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