$100,000 Bowlus Road Chief is a Shiny, Green, and Impossibly Gorgeous RV

Bowlus Road Chief

This isn’t a Recycled Hawtness restomod of a 1934 Bowlus Road Chief, kids. This is a brand-spanking new, 1934 Bowlus RV, and I want one. You want one, too – or, at least, you should. Let me give you a bit of the Bowlus’ history.

Back in the 1930s, the Hawley Bowlus Road Chief was the lightweight, aerodynamic aluminum trailer that was *cough* airstreamed to be easy to tow behind the ever more popular and ever more powerful automobiles of the era. It looked like the Spirit of St. Louis (if you don’t know what that is, stop embarrassing your parents and go look it up) and set a standard for good-looking RVs that persists to this day, nearly 100 years later. It was super-awesome, in other words, and someone decided that it might still be pretty awesome … if only someone would start building them again.

Enter: Canadian tech entrepreneurs John Long and Helena Mitchell. Long and Mitchell believe they can help the RV industry take a step forward by taking a step backwards. They’re reviving the 1934 Bowlus Road Chief, with a modern interior take. It’s an updated version of the classic American design that they un-ironically refer to as “a revival of an Art Moderne style with 21st century touches.”

Each new Bowlus Road Chief features a bespoke monocoque shell made of polished aircraft-grade aluminum over an aluminum frame held together, Spirit of St. Louis-style, by more than 5,000 rivets. They also feature a low-drag enclosed undercarriage, flush-mounted windows complete fitted with durable, brass mesh screens and rounded front ends pulled tight over a compact kitchen featuring a SMEG Italian cooktop and a folding glass top for larger counter space and a sink’s spray hose extends far enough to reach outside the caravan (for easy washing). Though there’s no conventional oven on-board, but a microwave is standard, as is the 12-volt, marine-grade fridge and a dining table that is detachable for outdoor meals. In the 1930’s tradition, the every part of the trailer is streamlined front to back, making for far more fuel-efficient towing on highways than today’s plywood/rubber square-block monstrosities.

That said, those monstrosities are significantly cheaper than the Bowlus … but there’s a reason Kymcos are cheaper than Indians, you know? The Bowlus Road Chief is built on a to-order only basis, with a base price North of $100,000. Initial deliveries are scheduled to begin sometime after May 1.


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Source | Photos: Bowlus, via Gizmag.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.