The 1934 Thompson House Car

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1934 Thompson House Car – It would take the ingenuity of a watchmaker to come up with the Thompson House Car.

1934 Thompson House Car front end
In fact, creator Walter Thompson of Ontario, California, was a fine watchmaker when he designed the vehicle for extended African safaris.


Mr. Thompson constructed his first House Car in 1934 utilizing a Studebaker chassis with a six-cylinder engine. The house car was constructed on a Studebaker chassis with a six-cylinder engine.

1934 Thompson House Car lowered roof
The Thompson House Car was fitted with a telescoping roof that could be raised or lowered simultaneously on demand, like that on a pop-up camper. With the roof fully raised, occupants can stand upright inside.

1934 Thompson House Car raised roof
Original literature claimed that with the folding steering wheel folded forward and the seats laid back, four people could sleep comfortably. In the galley at the rear of the vehicle are an icebox, sink with running water and a small stove.


The Thompson house car was featured in a 1937 issue of Life magazine and in a 1938 issue of Motor magazine, where it was described as a “caravan car”.

1934 Thompson House Car interior
The Thompson House Car looks extremely interesting and functional, despite the compact size of the motorhome. You can see this car at California Automobile Museum (former Towe Auto Museum), 2200 Front St., Sacramento, CA.


1934 Thompson House Car


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