World’s ‘oldest’ motorhome goes up for auction


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This old house is ready to roll.

What is billed as the ‘oldest known motorhome’ will go up for auction on Saturday at the National Motor Museum in the UK

The vehicle is based on a 1914 Ford Model T and built on a chassis that was modified by coachbuilder Baico.

“Caravan” is a British term for RV and is also used to describe a travel trailer.

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The Bentall family ordered the motorhome from coachbuilders Baico and Dunton.
(Bonhams)

The vehicle was commissioned by the family that owns the Bentalls department store chain and can seat four people. Its body was created by Dunton of Reading, whose story began in the days of horse-drawn carriages.

It is equipped with a stove for cooking.

It is equipped with a stove for cooking.
(Bonhams)

It also has a cast iron stove for heating and cooking and a leather sofa style front seat that can be reversed to face the living area when the vehicle is parked.

The forward seat is a tufted leather sofa that can be turned around to face the living area.

The forward seat is a tufted leather sofa that can be turned around to face the living area.
(Bonhams)

There’s even a mail slot in the side door.

The side door has an integrated mail slot.

The side door has an integrated mail slot.
(Bonhams)

According to the auctioneer, Bonhams, it sat abandoned for decades until it was bought and refurbished with the help of a cabinetmaker in the 1970s, and it remains fully operational.

There are enough berths to sleep four.

There are enough berths to sleep four.
(Bonhams)

“The quality of materials and workmanship is superb in every way and the result of the restoration is a pleasant and comfortable motorhome, although it is achieved by different means. However, I am not aware of a design modern car that offers so much storage space”, Which Motorcaravan magazine wrote about it in 1987.

Roland Conklin's motorhome was built in 1915.

Roland Conklin’s motorhome was built in 1915.
(George Grantham Bain collection)

As for the oldest, the vehicle predates an American built in 2015 by Roland Conklin which is often referred to as the first motorhome. But Conklin’s, which no longer exists, had a full bathroom, making it even more of a “home”.

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However, Al Hesselbart, who was one of the co-founders of the RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, and a leading authority on RV history, told Fox News Digital that the first motorhome was technically the 1910 Pierce-Flèche Touring Landau.

The 1910 Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau is considered the first motorhome, according to historian Al Hesselbart.

The 1910 Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau is considered the first motorhome, according to historian Al Hesselbart.
(Drill-Arrow)

More of an SUV than a full-size motorhome, the Pierce-Arrow was listed with a 66-horsepower six-cylinder engine and had a seat that converted into a bed, a fold-out sink, portable toilet, and stowed kitchen equipment. under the seats. Several were sold, but all were lost to history.

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They sold for $8,000, which equates to about $250,000 today and about 10 times more than the expected price for the 1914 motorhome.


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