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Vintage Mobile Office! 1968 Kershaw “Cruiseaire”

Good luck searching for information on this crazy cool camper, because this is a literal one-off creation from the mind of a man who wanted his own mobile office. I doubt there’s anything official on the books in terms of the manufacturer name or model, but for the sake of assessing this listing, the name of the custom camper is a “Cruiseaire”, it was the brainchild of Royce Kershaw, Sr. and built by coachbuilder Glenn Pray. Got it? Find the Cruiseaire here on the Auctions by Pearce website, and thanks to Barn Finds reader MisterLou for the find. 

Normally, when you see a one-off like this, you’re expecting to see massive panel gaps and ill-fitting glass. Not so here, as the fit and finish looks surprisingly good for a custom build. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised considering Glenn Pray has a decent resume, with the listing noting that he is more known for having designed a popular Cord 8/10 replica. If you think you’re seeing wheels from an Oldsmobile Tornado underneath this camper’s body, you’re not wrong – the Cruiseaire is built atop a Tornado chassis and drivetrain.

The interior is where this machine truly shines. First of all, it has a Jetsons-like feel inside. I can’t explain it other than it perfectly captures what someone in 1968 might consider to be a modern design. The details appear quite good, with the furnishings most likely completely custom made given how well the disparate pieces all fit together. In fact, Kershaw, Sr. passed away before the interior was completed, and the family sent the Cruiseaire to Howard Areo aircraft interiors for finishing which explains why it looks as good as it does. The listing notes that it features “….stove, cooler, black and white TV, 8 Track, telephone/intercom from cabin to chauffeur.”

That’s right: this was not only a camper, but a limousine. In fact, Kershaw, Sr. saw this as his mobile office, so of course he needed someone to drive him! What becomes more clear to me the more I read about this office-on-wheels is that Kershaw didn’t necessarily expect to sleep in it, but more just wanted a command post for when he wasn’t in the office. I’m sure you could stretch out and catch a nap when needed, but I suspect he spent more time in this rig during the daylight hours than in the evening time. If you do decide to throw a bid at this wild mobile office, take comfort in knowing the Cruiseaire still cranks and runs.

Comments

  1. Moparman Moparman Member

    Unique rig here. Looks like (possibly?) Corvette bumpers, Camaro tail lights, and a shifter from Ford. Appears to be very aerodynamic. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 18
    • Jim

      The grill and headlights look a bit Riviera like.

      Like 6
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

      The front and rear windscreens appear to be identical. They look to me like the rear windows of some large sedan (perhaps even upsidedown.

      For as good as the fit and finish are, the plexiglass sliding side windows and interior cabin-chauffeur separator surprised me. I would have thought that they’d be glass and power driven.

      Very cool effort overall.

      Like 7
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Winner – you got them all right !!!

      Like 1
  2. HoA Howard A Member

    Good luck,eh,,hmm, sounds like a challenge. Apparently, the author is correct, not much on this. If you check the website photos, there was another. In 1962, this Kershaw Sr. made a prototype, kind of a bloated Econoline, with a 413 and was supposed to be the 1st RV motorhome. It never got off the ground. He then had this built, but as mentioned, never saw it completed. He bought a new ’68 Toronado, had the body removed, and this was built around it. For the time, it was state of the art. Imagine, a b&w TV, AND a phone, (whistles), I think it’s pretty cool, kind of a one piece at a time thing. I think that’s a Studebaker grill. Nice.

    Like 23
    • Owen Fishback

      Yeah, I was thinking the same… Studebaker grille and Camaro taillights.

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Howard,
      Ya beat me to it, yes, the grill is from a 1962-63 Studebaker Lark [just the center part – not the outer shell].

      Like 7
    • Tony B

      Yeah, I remember a show a while back where they visited the enormous former factory where this is housed, and were buying various cars in the collection from the son. I wish I could remember the name of the show that it was shown in. Several other autos were bought, but the amount being asked for this, was more than what the buyer wanted to pay. (And no, I don’t believe it was Picker’s).

