10 Classic Motorhomes and Vintage Campers (50s to 70s) Top Picks

– [Glen] From Volkswagen Westfalia, to Romani Gypsy trailers, there are plenty of old retro trailers that are both eye catching and fun to own. This is Glen, and today
we are bringing you 10 retro caravans and
campers for you to enjoy. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number 10. – [Glen] The second generation
of the VW, the Type Two was introduced late in 1967 and
built in Germany until 1979. Models before 1971, called
the T Two A or Early Bay. While models after 1972 are
called the T Two B or Late Bay. In the Late Bay models, the
Type four engine was an option and was standard in models
destined for the US and Canada. An automatic transmission became available for the first time in the 1973 model year, and only with the Type four engine. The Volkswagen Westfalia camper
is also known as a Westy, and was a conversion of
the Volkswagen Type Two and offered large families,
friends or traveling groups plenty of room, while
providing comfort and style. The camper van consequently
became the darling of hippies, who not only drove for ecological reasons to beaches or festivals, but
also because it was cheaper and much more fun. Most VW fans see the Westfalia camper as the ultimate conversion. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number nine. – [Glen] Glastron was a
Texas based boat builder, and in 1967 Bob Hammond and Hugh Hoff set out to bring a
motorhome into their lineup, which already included
snowmobiles and houseboats. At the December National
Recreational Vehicles Show, the Glastron 21 foot fiberglass
coach was introduced. And while it turned out to
be popular with the public, it was only in production for three years. With only 200 produced, these
came on a Dodge M300 chassis with a 318 cubic inch, 212
horse power V eight engine, and included a 50 gallon fuel tank, three-speed automatic
transmission, power steering, power breaks, and a 90 amp battery. This motorhome has an all fiberglass body and comes with three double
beds, a bathroom, a shower, a full-length double wardrobe, has a length of 20 feet three inches, height of 19 feet six inches, a width of seven feet 10
inches, and weighs 8,000 pounds. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number eight. – [Glen] Romani Gypsy trailers. Vickers, Bloomdales, or Markhams and the Westmorland Star 60’s and 70’s. A couple of the more luxurious
Romani Gypsy trailers that were available in the
70’s were the Westmorland Star, or Markhams as they are often called. Westmorland Star caravans
known almost universally as West Morning star, started in 1961 with Alan Dent and Ted
Seers who previously worked at other companies building for travelers, vicars, and Lonsdale caravans. In May of 1971, the original
body shape was altered very slightly by adding a large, somewhat curved single
window at the front and rear, becoming the very distinctive
trademark of these vans. And in 1977, the star feature
was added on the roof. Based in Lancashire, England,
Harry Vickers created a niche market producing travel
trailers from 1961 to 1977, becoming increasingly
individual over the years. Mr. Vickers produced travelers’
trailers that were often known to be the iconic flash gypsy trailer as they were without a
doubt the most ornate, only out-shown by the flashier
Westmorland Star trailers. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number seven. – [Glen] The Dodge Travco
aerodynamic class A motorhome was built from 1965 until the late 1980s, with available lengths
ranging from 21 to 32 feet. This was powered by a Chrysler
318 cubic inch V eight engine that was known to cruise
at up to 70 miles per hour. The concept began in 1961 when
Ray Frank built the original Dodge Frank motorhome; a more
conventional, boxy looking RV. Then, Frank moved to a more
rounded fiberglass body, and increased the window sizes. And the motorhome evolved
into the Dodge Travco. The original Dodge
chassis used in the Travco could handle a gross vehicle weight rating of more than six tonnes, and utilized a live dual-rear wheel axle and an I-beam front axle suspended on semi-eliptical leaf springs. Later, Travco produced an
intermediate sized motorhome; the L’esprit, which was only 22 feet long, and had an aerodynamic design
that combined the roominess of a large motorhome with the ride and fuel economy of a van. Other models of Travco motorhomes included the 220, 270, and the 320 Travstar. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number six. – [Glen] In the early 1970s,
Airstream wanted to offer a medium priced trailer,
and Chuck Manchester, the president of
Airstream, saw the solution as a separate line of trailers sharing some of Airstream’s time-tested features with a couple of differences. Airstream then purchased a
new plant in Versailles, Ohio, down the road from Airstream’s
Jackson center plant, and established separate
management and production teams. The new Argosy trailers were
produced from 1973 to 1979, with many Airstream dealerships
advertising the Argosy as almost an Airstream, while
servicing and selling them. With domed end caps and panoramic windows, the Argosy and Airstream
