Back in the thirties there was a surge of interest in automotive travel. Most families had a car, roads were improved, service stations and motor courts were springing up. Times had been tough, but were improving. The teardrop shaped camping trailer was the perfect solution for many travellers.
The 'do-it-yourself' magazines published plans for the handyman. Kits and assembled trailers were produced by a growing number of manufacturers. The boom was on. Then came World War II and later, Holiday Inn. The Nation had changed and the little trailer fell from favor. But recently teardrops have found a new generation of enthusiasts - street rodders and retro-styled highway adventurers who carefully restore originals and build new teardrops in the old style.
Intersted in building a teardrop? Check the Trailer for Two plans here on Old Woodies.
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A 1909 'picnic tender' complete with refrigerator, stove and folding table.
Source: Motor Magazine, 1909
The sides of this 1920 trailer dropped down to make two canvas-covered sleeping compartments for four people.
Source: Motor Magazine, 1920
Seen at Wavecrest '99, this woodie tear-drop trailer is reputed to be the oldest surviving example.
Photo by David Miller for Old Woodies
This novel pop-up teardrop trailer may have been built of plywood. Note the door - it does not fold, but the rear wall does.
Source: Popular Mechanics, December 1939
1942 Chrysler 'barrel-back' woodie with a custom-built woodie dog trailer
Source: Great American Woodies & Wagons, a book by Donald Narus
A nifty unrestored 1947 'KampMaster' woodie teardrop trailer
Source: Pennsylvania Motor Sport
The Shoreland Tandem Town and Country, made by Streamlite, was a great attraction at the 1947-48 at the Sport and Travel Show in Chicago, Illinois. Designer Donald Hamm styled to thirty-footer to match Chrysler's Town and Country woodie.
Source: Vintage Vacations
Desert Teardrops' new 1940's style trailer is available as a set of plans for the resourceful craftsman.
Source: Desert Teardrops
John Kennedy's spectaclular 1936 Ford and matching woodie trailer with a load of Whizzers at the 'LA Wood' woodie gathering.
Cliff Parker's 1948 wooden teardrop 'TREEHSE' at the Guajome Teardrop Gathering in 1999. It is pulled by an immaculate 1940 Ford Deluxe woodie station wagon with a license plate reading 'WZATREE'. This woodie/teardrop combo was the model for a nice little cast sculpture.
Source: Desert Teardrops
Jim Blankman's 1947 Dodge woodie with a teardrop he originally made for his 1939 Ford. Now it serves as a kitchen for tours and wedding parties. For more on Jim and his woodies, see the Old Woodies feature story The Sardine Bus is Back in Service.
Photo courtesy Jim Blankman
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