Motion picture cameraman John Roy Hunt had a long career in the film business starting in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair where he was a film operator. He opened a theater in Fresno, California, in 1905 and then worked as a cameraman. Some of the feature films he photographed were A Daughter of the Gods (1916), Beau Geste (1926), and I Walked with a Zombie (1943). His last film was The Juggler (1953) with Kirk Douglas. A consummate tinkerer (he invented several camera improvements and was a ham radio operator), Hunt built this vehicle in the late 1940s with the hope of manufacturing many more. That dream never came to pass, but many of his innovations were later incorporated by other manufacturers when motorhomes emerged from one-of-a-kind vehicles to mainstream transportation. The main deficiency of the Hunt Hollywood house car was its woefully inadequate power plant, a 1939 Mercury V8 95-horsepower engine (modern motorhomes have at least 300 horsepower). Those 95 ponies were hard pressed to push the 18-foot, 2-1/2-ton house car up any significant grade. A major restoration of the exterior skin of the Hunt was undertaken in 2005 by Monty Osborn, who spent over three hundred hours sanding and polishing the Hunt to achieve a lustrous shine. Courtesy Vince Martinico collection.
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