      Like 1
  3. KC John Member

    This rig is bitchin. If you haven’t yet go to website. Just amazing work. I live the woodgrain strip. Cool find.

    Like 13
  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very cool. Can you imagine the amount of planning, fabrication, etc. which it took to bring something like this to fruition? And the money involved? It’s obviously been kept indoors all these years. It looks like a trip back to 1968.

    Like 23
  5. jmolsn Member

    Love it!!!

    Like 8
  6. Driveinstile Driveinstile Member

    Tell you what…… I can absolutely guarantee you that you would be the only one of these at a Cars and Coffee!!! This is slick, and I agree with Bob, the hours spent fabricating and designing must have been countless. Just trying to figure out the dash, and gauges etc. The brake pedal looks like an upside down brake pedal from a mid 60s T Bird but Im not sure. The inside too, it takes you right back to 1968 like Bob said. I hope it gets preserved.

    Like 10
  7. Wade Pierce

    738 mi !! This Olds 425 and Toronado Drivetrain should be used to restore another ’68 Toronado that needs one. That’s a uniquely different vehicle sure, but totally worthless as an RV unless you spent the money to rearrange that 60s interior. I say remove the Rolling Office and turn it back into a low mileage Oldsmobile Toronado instead.😎

    Like 3
    • Eddie Tucker

      No, this deserves to be kept to it’s unique self.

      Like 10
      • Timothy

        Not a daily driver, for sure, but a rare auto museum piece.

        Like 2
  8. SubGothius

    I’ve got to wonder if this at least partially inspired the GMC motorhome, at least in terms of styling and the use of a Toronado powertrain.

    That said, it’s hard to tell from photos without anyone standing next to it, but this seems like it may be rather more low-slung than the GMC or really any other RV except for maybe the Vixen. Some aspects also remind me of the Brubaker Box. One might say it’s rather like a lovechild of the GMC, Vixen, and Brubaker, except that it preceded all of them!

    Like 15
    • Jakespeed

      Or a Clark Cortez….

      Like 3
    • John

      I was thinking the same thing. I had a ’77 GMC Eleganza and there are similarities.. especially the use of the Toronado front wheel drive.

      Like 3
  9. Zen

    It belongs in the AACA Transportation Museum in Hershey, PA. They have a collection of old cars and buses, Tuckers, etc., it would fit right in.

    Like 18
  10. JW454

    Seems it would have taken longer to build it than to drive the 738 miles it’s traveled.
    well, I’m sure that’s not the first time that’s happened.

    Like 6
  11. Connecticut mark

    Google his name and see the other items at his auction, more custom limos, many trains, a Pantera, so many cool items and rare vehicles.

    Like 8
  12. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    I’d drive it a lot. No need to convert it to an rv. A hide-a-bed and a camp stove would suffice. A couple powered cooler and an ac unit to keep the cabin cool them blackout curtains or Mylar on the windows and it’s a studio apartment on wheels.

    Like 18
    • Derric

      My thoughts precisely. I like the concept of motor homes but have never seen one that’s retro futuristic enough to make me want one until now. I’m almost 60, single, no kids and would make the same upgrades you mentioned and live in it happily ever after. The only question I’ve got is how a buyer would register and insure it for use without a manufacturers title. The ad says there isn’t a title only a bill of sale. I’ve read that some dream cars were destroyed because they couldn’t be titled. Obviously this was driven and restorers like Joe Bortz must have methods to get their cars registered and insured for driving. Would it be eligible to be grandfathered in?

      Like 2
  13. Mike F

    Not surprising at all that it uses the Toronado drive train. The 1970s GMC motor home did too. The no-driveshaft platform allowed a low step in height that made driving the RV like driving a long car or minivan.

    I’m shopping for an RV and a vintage fwd GMC is on my list.