shared an aerodynamic structural design, and
featured the same axles. The Argosys though, were
made of lower grade aluminum with cost-effective
steel forming the front and rear dome segments to help save money. Instead of the iconic shiny shell, Argosy trailers sported
a flashy paint job. And one of the best
things about owning one, is the ability to paint it in your style. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number five. – [Glen] Chinook is one of
the oldest US brand names of the RV industry, and
was first produced in 1938 by Sy and Rose Mair in
Orange County, California. Chinook produced Class A,
Class B, and Class C motorhomes ranging in lengths from 17 to 27 feet, and designed as sensible, compact vehicles capable of being used
to go on camping trips. In the early 1950s and 60s,
the first mass-produced motorhomes started appearing on the road, with some of the old
models looking like a cross between a motorhome and a truck camper. Fabricators ordered trucks without the bed and added their creations,
and these Class C motorhomes were constructed on a truck chassis, which is a practice that
still holds true today. Many different Chinook vehicles
were produced in the 70s, and a few choices include
the Toyota Chinook Omega, the Toyota Hilux Chinook, and the 1973 Chinook Chevy Trail Wagon. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number four. – [Glen] The Karmann Ghia has its roots in the VW Type Two combi,
and has become a cult classic with only 450 manufactured. And these were made from
1955 until the late 70s. A combination passenger and cargo van, the Karmann Ghia has removable
rear seats and side windows, and a top speed of
around 50 miles per hour. Basics of this caravan include
a spacious seating area with a center table for
dining, a bed above the cab, a bathroom, and a full kitchen. It’s built with a super
efficient layout and has extras like a split entrance door,
roof storage space, fly screens, and a kitchen bench extension. This caravan is just the
thing you need to set up at the lake under an awning extension, and some chairs, and a warm fire. (bright music) While you’re deciding on
which camper you like best, why not go ahead and share
this video with your friends? Then let us know in the comments which one you’d like to own. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number three. – [Glen] Manufactured from 1973 to 1978, the GMC motorhome was
made in Pontiac, Michigan, at the GM Truck and Coach Division, and was the only complete motorhome built by a major auto
manufacturer at the time. The GMC motorhome, built
for comfort while traveling, was considered radical for its time. With a fully integrated
body, front wheel drive, and a low profile, these
were not just a camper. The GMC motorhome had a
length of 23 and 26 feet, or seven and 7.9 meters, had a gross weight of 10,500
pounds to 12,500 pounds, or 4800 to 5700 kilograms. These motorhomes used an
Oldsmobile 455 cubic inch, 7.5 liter V eight engine from the Tornado. With later models using
the 403 cubic inch, 6.6 liter V eight engine. While the GM designed
Turbo-Hydramatic 425, automatic transmission was used in both. These motorhomes were
used in the movie Stripes as the EM50 Urban Assault Vehicle, and Coca-Cola had a
customized GMC motorhome called The GadAbout, made
for a travel stakes giveaway. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number two. – [Glen] A British manufacturer
of commercial vehicles from 1905 until 1979,
Commer, produced vehicles that include light vans, car-derived vans, military vehicles and buses, and medium to heavy-duty
commercial trucks. Early Commer vans and lorries were noted for the distinct noise made
by the Roots TS three engine, which was a two-stroke
diesel, three cylinder, horizontally opposed piston engine which came to be known
as the Commer Knocker. The Commer FC introduced in
1960 had different body styles including a 1500CC or 92 cubic inch van, and was renamed the PB in
1967, and the Space Van in 1974 after interior and engine
upgrades were made, following the purchase of
Roots by Chrysler Europe. There is a rear seating area with either two forward facing seats,
or two bench seats, and the front has a three bench seat that converts into a front bed. Or, in some models, they have
an over-the-cab sleeping area. (bright music) – [Announcer] Number one. – [Glen] A sleek, revolutionary camper with a polyester body; the
Hanomag-Henschel F20L Orion was a camper produced in the 70s, and manufactured by Hanomag-Henschel, a German truck company that
started in 1969 in Hanover, and folded in 1974. Later, Mercedes acquired the
intellectual property rights and continued to
manufacture them until 1978. During this time, several of
their models made it overseas, the Orion being one of them. Few were sold here, and they are scarce and extremely hard to
find any information on. – Hey guys, this is Cassie. I hope you guys enjoyed this video. Tell us in the comments below what you found to be the
most interesting, and why? Also, if you haven’t done so
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I’ll see you guys next time. (bright music)

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