Road Trip 2: Forest Lawn’s Travel Trailer

Submitted by Markydoodle June 29th, 2011
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert

Today I was driving up Fairfax here in Los Angeles and decided the Petersen Auto Museum was as good a place as any to use the facilities.  If anybody is in that neighborhood, the lav is clean, and you get a 15 minute grace period in the garage, so well more than enough time to run in and run out.

Out front today they had this wonderful contraption that I decided should be a sequel to last summer’s road trip submission.  Sorry the pictures aren’t spectacular, I just used my phone camera because it was so impromptu.

This is a 1938 Curtiss Aerocar “Vagabond” Trailer hitched to a REO custom truck.  Until 1991 it was owned by Forest Lawn Memorial Park, and it was donated by them to the Petersen.  Reportedly, Forest Lawn drove it several hundred thousand miles over it’s life, and had to install a second engine in 1953 when they wore the first one out.  Some sources say it was fitted for hunting.

Here’s a better picture of the streamlined 1938 Reo “tractor” that was custom built for Forest Lawn and permanently attached to the Curtiss Vagabond, which really was one of the first “fifth wheel” trailers on the road.

Here’s another phone camera shot from today of the actual trailer.

As a side note, there have been a lot of new additions to the museum as of late,  so if you haven’t been there recently, it may be worth it to see some of the Petersen’s personal vehicles (I think there were 150) that may now be on display, like a Tucker, made famous by the movie with Jeff Bridges.  It’s in the foyer when you walk in right now, so you don’t have to pay to see this over the top fantastic vehicle, because it’s on the way to the rest room.

4 Responses to “Road Trip 2: Forest Lawn’s Travel Trailer”

  1. Allee Willis

    I’m PLOTZING from this!! Seriously, get me the oxygen. The back end of that truck is making me weep. Every single inch of the entire rig is beauty personified.

    And thank you for the bathroom tip! SUCH valuable information with as many times as I cross that intersection every week.

  2. Mark Milligan

    Thanks for the Cd’C Allee! It made my day!
    As I get older, I’m more mindful of handy pit stops.

    On the very top floor of the Petersen they have a fantastic room they rent for parties and events. It’s surrounded by glass, and has great views of the cityscape.

    I think one day next soon I’ll have to spend the day there whether I have to go or not, and I will take my camera! It might be fun to get some shots of some of the movie and TV cars they have.

    • k2dtw

      BEAUTIFUL!!!.. Mark do you know these beauties???…I loved reading about them..
      I’ve got a little info on the Michigan connection…The REO Motor Car Company 1905-1975 was based in Lansing, Mi., the founder was Ransom E. Olds (Oldsmobile family) …
      In the beginning there were two Olds car companies. Mr Olds owned Olds Motor Works, which became our beloved Oldsmobile, when Ransom Olds walked away he founded the REO Motor Car Company in Lansing.

      This looks fabulous!!!..

      Glenn Curtiss 1878-1930 has amazing history all over Google. There were travel trailers built in Michigan by the Aerocar Company of Detroit, the custom trailers were manufactured at US locations that were licensed by the Aerocar Corp. All the Curtiss Aerocar Trailers were custom made, one at a time. I was hoping this beauty was made in Detroit, but I just read it was custom built for Dr. Hubert Eaton of the Forest Lawn Memorial Parks by Standard Carriage Works of Los Angeles. Just Beautiful, The Petersen Museum is lucky to have it.