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CURTISS AEROCAR - 1936 Travel Trailer

This travel trailer was built in Michigan by the Aerocar Company of Detroit. These trailers were manufactured commercially at several locations in the U.S.A. at facilities that were licensed by the Aerocar Corporation.

This style of travel trailer was invented in about 1927 by Glenn Curtiss, a leading American aircraft designer. By using airplane principals he felt that he could build a trailer that was lightweight, but strong enough to travel over country roads.

The trailers’ long streamlined bodies had a framework made of vertical oak struts and horizontal longerons that were connected by diagonally crossed nickel steel airplane truss wires. These wires had turnbuckles that were used to “tune” them to maximum tension thus giving rigidity to the structure. Because of this design, the trailers had no actual chassis.

The wheels on the trailers were placed at the extreme rear end and the front had a long, curved V-shaped prow with a hitch that rested in the rear deck of a coupe or roadster. The hitch utilized a “Glenn Curtiss Aero Coupler”, which consisted of an airplane tire and wheel mounted horizontally. This arrangement was an effective cushion against road shock.

The trailers were covered on the outside with fabric which was stretched tightly over tempered Masonite panels. All Curtiss Aerocar trailers were custom made, one at a time according to the customer’s specific requirements. This 22’ trailer was build for William Gray, a Canadian whose father, Robert Gray had pioneered the production of Gray-Dort automobiles in Chatham, Ontario.

In the late 1930’s, a model such as this would sell for about $5,000.00.

Owned and restored by:
Ken and Lana Hindley
Union, Ontario, Canada

 
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HINDLEY'S GARAGE • PO Box 44, Union, Ontario, Canada N0L 2L0
Phone: (519) 631-1055 • E-mail: ken@hindleysgarage.com