The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Friday, September 6, 2019

RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum

The area around Elkhart, Indiana, is often considered the heartland of RV manufacturing in the U.S.  Near Elkhart is the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum which documents the history of Recreational Vehicle (RVs) and Manufactured Housing (MH), with the emphasis on RVs.

Covered wagons that were used to traverse the western frontier have some similarity to today's tent trailers, but I doubt they were considered "recreational"!

The "Road Back into Time" exhibit in the RV Founders Hall wanders past a rich display of historic RVs.

This 1913 "Earl" Travel Trailer was custom built for a Cal Tech professor.  It already had some familiar traits.

This 1916 "Telescoping Apartment", built from a 1915 Model-T in San Francisco, already had slide-outs!  The rear section pulled out from the main structure and the side cabinets at the rear pulled out from that.

1958 22 foot Airstream Flying Cloud
(Airstream is currently owned by Thor Industries.)

1916 Cozy Camp Tent Trailer

1931 Ford Model AA Housecar

1958 10 foot Airstream prototype
This was designed as a very small trailer for the European caravan marketplace, but never went into production.

1932 Gilkie Kamp King Tent Trailer
It was manufactured by the E.P. Gilkison & Sons Company,
one of the first successful RV manufacturers in Indiana.

A very early Coleman camp stove

1950 Fleetwood Sporter
from the early days of Fleetwood Enterprises

1954 Holiday Rambler Travel Trailer
It was built by Klingler Products Company which changed its name to Holiday Rambler due to the popularity of the Travel Trailer.

1955 Ranger Crank-up Tent Trailer
It was one of the first trailers to use a fiberglass body.

1954 Yellowstone Travel Trailer
This was a higher end product of that era.

1956 E-Z Camper Tent Trailer
It was built by Clyde Grambsch for personal use.
As a joke, "MFD by Loyal Trailer Co. Loyal, WI." was painted on the back.  After receiving much demand for more units,Mr. Grambsch started the E-Z Camper Company.

It looks like a very limited fresh water supply in this rig.

1985 Fleetwood Bounder prototype

1939 Lindbergh Travel Trailer
Custom built for Charles Lindbergh
Axles at both ends gave lots of stability when parked.

1928 Pierce Arrow Fleet Housecar
One of only three high-end housecars built by Pierce Arrow before the 1929 stock market crash.

1929 Wiedman Housecar

1937 Hunt Housecar
Custom built by Hollywood cinematographer J. Roy Hunt
Considered to be the first housecar with a functional shower

Though limited in scope, the museum does document the manufactured housing industry.
This is a model manufactured home on display on the museum grounds.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

National Corvette Museum

While passing through Bowling Green, Kentucky, we visited Chevrolet's National Corvette Museum.

This is chassis #3 of the first year of Corvette production in 1953.  The Corvette was the first Chevrolet production car with a fiberglass body.  The remainder of the first Corvettes were built from parts from other Chevrolet production vehicles.  The fiberglass body in this display has been cut away on one side to display the internal parts.

This 1946 Stout Y47 Concept Car was the first vehicle designed with a fiberglass body.  After extensive fiberglass testing, Chevrolet decided that it was feasible for use in production automobiles.

The original design for the Corvette logo did not last long.

The remains of an expensive crash test subject.

This 1967 Stingray was Roy Orbison's personal vehicle.

One wall has this interesting collage.

A little more closeup shows ...

... that it is made with LOTS of small Corvette related pictures.

On February 12, 2014, it was discovered that a large sinkhole had formed under the floor of the museum's Skydome, swallowing eight classic cars that had been on display.

Image from CBS News.

After recovery, only three of the vehicles were able to be restored.  The other vehicles had various levels of damage.

Two of the recovered and restored vehicles

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Alligator Farm - Part 3

Here are the final images from our recent visit to the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm.

A few more of the captive animals

Hooded Vulture

Cape Griffon Vultures

Giant tortoise

Albino Alligator

A few more of the wild birds

Little Blue Heron

Wood Stork gathering nesting material

Tricolored Heron

Roseate Spoonbills interacting

Spoonbill chick being fed

Snowy Egrets in full mating display

More Great Egret chicks

The alligators below the boardwalk generally just lay around.

But they seem to have internal clocks that tell them feeding time is coming.

They get very active once a staff member starts tossing them food.