vehicle was rechristened in 2002 as the 1937 Himsl Zeppelin Roadliner. Photographed in Concord, California.
maybe the love child of a blimp and van? or Led Zeppelin's tour bus!
I have seen a bus sort of like that in a photo before but can't tell you what it is, but it's bad ass!
Yawn... If I see one more '42 Plymouth house car on here, I'm gonna puke. Doesn't anybody have an original idea anymore?
It is freaking cool, thats what it is.
id love to see a pic of it before art did it up. no front fenders? anyone got any pics?
little one is all I could find, maybe there's more somewhere?
I dunno but it just NEEDS to have either LED ZEPPELIN or the four symbols down the side!
Saw it at Santa Maria. You gotta see it in person. It's cool.
They DID request to use the bus in '69! Request denied.
1937? Those rear fenders sure look alot like '46-'48 Ford fenders....
they look different on the little original pic
Serious! Yeah, I don't think I would have lent anything to Zepp on a US tour, you never know what would happen to it. It was the road crew that caused all the carnage but lets not get that in the way of a great legend!
didnt they take pictures in it. I swear i have seen a poster with some band inside that vehicle or one very similar
Drooled over that in Santa Maria it is amazing ....
I was going to say that the fenders looked alot like '46-'48 Ford but someone beat me to it. It does look pretty cool though.
cool old ride. more of a party bus than a motorhome these days as the insides doesn't have the motorhome stuff in it.
You really do have to see it "in person".
I saw it at Billetproof (Antioch) and it is VERY Cool!
One of those "If I ever win the Lottery" vehicles.....
You need to find September 2002 street rodder magazine, starting page 50, feature article. It shows when Art and Ed Green first did it as the pickle then construction pictures of the present unit.
I don't have a printer here but maybe someone has a magazine collection that can post pictures. At least I found what magazine and what month.
Pretty sure its a Scarab. They didnt last long cuz they were ahead of their time and people don't like that.
I could be completly wrong though. I read something about them in an old issue of Automobile and this looks like it. Its too much work to dig it up.
scarab was a little car, this thing is twice as big.
Street rodder claims it was homemade by a inventive builder in 1937 that stretched aircraft fabric over a metal frame and used a plymouth drivetrain. A little more than 30 years later Art Himsl finds the housecar in the shrubs off of hwy.128, just north of his home in Concord, Cal.
Bucky fuller beat them to it in 1933. This one is actually 3 wheeled, it steered from the rear also. The flying saucer in the back is actually a house!. The house is pretty amazing also. Ironically, they were both called the "Dymaxion". he called everthing by that, meaning "DYnamic MAXimum tensION". He also brought us the geodesic dome. Read more here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_car
In 1972 I was working as a toll-taker at the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile AL. Many cool old cars were hauled through on trailers or driven during the yeay and a half I was there. One of them was a vintage Motorhome similar to the one pictured though all silver grey in color. The front had a 38-39 Ford Pickup grille. The driver said it had a 221 Ford flathead and was built on a Ford 1ton long wheelbase chassis. I assumed that was 38-39 too.
These dirigible-styled motor homes or House Cars as they were called then are very rare.
this one has been called "the first minivan"...They were trying to apply aircraft technology to auto's basically. Rear engine flathead Ford power...Good thing I sat through those Design History classes! (Bill Mitchell of Buick Design fame wrote the curriculum) wiki:
Blah,Blah,Blah.It's F***n cool, simple as that!
Here's some more pics culled from the Internet:
This stylish motorhome was built in 1937 and dubbed the Zeppelin by its current owner and
famed customizer, Art Himsl. The Zeppelin started out its life as a prototype house car built by
a mechanic at the Chris-Craft boat dealership in San Francisco for a local doctor. A shortage of
materials during World War II prevented mass production of the vehicle. Himsl restored the
vehicle in 2002.
Separate names with a comma.