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1949 Spartan Manor, not mine, where do you post this?


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  • Xander Wildeisen changed the title to 1949 Spartan Manor, not mine, where do you post this?

Cool trailer!  I wonder if my 130 horsepower '54 Ford Y-Block could pull this any distance? Might work better with something from the later '50's that was closer to 200 hp. Braking is a consideration, too. Makes me wonder which cars could haul it long distances back when it was made in '49.

 

Price seems right to me, but I know little of such things.

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36 minutes ago, JamesR said:

Cool trailer!  I wonder if my 130 horsepower '54 Ford Y-Block could pull this any distance? Might work better with something from the later '50's that was closer to 200 hp. Braking is a consideration, too. Makes me wonder which cars could haul it long distances back when it was made in '49.

 

Price seems right to me, but I know little of such things.

Oh damn it.

I was going to keep my trap shut on these Spartans and you’re going to regret asking anything about them at ALL because they’re a bug you don’t want to catch. Maybe as much as I regret your asking and reigniting that bug in me.

Hang on....

Watch this video 1st⬇️
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGUr4S6SEH4

and this⬇️
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGUr4S6SEH4
 

Edited by Ben P.
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So these Spartans... I’ll let you Google up the history (it’s fascinating). I fell in love with them 4-5 years ago and started looking around. In that search I asked my family to keep an eye out at estate auctions. One of those people was my grandmother, who not only had heard of them, clutched her hands to her chest and chirped, “Oh yes, those were the cat’s meow!” New they cost more than an average house.

Months later I ran across ⬇️ photo which had been kept separately from the family album.

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(Just my grandfather standing beside a 1949 Spartan ‘Royal Mansion’ hooked to his brand New Plymouth.)

I knew that starting in the late 1940’s he would leave work at Fisher Body in Lansing MI on Friday afternoon, drive up to Alma MI and pick up a ‘New Moon’ trailer from the manufacturer and deliver it with his own car to a dealer in Florida. By highway today that would be a 1,310 mile trip just to the FL boarder. Of course this was BEFORE the highways and somehow he was back in time for work Monday morning.

The Plymouth had 98hp and 175 lb-ft torque (and you don’t think your truck can pull it?). He did this every weekend well through the 1950’s. 

So I asked her about the photo and she said that they would leave Lansing Friday evening, drive to Tulsa Oklahoma (where the Spartans were manufactured in the old Spartan Aircraft plant), pick up a trailer and deliver it to a dealer in MI. A 1,772 mile round trip, again, on today’s highways. She’s well into her 90’s so I did not ask her why she didn’t mention that when she and I specifically had a long conversation on Spartans. The photograph though - she took and believe me, she’s always been the world’s worst photographer.

 

I came very close to getting one of these Spartans, searched for several years, made a GREAT deal, and then found the zoning ordinances in my RURAL township specifically forbids trailers needing work or restoration — which with their recent value is the only way I could afford one.

Spartan had an entire range of trailers - not just the tiny Manor. High quality, none finer (yes, I said NONE).

Someone mentioned seeing a lot of these for sale... The unfortunate thing about these trailers is they always wound up on someone’s property. For decades. Someone would pass, the estate is sold and *bam* that trailer has to be removed and quick. There are a number of ‘dealers’ who deal exclusively with these Spartans. I can’t say much about their prices except - if these things are worth saving these dealers are providing a good service. 
Sadly though, the majority of these trailers are unrestored, turn up cheap and have to be sold fast. Which means that someone without a lot of money gets ahold of them intending to do a ‘restoration’. Very few of those have the SKILL so most of them are butchered. Usually unrepairably.

The floor and interior are key, forget about whatever you see with the exterior. The floors always have to be replaced and id*ots attempt that...

Worse, someone with a bit of skill gets ahold of one and does ‘restore’ it — to their taste. Which means it’s highly modified and even if that can be undone it’s even more highly overpriced. I’ve seen 3 restored correctly. IMO these Spartans, especially their interiors, are no different than Antique cars: If you replace the interior it MUST BE STOCK. Put anything else in there and the vehicle’s value will plummet. 

The one in this ad? I’d have to see the interior and by the looks of where it is and that the seller specifically didn’t include interior pictures... I wouldn’t even look at it. Not even a phone call.

I’ve seen many dozens (plus a good number of shiny aluminum HORSE TRAILERS because friends/family/coworkers apparently don’t all know exactly what they are looking at when offered a finders fee to beat one out of the woods).

Not a single airstream though - which is what I expected.

If you want one, you want one that nobody has touched. No work done to it. Ever.

