Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

Previous in Blog: Spring Swapping: A Few Things to Know Before Changing Coils   Next in Blog: Tool Test: Chicago Electric Reciprocating Saw
Close
Close
Close
6 comments

Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

Posted March 10, 2021 12:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Ford model t

I've seen this image perhaps hundreds of times over the years as the great Internet churn machine keeps resurfacing it every now and then. Each time I wonder exactly how much "car" was left in this guy's housecar, though some distraction or another (this is the Internet, after all) keeps me from exploring that thought. But not today!

So let's review what we know about the photo. Marion Post Wolcott took it in December 1940 outside Camp Livingston near Alexandria, Louisiana, as part of her work for the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information, which documented itinerant workers and their living conditions. While she went through multiple rolls of film photographing the details of other construction workers' living situations, she apparently shot just the one photo of this housecar before moving on. "Construction worker's trailer (home-made house car)" is all she wrote about it.

The housecar sits on a Model T chassis, that much is evident, though as our resident T expert David Conwill noted, it appears to have Chevrolet wire wheels, a common modification among farmers who abused the original wood-spoke wheels. It wouldn't have a crank handle hanging from its crank hole up front unless it had an engine to crank, and a close look at the photo shows a crankcase-shaped shadow where one would expect. Similarly, as David pointed out, the construction worker wouldn't go through the trouble to make a cutout for the radiator unless he intended the housecar to remain self-propelled. Also, if it were a trailer as Wolcott claimed, where's the coupler?

On the other hand, that's an awfully tiny window through which to see while driving, and one would hope the construction worker sealed off the engine bay from the rest of the interior or at least ventilated it well while the engine was running. One would also hope the worker never drove it at night, given the absence of headlamps.

What say you? Was this a drivable vehicle? Could its remains still be decaying away on the Camp Livingston grounds? And who was the unnamed construction worker?

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: 44.56024"N 15.307971E
Posts: 6496
Good Answers: 249
#1

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/10/2021 7:57 AM

That was Uncle Red.He had to expand on the original as his family grew.

Here is his newer model:

__________________
"A man never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child." "Never argue with a stupid person.They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience"
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Associate

Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 25
#2

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/11/2021 12:38 PM

Here's a larger version of the photo: https://www.junipergallery.com/galleryview.php?targetnode=10215&height=1793&width=2400&targetttl=Fordable%20Housing&picurl=SHORPY-8c14295a.jpg

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30971
Good Answers: 1727
#3

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/13/2021 5:31 PM

Looks like a barrel of fun....

Now that's what I'm talkin' about, some class...

Plain Jane camper for the no-frills family....

If you ain't got a back porch, then you got nuthin'...

OK.... all kids up top....there ya go....

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12334
Good Answers: 115
#4

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/17/2021 12:12 PM

Sometimes it's best not to try figure......

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 30971
Good Answers: 1727
#5
In reply to #4

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/17/2021 1:35 PM

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Etherville
Posts: 12334
Good Answers: 115
#6
In reply to #5

Re: Lost and Found: Just How Mobile was This Guy's Mobile Home?

03/17/2021 4:51 PM

I want one - social distancing sorted

__________________
For sale - Signature space. Apply on self addressed postcard..
Reply Off Topic (Score 4)
Reply to Blog Entry 6 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

HiTekRedNek (1); Kris (2); neilinboise (1); SolarEagle (2)

Previous in Blog: Spring Swapping: A Few Things to Know Before Changing Coils   Next in Blog: Tool Test: Chicago Electric Reciprocating Saw

Advertisement