    Like 9
  14. gippy

    These kind of ideas never die- supplies for non existent demands- flying cars, floating cars etc. Currently there is a guy on You Tube building one he calls the Leviathan, which is essentially the same as this, but on a 4WD truck chassis with some survivalist type functions. He is also building his own “supercar” which has fallen far behind current styling as progress has ground along slowly. Most likely he will end up like Kershaw, not living long enough to see the completion of either.

    Like 4
  15. ACZ

    I am really impressed. I really like the concept and the execution.
    A real shame it never got off the ground. There should have been more of them.

    Like 9
  16. Nelson C

    All the parts of different production cars is like those picture puzzles containing the household items in unusual places. It would be great to restore it to be even more finished like where the driver is forced to sit.

    Like 3
  17. Otter

    HOOO, HAH ! Where’d he get the wheels ? His brother loaned it to him …

    Like 0
  18. Russell

    “cooler, black and white TV, 8 Track, telephone/intercom” Whom ever purchases this ,,,, let me know for I have a box of 8 tracks I rescued from an abandoned house

    Like 5
  19. Harry Otto

    This is the old school zoom office!

    Like 2
  20. Paul R

    Looks like a chopped 1970’s GMC Motorhome .

    Like 4
  21. BigBlocksRock

    67-68 Camaro tail lights.
    Quite the hodge podge of parts. Very creative for sure.

    Like 3
  22. Emil

    This either needs to be in a museum or it needs to be gutted and brought up to modern tech.
    If only had the time and money….

    Like 0
  23. chrlsful

    i vaguely remember one of the big 3 making several (3 – 5?) concept vehicles
    (actual development toward production) that looked alot like this (some what wedge like ends, either cab forward like our early passenger vans or the wedge in frnt housed the motor). They were not specifically ‘an office’ or ‘camper’ but more on the lill pinto or vega wagons w/the port hole in back… passenger cars w/ “extra space”. Seemed higher than this in both ground clearance and roof top. May be some got out of the car mag of the time and forward to the early pic of the net (mid ‘90s?) Full documentation (interiors, exteriors & original ‘creator’ -sketcher- pic w/big smile.
    Also think he (or another) went into production and began to sell some?

    Like 2
  24. Jack Textor

    Nice love shack!

    Like 3
  25. Mountainwoodie

    Take a look at the Kershaw auction from his family’s warehouse, Some amazing cars.Among them is a ’59 Caddie limos used by Alabama Guvnors including the notorious, George Wallace……who was the original Orange Man, for those of you (if any) who didn’t follow the news when he was Guvnor and then subsequently shot.

    https://bids.auctionbypearce.com/auctions/29594/lot/3655520-1959-cadillac-fleetwood-59-limousine-former-alabama-governors-limo

    Like 1
  26. Davey Boy

    68/69 Chevelle headlights? Parts from several cars. Not sure about the bumpers Moparman. They look like the right shape to be Corvette but bigger in size but definitely 67/68 Camaro taillights. Regardless of what parts are what, Definitely unique and cool.

    Like 0
    • Timothy

      Not a daily driver, for sure, but a rare auto museum piece.

      Like 0
  27. FrankD Member

    Similar to a Brubaker?

    Like 0
  28. DJ

    The headlamp bezels look so familiar, but I sure can’t figure what they are from.

    Like 0
    • Nelson C

      They resemble a ’70 Chevelle.

      Like 2
      • DJ

        Thank you. Those are the ones. I was looking at 68 or earlier, given the supposed year of this thing. Plus, I never knew those bezels were separate from the Chevelle headlamp housing. They’re good looking, and a good choice for this vehicle.

        Like 1
  29. DJ

    Wonder where all the comments went. Im only seeing 6 from days ago.

    Like 0
    • DJ

      Never mind, they’re back. Lol

      Like 0
  30. Bquick65

    Looks like a mid-sixties Ford shifter…you could spend a day just identifying where the parts came from! An amazing piece of craftsmanship. It would be interesting to see how much was done on paper, as opposed to “That should work great” then get it in place and the inevitable “Damn! I really thought that was going to work!”

    Like 1

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