 

Good luck

(and thanks for re-igniting that bug)

 

 

Edited by Ben P.
Correcting the damn ‘autocorrect‘ (see edit history)
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Nope. Found the eBay listing referred to in the ad from subversive Facebook⬇️
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1949-Spartan-/124501599917?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292

 

Butchered - run for your life. Like I said, I didn’t even need to look. I’m sorry something possessed me to check eBay - but I didn’t expect the seller to include more photos than he did on subversive Facebook.

 

There’s not even parts here guys....

 

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Haha

Yeah, what someone did to this is as bad as removing the entire wood body framing for a car and throwing it away. Maybe worse. You need every single plywood panel for patterns. Every single one. You can tell what they were thinking: “It’s just rectangular plywood panels. Nothing to it....” Well, they can’t do it and are clueless with the curved upper panels (CLUELESS - I haven’t seen a single ‘replacement’ done right. Not one).

Looks like this clown kept one. This is usually what happens. At least the few dozen I’ve looked at. If they don’t abandon the project after it’s all hauled off to the dump and realize their mistake they usually tack ship lap or pine junk to 1/2 a**ed cover the walls....

 

I’m not claiming to be any kind of expert - just a guy that drove all around the Midwest and looked at a lot of them.

*enough from me*

 

Edited by Ben P.
Correcting ‘autocorrect’ (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Ben you said zoning won't let you have one of these that needs restoring. How about if it's inside a structure where it can't be seen? Wouldn't take much of a structure to hide a trailer. 

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Yeah, there’s another story there. We had a barn that the insurance company demanded removed or lose the policy (which was attached to a business policy). I looked into putting a pole barn on the old barn’s footprint but that would’ve required both a zoning inspection and the property surveyed since no one remembers where the old survey stakes are. Problem is there’s a couple-few things we don’t want them to know about....

Short answer - yes but I would’ve been upside down cost wise before I even got the trailer home.

When looking for one of these I believed that if I could do all the work except for electrical and plumbing I could restore it for $40-60,000. But I wouldn’t be shocked to find myself 80k into it and needing more.

In Michigan I could have a cottage on the lake for 35K today. So that’s where that goes.

These Spartans really are spectacular though....

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Yep that’s an original interior. I’m not sure about the tile work in the bathroom and kitchen but I didn’t happen to look at any of the later styles like or the cheaper ‘Spartanettes‘ - was partial to the ‘47-51 streamliner style (my word, not theirs).

Yep that looks like a real new wood stove that turns up in campers recently. In the few dozen unrestored ones I looked at I never did see an original heater. I understand they’re hard to find. I saw a restored one where someone saved the metal ‘body’ of the original gas heater and used it to disguise a smaller safer modern one. That’s probably the one alteration I would have done along with AC and a compact water heater...and we’re on to 100K.


This is a nice educational history on these things⬇️
https://tincantourists.com/wiki/spartan/

 

(⬇️Photo from the 1956 Spartan ad on Facebook that 72caddy linked)

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Here's another one.

https://fargo.craigslist.org/tro/d/erhard-1957-spartan-imperial-mansion/7261022009.html

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All original 1957 Spartan Imperial Mansion. Outside is in excellent condition. Inside is all original- Air Conditioning, Furnace, Refrigerator, Cook top, Oven, full size tub and toilet and the original 1957 Dishwasher (not working). Most of the light fixtures are original. The trailer was built by the Spartan Aircraft Company after WW II. I have a clean Minnesota Title. There is some rot and discoloration of the paneling around some of the windows, but I do not think there is any framing rot. I do not think there is any rot in the floor. One rear window is missing the glass and a couple of pieces of the aluminum frame. The front window glass needs replacing, but new ones are available. I replaced the tires and rims when I moved the RV 25 miles to my house- I have the originals and they will go with the trailer. There were aluminum window awnings on the trailer when I got it. I removed them to move it. They will go with it also. There was a small entry on the trailer when I got it. I took it off. There is some tar on the roof where it was attached and some screw holes. This trailer is as clean and original as it gets. $10,000.00
 

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Wow. I like the 1951 and older style - but that’s the exact condition I’d look for in one. Not mucked with. The older ones have a freestanding gas heater vented to the roof. They referred to an original heater in this one, I assume it’s encased in a wall but the fact that it’s still there is a good sign that it’s truly unmolested. The referred to window awnings - if they were the original factory options are pretty hard to find and valuable. At least they are on the pre-1951’s.

Edited by Ben P. (see edit history)
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Go get it. Hate to see you miss out. It even comes with good tires and wheels the way it sounds. Just hook up and go. Your actually the reason I posted this. 

I think it's around 150 miles from me. 

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