This weekend, a 1937 Wester Clipper Motorhome will be open for bids in Chicago through Mecum Auctions. It’s a rare machine with few known to be still in existence today, so likely you’ve never heard of it before. And while the decidedly retro zeppelin air ship styling sets it apart from other motor homes and pretty much everything else on the road, the rough condition could make bidders think twice.
A cab-over-engine configuration means the driver sits directly over a 327ci V8. That of course isn’t the original powerplant for this vehicle but instead comes from a donor Chevrolet, so it’s a big upgrade. Mecum does explicitly state that this motorhome, which hails from the Petrozzini Estate, has been sitting in long-term storage and hasn’t been started in an undefined number of years. In other words, you might turn the key and nothing happens.
Looking at the interior is where the condition of this Western Clipper becomes most apparent. The exterior wears the kind of patina you’d likely expect from such a vehicle which has sat in storage for some time. However, the interior shots show clear water damage from the roof down the side at the rear portion of the driver’s side. Some of the wood paneling looks to be in good condition, but other parts are not only split and weathered, but large chunks of the wood is completely missing. Matching that wood is an impossible task, plus there are other obvious problems with the seats and lighting, so you might be looking at completely redoing the interior, of course after you patch the leaky roof. That, and it looks like a Garth Brooks cutout is included with the purchase, which might actually devalue this ride slightly at auction.
On the plus side, the exterior looks like it will clean up nicely. Some paint correct is probably in order, but nothing too serious. The red wheels and bumpers look good and there’s no obvious signs of rust show in the pictures. Plus, this ride has dualies in the rear, which is very cool.
The really big question is if this motorhome will go for the $20,000 to $30,000 estimate Mecum is predicting? There is no reserve, so someone might walk away with this ride at a fantastic price if other bidders are spooked by its condition.
Photo credit: Mecum Auctions
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