Pop-up, flat-pack camping house for transport on your car's roof

From the Nov, 1938 issue to Mechanix Illustrated, a sweet little pop-up camping "house" that folded down flat and could be strapped to the roof of your hupmobile, tin lizzie any other jalopy you find yourself piloting.
FEATURING six windows fitted with slid-glass and permanent screens, a newly developed prefabricated collapsible house which can be carried on the roof of an ordinary passenger auto enables sportsmen, fishermen and others who like the outdoors to enjoy short or prolonged trips in perfect comfort. In its compact form the folding house measures only 6x9x2 feet. For protection to the car and to facilitate loading and unloading, a metal frame is used to support the house during transit. The frame can be clamped to the car without drilling and is easily removed. The photos above show the house being transported, unloaded, set-up and used by four persons.
Collapsible “Home” Carried On Roof Of Automobile (Nov, 1938)


  1. Four people sounds about right: 6 glass windows and a metal frame?  How much did the darn thing weigh??  To say nothing of all the crockery they brought…

    I would prefer a blanket on the bracken under a shady tree thank you very much.

    1. It’s a 1938 American Made Car. You could probably strap a elephant to the roof and it wouldn’t even notice. 

  2. Ha! That is quite awesome.

    My first car was a 1962 Land Rover – Series II 109″ – Safari model. One of the neater things about the car was that it had a bunk in it that would rise to the ceiling and could be lowered to sleep in. The safari models were made for warmer areas (Africa) and I was told that this edition also had a roof tent that was easily installed (See picture). The idea being that you were safe from lions and other critters that could kill you in your sleep.

    I loved that Landy to death, but it was impractical once I moved to the city, as it took up 1.5 car spaces at a meter. Sucked gas like nobody’s business too, but I will miss pulling people out of ditches with PTO winch and putting the front windshield down in the summer. Good times.

    Here is the “Dormobile” variant as well, which was quite cool.

    I am going to submit a 1980s video of the Land Rover Santana just for kicks, which was just absolutely amazing. Aka the Landsformer.

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