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1927 Prototype Trailer

1951 Vagabond Trailer

1953 Vagabond Trailer

1961 Holiday House Trailer

1940 Vagabond Trailer

1961 TrailorBoat Trailer

1950 Vagabond Trailer

1938 Hayes Trailer

1948 Prototype Trailer

1950 Schult Trailer

   

1927 Prototype - Holt 

 

Several years ago my wife and I were on a two month camping trip, towing one of my antique travel trailers, fulfilling one of our dreams.  Well, then it happened.  Something every guy dreams of.  Tooling along at about 60 mph. my wife suddenly scares me by saying, “Pull over”.  I thought there was something wrong.  I maneuvered the truck and trailer to the side of the road and asked “What’s up?”  Her response,“ I think I saw an antique trailer and didn’t tell you, and now I feel guilty.”  Wow. After 40 years of marriage, she is finally rubbernecking for cars and trailers. I’m a success.   Now the good part: “When did you see it, honey”?   “Oh, about 45 minutes ago.”   Pretty sly if you ask me.  She didn’t think that after 45 minutes I would turn back.   She also told me that it was completely covered up and probably a horse trailer. But then she made the mistake of telling me that what she could make out was a wooden wheel.   Much to her surprise, I turned around, and went back, on the prowl.  The rest is history. 

  

When we finally found the trailer again, it was in a locked up storage yard behind a fence.  “Honey, I’ll be right back, don’t worry”.  I scaled the fence, peeled back the tarp, and lo and behold, I darn near needed a defribullator.  What Jenay spotted was what many now think is one of oldest, if not the oldest, travel trailer in the country that was NEVER USED.  Just recently pulled out of the barn by the granddaughter of the builder.  Pulled out of the barn after sitting on blocks with never a tire on those wooden wheels since 1927.  That’s right, 82 years, hidden away, never seen before.   

 

Nobody was around and it was late Tuesday night.  There was a nursery school next door and a lady was sweeping the porch. I asked who this yard belonged to and she said the people always come by on either Saturday or Sunday.

 

Think it was difficult to talk my wife into sticking around for 4 days with the fantasy that they may actually show up?   Fortunately , there was a beautiful spot to camp in and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in the area to see, so Jenay consented to stay.  Saturday morning a couple showed up, as did we, and the real story starts. 

  

It seems that in 1927 her grandfather started building the trailer in the barn and nearly had it finished at the peak of the great depression.   Due to the economy and his finances, there it stayed.  Rooms were built around it and grandkids used it as a play house.

 

Now, the old homestead was being sold.  The back of the barn had to be cut open just to remove the trailer.  The family was bickering over what to do with it.  Nobody wanted to sell it, everybody had a different idea.  Out of the barn for just one week when we spotted it, it was being used for storage and was covered with a leaky tarp.  The granddaughter flatly refused to sell it due to the family squabbles.  We left, but I didn’t give up.  I called every couple of months for a year.   Then, one fateful day I received the call.  “It’s getting ruined.  You promised me that if I sold it to you my grandfathers folly would get restored=finished, and possibly into a museum.”  We agreed on a price, I borrowed a flatbed trailer from a friend, and off I went.  Monday morning in Santa Cruz, California, Wednesday afternoon in Farmington, Pennsylvania. I didn’t want to give anyone time the change their minds.

 

Enjoy the photos. From the first picture of the barn it came out of, through the restoration I personally did 99% of, to the trailer being displayed for 6 months at the famous Petersen Automotive Museum in Beverly  Hills , California. 

 

Mr. Holts 1927 project. And his granddaughter’s playhouse, and dream coming to fruition.

This trailer was on loan to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Beverly Hills, California.

 

 

"Hey Steven,

Recently got a new laptop and just viewed the pics and write up on grandpa’s trailer. It made me cry. Glad it’s being cared for by someone like you with a passion for history.  Thank Jenny for me for having a good eye and a good heart to give it a good home.  It really looked like what  I’m sure my grandpa envisioned. I ’m so glad it got rescued.

Thanks!  Connie"

 

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