That 1960s Geographic trailer (again) - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-02-2006, 06:27 PM   #21
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Bardy, it is beautiful. So well laid out, too.
I love the big, long kitchen counter top.
I wonder who designed this lovely trailer, and why they didn't make any more. Looks like a winner, in today's market, too. I wonder what happened to the molds.
How long have you owned it, if I may ask ?
I am in Tx, and would love to see it. I'll have to travel to the West Coast, it seems.
You will find that RVers are the best kind of people, and especially the fiberglass RVers.
Welcome to our world !!

Happy camping in your wonderful trailer, if you ever get a moments peace from the lookers !! Penny.
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Old 10-02-2006, 07:32 PM   #22
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Because of your questions, I went through one of the articles and found the following amazing story and familiar names. It is a small world! You may like to read this original article, possibly from January 1961 for the showing of the Geographic in February of 1961:

"David H. Holmes, an Air Force war time veteran who still continually pilotes his DC3 aircraft in business as the very active head of Harry & David, Fruit-of-the-Month Club, Bear Creek Orchards, and Holiday House trailers, explains that last year he was intrigued by the beautiful, aero-dynamic lines of a "dream trailer" drawn by young designer Charles Pelly. Pelly, winner of awards from both Ford and General Motors for outstanding automotive design, is now in the Army. The unique "Model X" is fully protected by patent pending. Holmes retained Lawrence McCane of the Industrial Design Affiliates, Beverly Hills, California, who has achieved national prominence for his brilliant work in industrial design, and who had been one key to Holemes' development of the aluminum - plywood line of Holiday House trailers. To help Holmes bring the new exciting fiberglassed trailer to realization, McCane enlisted Robert B. Brophy, one of the nations few experts in missile and satellite fiberglass, to engineer and produce molds for this assembly-line fiberglassed honycomb prototype model which, as McCane describes it, is "ten years ahead of the trailer industy in concept, design and construction principles."

There is more information in the article about features, accuracy, etc.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:32 AM   #23
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A couple of things suggest the reason why this is such a light trailer, for its size. A press article contains:
"...yet a huge fiberglass-honeycomb roof section when finished can by lifted by one man with one hand."

An illustration from another article confirms this:


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Nowadays this would be called a sandwich panel and exactly the same technique is used in moulding composite aircraft and boats, except that generally the core material tends to be a structural foam or end-grain balsa, rather than the even more expensive honeycomb.

This construction could be easily applied to fiberglass trailers to reduce the weight of the fiberglass shells, probably by half. But it would at least double their cost - so that's why you won't see it!

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Old 10-03-2006, 07:42 AM   #24
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<div align="left">Welcome Bardy !
We love your pictures and applaud your energy and committment to take on such an ambitious project. You will find "FGRV'rs" to be an entrhusiastic and free thinking group, and we would encourage you to join in on any outings you can make it to. In the interim, your pictures and posts will encourage all of us as we tackle our own restoration and refurb projects. Thank you for coming on board with us.
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Old 10-13-2006, 12:32 AM   #25
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On Thursday, October 12, 2006 Los Angeles Times ran a whole page article on this trailer with beatiful photos and described how it went from a beat-up road side trash to a complete collectible and one of a kind trailer. The reporter found the original designer and interviewed him. Very interesting. You can read the article on line except that there are no photos online!

I got emails from Harry & David, fruit of the month club that according to their company history only 5 of these trailers were made and they didn't get to mass manufacture them because the plant in Medford, Oregon had cought on fire and all molds were burnt.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:45 AM   #26
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Bardy, I took the liberty of sending the LA Times article link to the RV Heritage museum in Elkhart IN. The story behind your trailer is truly amazing!

For those of you who want to read the article in context on the Los Angeles Times website, it's here:

L.A. Times Geographic article October 12, 2006

Roger

For those of you who can't see the article without subscribing to the Times site, and for archival purposes here, this is the text and photos of the October 12th article about Bardy's trailer copied directly from the LA Times:

Quote:
DESIGN
<span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%">One retro remodel, to go
The trailer's futuristic shape caught his eye. Then the roadside find turned out to be a prized collectible.
By Bettijane Levine, Times Staff Writer</span>

October 12, 2006


BARDY AZADMARD never wanted a trailer, never even set foot in one until seven years ago, while driving to land he'd just bought in Leona Valley. That's when he spied an oddly shaped hulk alongside a dusty canyon road.

"It was beat up and had 'for sale' spray-painted in huge letters all across its side. But it had an amazing shape. Like a yacht, or something that floats. It was retro and futuristic all at once, like something from 'Star Wars,' " he says.

Azadmard, 53, is sensitive to such things. An architectural designer who specializes in luxury homes — his current project is a 14,000-square-foot house in Beverly Hills — he stopped to investigate.

He needed a tool shed for the 7 acres of raw land he was making into a ranch. "I was buying shovels, mowers, all that stuff. I thought, I'll buy this old trailer, clean it up and use it instead of a shed. It's much more interesting to look at."

He had no idea that he was looking at what may be the first trailer built of fiberglass. And the only trailer designed by renowned industrial and race car designer Charles "Chuck" W. Pelly, whose Chaparral and Scarab cars (only seven were produced) are vintage collectibles. They sell for about $1 million each and have been owned by such money men as Wal-Mart heir Rob Walton and beer scion Augie Pabst.

No, Azadmard thought only about gutting the thing so his tools could have a place. He paid $1,500, towed it home to West Hollywood and realized he'd been tailed. "A guy in a pristine 1960s Cadillac convertible followed me all the way down I-5 to my house."

