Camper Special: 1940 Teardrop Trailer

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Although this truck and trailer combination looks pretty appealing, the only thing up for grabs is this rare 1940 Teardrop trailer. These icons of open-road travel and vintage style are hard to find, so a barn find example like this one here on eBay may be one of only a few opportunities to purchase a Teardrop that hasn’t been messed with. 

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The seller is a shop that specializes in vintage camper/trailer restorations and claims that they are too backed up on work to tackle this project. What’s amazing is everything, down to the electrical wiring and the tires, is in as-found 1940s condition. Although you won’t want to hook up trailer lights or tow it very far with these original items, it is pretty amazing to see an untouched trailer like this.

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I always forget that the Teardrop wasn’t just for transporting large items; they were meant for sleeping in, adding some comfort to journeys in the great outdoors. The interior accommodations look downright cozy, and there’s a kitchenette area off the rear. Even better, everything is aluminum, from the exterior shell to the shelves inside the cabin area.

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The seller also claims this is one of the largest Teardrops they have ever seen, clocking in at 12 feet long. This likely helps with interior comfort, but I still wouldn’t necessarily want to camp out in one in the height of summer. The seller is asking $6,950, which may seem like a big ask, but given how rarely I see these pop up, I’m guessing there’s a camping enthusiast out there who would snag it without asking too many questions.

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Comments

  1. Dave
    • streamliner

      Dave is correct. This same trailer was listed 6 months ago. The price for a late 1940s Tourette manufactured air foil-shaped teardrop travel trailer in this condition sells for between $1,200. – $2,200. Unrestored like this these do NOT sell for $7,000.

      ie: I sold mine on ebay in summer 2013. During the 7-day auction there were over 3800 views and 160 watching. Impressive amount of interest. Yet, only one bidder bid prior to auction end. A lot of tire kickers. I assumed there would be a major bidding war in final 60 secs. Nope. Wrong. Same trailer. Same make. Same condition. Same year. Same same same… The one and only bidder even increased his bid. When the auction ended the trailer sold for $1,350. — my auction start amount. That is what these are selling for.

      Just the facts…This is a 1946 -1949 Tourette teardrop. An original artifact from the golden age of travel trailers. Manufactured by Universal Trailer Corporation, Kansas City, MO. Has factory installed built-in stock equipment including icebox, luggage rack, cabinets, drawers, shelving and intact storage cooking area. Interior has a compact closet with sliding doors for hanging clothes, a shelf for additional storage and accommodates a mattress for two adults.

      Despite what is written in postings about these trailers, Tourettes are not “all aluminum”. They have a riveted aluminum body with plywood floor mounted on a painted, welded angle steel frame with leaf springs and shocks. The Tourette design was one of the most popular due to the 5′ wide body that encloses the wheels creating smooth sides, a wider interior and galley kitchen. Their light weight and streamline shape also makes them easy to tow. The seller here is trying to overstate what he has. Yes, this trailer is cool, but not unique. Universal made many of these. All identical. Same dimensions.

  2. AMCSTEVE

    Being claustrophobic this looks like an oversized coffin to me. Looks cold and old and I wouldn’t trust that wiring.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      All twelve feet ($3.50) of it?

      • Bobsmyuncle

        What’s the problem is my estimate on 12 feet of wire off?

  3. BIG FISH

    Can somebody tell me were the shower and toilet is at ? Better than a tent but its still roughing it lol.

    • Dave Wright

      I guess you weren’t a Boy Scout……not much of a camper eh?

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Have you SEEN tents these days?

      I truly have never seen the functional appeal of these.

      No way to keep bugs out.

      Destined to track dirt, mud or rain inside which means on your bedding.

      No, or minimal ventilation, which means waking up damp, and going to bed the next night…yep you guessed in damp bedding.

      Even the kitchen area mystifies me, I really don’t see the functional advantage.

      All said, this is a cool example to have hanging off the back of your vintage road tripper!

  4. Rich

    These are really going up in value. Vintage campers are getting very popular. I don’t think the price is too far off.

  5. David Montanbeau

    I have one under construction.

  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    That’s where the B-17s went

  7. OA5599

    Sweet find.

    Only 800 lbs… so a small SUV or car can mobilize this.

    Needs gutting and updates, but once completed you would be king of the campground. :)

    • David Conwill

      “Gutting and updates” makes me shudder, but making it safe and usable and keeping the vintage looks intact would be a plan I could get behind.

      Otherwise, there are modern teardrops around that already have all the updates one could want without destroying any history.

  8. Rustytech Member

    Thank yo thank you AMCSTEVE. My sediments exactly!

  9. John P

    Pretty nice build by a likely talented A&P guy from back in the day.. Still pretty basic and not insulated either.. Price is absurd..

  10. Joan Salvato

    I won one of these in 1947 and kept it for five years. The mattress was six feet long. I think that mine had a window in the door. The two burner stove worked fine. Campgrounds provided bathing and toilet facilities. As a young woman I was looking for a man who would fish all day, dance all night and fit in the trailer.

    • Dave Wright

      So……..did you find him?

      • David Conwill
      • Dave Wright

        Great find…….and a great lady from the article. Being a 5th generation Idahoan, my grandmothers all were fisher women. Taught me to tie flies and catch steelhead. We grew up a bit like a brad Pitt movie. Few of those photos were taken in New Jersey, sort of like the Salsa from “New York City”

  11. GOPAR

    This would look great behind my ’51 Studebaker!

  12. Frank Farrell

    Not originals but a friend and I build our own, sell or use till sold.

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