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Petersen Automotive Museum

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Southern California, Vacationland USA, the newest exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum
in Los Angeles, California, celebrates this wanton wanderlust with a nostalgic look at the
cars, trucks, station wagons and trailers used by vacationers during the 1940-60 era. The
exhibit, which runs through April 3, 2005, features a wide variety of road-going gear
displayed with period camping equipment. Included is a 1960 Trailerboat, a trailer whose
aerodynamic roof was actually an inverted fiberglass boat. Manufactured some 40 years ago,
this multipurpose trailer was aimed at sport fishermen who could make use of the snug
overnight accommodations below. Also on display are a number of other interesting trailers,
such as a Kamp Master teardrop. With its large top-hinged rear door open and set up, it’s
ready for cooking some sausage, eggs and ham. The Kamp Master is hitched up to an old —
but showroom-new — Packard convertible. For fans of the pop-top tent trailers, there’s a
fiberglass-bodied Ranger camp trailer that features taillights from a 1953-54 Ford. Quite
stylish and very sleek, this example is hooked up to a 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon.
Those entering the parking garage to the museum will first see a restored Airstream on
their right, and ahead to the left they’ll find a true rarity — a Curtiss Aerocar. The
Aerocar was built in 1938 for a prosperous outdoorsman who used it for company
transportation, as well as a base for hunting expeditions. The tow vehicle is equally rare,
featuring a streamlined body built on a Reo bus chassis. The Aerocar was retired in 1999
and donated to the museum, home to a wide variety of celebrity-owned cars as well as some
of the most unique automotive oddities on display. Petersen Automotive Museum, (323)
930-2277, petersen.org.

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