"He said, 'Would you sell this to me?' "

"I said, 'No, I just bought it myself.' "

The man, a vintage car and trailer buff, said the trailer was unique, that a collector should own it — someone who would appreciate and restore it. He urged Azadmard to take it to Iowa Boys, then in North Hollywood, which specializes in trailer restoration. "They'll tell you what a treasure you have."

Azadmard read the binder of 40-year-old documents he had been given by the seller, and agreed maybe he did have something special. Built by an Oregon firm, Holiday House, in 1961, the Geographic trailer was touted at the time as "the lightest, strongest 24-foot mobile home ever seen," sheathed inside and out with fiberglass, and "designed on aeronautic principles that borrow from the latest jet aircraft, satellite and missile development…. It has forward windows which allow 270 degrees visibility, and was developed at a cost of $1 million in Van Nuys, California, by skilled craftsmen from the aircraft and missile components industry."

It has a full bathroom, two double beds, a stainless steel kitchen with double sink, four pull-down gas burners, a refrigerator and built-in heater and air conditioner. The original sales slip showed the first owner had paid $8,700 in 1961.

Azadmard called a few museums, he says, and was told his trailer was either the only one of its kind, or one of four that might have been built before the company decided not to continue the model. He had no idea that the trailer's famous designer, Pelly, was alive and well — and living just a few miles away in Woodland Hills.

Reached by phone this week, Pelly, 68, laughed to hear that the trailer he had designed was still around. "It's like an old girlfriend coming back," he said, when told of Azadmard's odd tale. "I just assumed they were all lost and no more existed. This could be the only one left, although I have no idea."

Pelly, who is a consultant for BMW, a catamaran designer and a partner in Design Academy Inc. of Woodland Hills, says he believes no more than 10 of the trailers were ever built. And though technical development took place in Van Nuys, production of the trailers occurred in Medford, Ore., "until a devastating fire burnt down the plant, the tools, the molds — everything. So there will never be another trailer like it. I haven't thought about all this in years."

He was young, designing cars for Detroit, when he was hired as a freelancer to design the trailer by the late David Holmes of Harry & David "Fruit of the Month Club" fame. Production was in Medford because Holmes wanted to provide work for his employees during the off-season. "David said he wanted to make a radical design statement, as I recall, and at the same time do something to keep his workers going. So I designed this rather swoopy thing that had long lines very much reflecting the style of American cars of those days — '60s cars that had fins and bumps. I gave the trailer fins down the side, and the front was styled to be as car-like as you can make a trailer. It was definitely a fun project for me."

Azadmard has been having his own kind of fun with his acquisition. At first unsure what to do with it, he took it to Iowa Boys owner Sue Murphy, who said it was well worth restoring — an undertaking he wasn't quite ready to commit to. What would he do with a restored trailer?

"I'd never seen anything exactly like it," says Murphy, a second generation vintage trailer expert, whose lot is full of unusual specimens. "I knew he could easily sell it for a profit." But Azadmard wasn't ready to consider that, either. He decided to store the ratty-looking trailer with Murphy, and let her rent it out for use on film sets — at $400 per day.

That was where the trailer stayed until this year, by which time Azadmard had refused numerous offers to sell it. The best was $45,000, from an actor who had seen the unrestored trailer at Murphy's shop.

Recently, Azadmard decided to have it restored for himself. Maybe he'd explore camping, he thought. The trailer-as-second-home idea is particularly alluring, he says, because the interior of this one is so welcoming, day and night.

Teak wood on the walls and cabinets melds with the satin gleam of stainless steel and the muted beige tweed of the two sofas, which pull out to become double beds.

The lighting is sensational at night, he adds — like something by designer William Haines. A sophisticated recessed lighting panel runs down the center of the 7-foot ceiling from front to back, casting a glamorous glow. Wall-mounted lamps with conical shades have bendable stems, to angle brighter light any which way.

"At night, particularly, I feel like I'm on my luxury yacht," Azadmard says, especially after the trailer was repainted and refurbished, inside and out, at a cost of about $20,000. "Everything's original, but we did all new wiring and fixed it all to mint condition."

He is ready to roll.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
bettijane.levine@latimes.com
Los Angeles Times Photos (accompanying article) by Richard Hartog, Los Angeles Times:


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Old 10-13-2006, 12:09 PM   #27
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This thing is G_R_E_A_T!
Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm sure that some of it's inovations will now show up all over the continent. Like why didn't I think up that hide-a-way table to go in front of the bunk end. It's a sure winner. Now I've got to find a new place for the cutlery drawer.Mabee a drop-down under the upper cabinet instead of the nonfunctioning range hood....hmmmmm
Keep the pictures comming. It's the closest that most of us will ever get to this beauty.
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:33 PM   #28
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LOVE, Love, love this trailer. Back when it was made that was a considerable chunk of change.
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:55 PM   #29
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Geographic !

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Originally Posted by Christi V. View Post
As they use to say " Groovy!!"

FAR OUT ! ! !
David in Fresno and Sonora
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:38 PM   #30
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And a second one has been found in 2016!!!
Vicki just received her March-April 2017 copy of Vintage Camper Trailers magazine and featured is the fiberglass Holiday House Geographic on its way to Flynn Camp restorations in Bend OR.
Lots of great pictures in the article but alas I can't share a link with you because I can't find one!
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:50 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Gibbens View Post
The owner has sent me some pictures of the completed restoration of the 1960s Geographic 26ft molded fiberglass trailer that I have posted photos of in a previous thread.

Here is the exterior:


Attachment 4993
Wow how beautiful the lines are so far ahead its time. I have never even heard of one they must of not made very many of them. That is so cool! The tail lights look off a 60 impala very cool thanks for posting!
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