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Truck Chassis with Motorhome Body

• CATEGORIES: Camping, Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The April 1956 Willys News contains the story below about a Willys Truck that was transformed, using a purpose-built body, into a motor home.

1956-04-pg8-custom-motorhome-truck1 1956-04-pg8-custom-motorhome-truck2 1956-04-pg8-custom-motorhome-truck3


8 Comments on “Truck Chassis with Motorhome Body

  1. mmdeilers Post author

    Since this was published in 1956, the work must have been done in 1955 or earlier. So, I doubt it used an FC chassis.

    That was a good idea to hunt for the builder’s name. Here’s an alternative Otto: . In addition, this article has a photo that suggests he was younger than 80:,3731637

    Based on the info below that notes he was president of the company, I suspect Otto himself didn’t do the actual work. From the April 14, 1960 Oshkosh Daily Northwestern (pg 22):

    Ex-convict and auto dealer Otto H. Zic- barth, 5C. was free under $500 bond today pending Municipal Court trial on charges stemming from a plot to burn down two houses to collect fire insurance. Ziebarth is president-treasurer of Lovering-Ziebarth Inc. He is charged with soliciting to commit a felony. Police claim he attempted to induce Frank Valenti. 43. a former salesman for his auto agency, into setting fire to Ziebarth’s north side home and to a duplex he owns. Ziebarth waived preliminary hearing on the charge before Judge Herbert Schultz Wednesday in District Court. Ziebarth served a three – year term at the Green Bay Reformatory from 1923 to 1926 for auto theft. He was paroled in 1924 but the parole was r e v o k e d two months later and he was returned to serve out the remainder of his sentence. Police said Valenli informed them of the. plot after a preliminary contact with Ziebarth. “I didn’t think he intended to go through with it,” Valenti explained. A police officer was planted in the trunk of Valenti’s car and overheard a conversation in which Ziebarth offered Valenti $3,500 to burn down the buildings while the auto dealer was in Florida. Valenti said Ziebarth told him to carry milk cartons filled with gasoline into the attics of the buildings and pour them down the chimneys. Authorities said Ziebarth was worried about his $50,000 investment in the auto sales.


    Apparently, Ziebarth is connected to an earlier fire-related incident. In 1950 he had a car repair dealership that operated out of his home. A fire must have damaged his garage. He attempted to use his homeowners insurance to cover the fire, only to learn that the fire wasn’t covered, because he was operating a business out of the garage.

  2. Mike Finegan

    This is a great story, but what surprises me is the lack of details. What type of material was used to build the body,fiberglass, aluminum or some sort f steel. What engine [powered the vehicle; the flathead 6? find it hard to believe it could be the 4 Cylinder. Even the flathead 6 cylinder is a stretch of the imagination.

  3. John Hartman

    I’m not so sure myself about the FC. The cooling fanshaft would have to be there, steering would need to be modified, and it looks like the shifter is where you would expect it to be on an FC, master cylinder, clutch linkage, all modifications would be a sizeable task. Although nothing in the pictures is very clear. Very interesting to me.

    I lived about 10 blocks from the Willy’s dealership until I was five. Sorry to you guys I didn’t pay more attention. I Googled the address and the building there looks like something from maybe the 50’s, still an automotive repair shop. Not a cool part of Milwaukee you understand.

    I now live about 15 miles from Jackson, WI. I e-mailed Jackson Truck Body, in business since 1916, with a link to this article requesting knowledge. I did my best to distance myself from you goofs, so if he has something to say he may just post here.


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