From Autocamps To Airstreams

For roadside fanatics who'll be in the Los Angeles area anytime in the next six months, the Petersen Automotive Museum is having a special exhibit on the early history of road trips.

Titled "From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland," the display recounts the birth of American auto travel, complete with a selection of vintage vehicles and campers that helped give rise to the earliest of roadside attractions.

Starting with the "Tin Can Tourists" of the early 1900s, who braved rough roads in luggage-laden Model T's, the exhibit follows the evolution of autocampers through the boxy days of customized "house cars" and into the more streamlined era of diminutive teardrops and majestic camping trailers.

Among the museum's prize acquisitions is a custom-built 1934 Thompson House Car and the oldest known Airstream trailer in existence (pictured).

The exhibit is scheduled through Feb. 8, 2009.

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