Vintage trailers are all the rage, but what about vintage mobile homes? Believe it or not, they too are experiencing a bit of a Renaissance.
Early mobile homes from the 1950s and ’60s were pulled just like trailers, but sat stationary in parks. The wheels and the tongue on the trailer usually remained years after they came to rest. Today, many of those classic mobile homes still sit in parks around the country.
Steve Salatino and Mike Richardson recently finished a time capsule renovation of a 1955 Smoker Aristocrat’s mobile home in Central New York. When the Smoker Aristocrat renovation was completed it was quite a sight to behold. The new owners wanted to bring back its former glory and I think you could say they succeeded!
Their first step was locating several of the original advertisements for the home. These ads featured early descriptions which helped the renovation stay period accurate.
So, what does it take to restore a vintage mobile home? A lot of hard work! Here’s what they did.
Steve and Mike started by updating the paint. Yellow stood out as a solid choice for a period piece. Both of the guys loved the movie,” The Long, Long Trailer” and modeled the color from the New Moon trailer that starred with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.
Outside lights were replaced, as well as the back door and wrought iron decor that had been missing for many years. Steve and Mike found themselves searching everywhere from the internet to the local junk yard to find the proper accessories.
In 1950’s style they added a low patio often seen in trailer parks. They also added a new back door.
As luck would have it, the Smoker had the original hardwood. They were able to keep the paneling, floors and real wood valances without a lot of trouble.
Steve and Mike refurnished the trailer with picture perfect 1950’s furniture. The mid-century pieces brought the entire project to back to life.
Unfortunately, the kitchen and bathroom needed some serious work. The guys had to replace the sub floor due to water leaks over the years.
The kitchen was the hardest part of the project. They original cook top and stove had previously been replaced by items that didn’t fit the space. They were unable to match the original color of the counter tops and ended up using an different color along with a few new items such as stainless steel fridge, sink, and cook top.
One of the joys of restoring something antique is seeing the finished project. The Smoker Aristocrat experienced and amazing transformation. From run down, out of date housing, to a trendy collectible. You can be sure that Steve and Mike feel a deep sense of pride when it comes to their new home.
What about you? Would you consider updating a vintage mobile home? Why or why not?
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Soucre: Mobile Home Living