1940 Vagabond Trailer
Barn—Barn—is this another yarn?
I remember when I was growing up my
mother would always yell at me, “DON’T LEAVE YOUR BARN DOOR OPEN, NO
ONE WANTS TO LOOK INSIDE THERE!” My wife still tells me the same
But I’m here to tell you… never be
afraid to peek in the barn, if the door is open! Especially if you
are looking for something special.
Here we go again, another of
Steven’s “Barn Finds”:
Late in 2011, I was lecturing on a
cruise ship on my way to New Zealand. I received an e-mail from my
friend Henry in Kentucky. “Hey Steve, you may be interested in
Let me tell you something. It’s
bad enough when you find a prize, and have trouble contacting the
owner, hoping someone else won’t get there first. How about being
in the middle of the ocean, on the other side of the world, with a
file of photos, and no way to contact the owner? Here I was, within
grasp of one of only two known masonite sided Vagabonds in
When we returned to the U.S., we
were exhausted after flying all the way back from New Zealand. When
we picked up the car at the airport with the intentions of going
home to get some sleep, I talked Jenay into making the call to see
if this trailer was still available. GASP! It was. Exhausted, we
turned the car in the opposite direction of home and drove another 5
hours to the gold country in northern California. Now, as Paul
Harvey would say on his famous radio show---------“here’s the rest
of the story”.
It seems that the original owner
bought this trailer in early 1941. It must have been on the lot for
a while because it is actually a 1940, per the ID plate. He needed
a place to kick back while he spent the next three months building
his house. How about this? He built the shed seen in the photos
around the trailer to protect it. He basically never used the
trailer except to sleep on the couch. When his house was finished,
the trailer just sat there for 72 years, under cover, never to leak,
The man passed away about 6 years
ago. The new owners of the property wanted to get rid of the
trailer and tear the shed down. Boy did I luck out. We came to an
agreed price, shook hands, and I told him I’d come and get it soon.
My trailer buddy Desmond, seen in the pics with me, accompanied me
on another one of my trailer goose chases. We loaded it up, brought
it home, and into my museum it went.
After thinking about it for about 30
seconds, I decided not to do anything to it except clean up the
interior. Another near perfect interior----------------no kidding,
The outside, as bad as it looks, is
incredible. Masonite trailers from the 30’s and early 40’s are
usually swollen like a pumpkin and need to be completely
re-skinned. This one has only one small bow in it, and always will.
You see, I’ve decided to not even wash the trailer. I want to show
it “as found” so
everyone can see that they are really still out there----
FINDS” that you can basically enjoy from day one.
I plan to unveil this one at the
Pismo Beach Trailer Rally in May, 2012
Enjoy. Let me know what you
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