Starling Travel

March 20, 2013

1965 Wagonaire with a Kamp King Camper

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

A few months ago, I came across this image, not knowing what it was, but in love with it anyway: Jeep camper copy of Wagonaire camper attachment?

Wagonaire with a Kamp King Camper from Starling Travel

Just a couple days ago, however, I was able to recognize the styling. It looked very much like a Kamp King. I had written about them a couple of times since finding that original image.

My suspicions were right.

I’m looking for help to find the name and/or a copy of the magazine that appeared in Stationwagon forum that shows a 1965 Studebaker Daytona Wagonaire / sliding roof with a Kamp King camper coach mounted on the back. My family actually owned what was either 1 of 5 ever made or the only 1 ever made (depending on who’s telling the story).

“Yes and to be exact it is a 1965 Studebaker Daytona Wagonaire with a 283 V8, sliding roof, black leatherette interior with fully reclining front bench seats, ps, pb, am radio and factory installed helper leaves in the rear springs. The camper is a slide in – Kamp King complete with a double bed, kitchenette, water tank, LP stove and ice box. The entire rig was put together as an experimental vehicle by Studebaker and the one my family bought from a London Ontario Stude dealer came complete with California plates.”

I also found this photo here: Wagonaire WITH CAMPER for sale!

Wagonaire with a Kamp King Camper from Starling Travel

More importantly, they had a magazine ad.

Wagonaire with a Kamp King Camper from Starling Travel

It reads:

South bend, Ind. – Studebaker has unveiled a new concept in portable camper coaches today – a prototype model of a motor home mounted on the rear deck of the Studebaker sliding roof station wagon.

The unusual vehicle was previewed for dealers at the anual convention of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association in Las Vegas, Nev. recently.

Termed a “developmental project” by Studebaker, the unit is manufactured by McNanee Coach Corporation, El Monte, Calif., as a joint effort by McNamee and Studebaker, Present consumer reaction studies will be continued.

The camper unit can be fitted only to the Studebaker sliding roof Wagonaire, because a basic design concept involves bolting the coach to the frame members of the vehicle, for better handling, safety and maneuverability. Only the Studebaker, with its novel sliding roof, allows the bolt-down principle to be employed. It also permits passengers to pass from the station-wagon into the camper compartment through a closable aperture which is 3 ft. high and 30″ wide.

The prototype model weighs 800 lbs. unladen with an estimated laden weight of 1,000 lbs. The stations wagon is fitted with heavy-duty springs, shock absorbers, fan, radiator and clutch, all part of the Studebaker option list. In addition, special Hellwig overload springs are supplied. Cruising speed is 65 mph, top legal speed of most roads. High wind conditions or high speed cornering do not adversely affect the vehicle’s stability. The camper can be dismounted in 20 minutes with a bumper jack and simple braces. No body alterations are required.

The unit, if accepted by studebaker for distribution, would be sold through Studebaker dealers at prices competitive with other camper coaches.

Unlike the other awesome Kamp King products, this camper never made it past the prototype stage. The idea of adding a camper to a normal car is still being tried today. I’ve written about that before:

Just like the Wagonaire with a Kamp King Camper, these ideas haven’t really reached beyond the scope of prototypes. I would love to see more ideas like this available, but they continually seem to be ignored time and again.

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