Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vintage is wildly popular over seas

I had to go to the Port of Baltimore and drop off another trailer. Her destination is South Hampton England. I went way up to Northern Michigan to retrieve her back in May. She has been sitting in the storage lot since then. An ironic thing is the name of the boat she is going on is called the Michigan Highway.
For some odd reason my TWIC Escort "forgot" that the Union run Port office closes at 11:30 for lunch. I had no choice but to keep the clock rolling until 1:oo when they all returned to admit my paper work. Kind of odd how he forgot, but I still had to pay him for his time. With so much time to kill there was nothing left to do but check out the classic cars lined up at the terminal.
Just receintly was the Hersey and Carlisle Auto Shows. I take it there is some kind of auction or for sale area there. All these cars had stickers from one of those two shows.
Oddly enough every car you see here was bought by the same buyer.
Every one of them is being shipped to Sweden.
Some one in Sweden has a real love for vintage American cars. This is a real good representation of 50's and 60's classics.
A little muscle thrown into the mix.
There must have been 50 all together in this group.
Now that would look so sweet towing my Overlander.
Or really any trailer for that matter. Sorry most of these are so washed out. It was VERY sunny and I was hiding my camera in my palm as I took all of these. I should have adjusted the ISO, but then the cameras on the light poles might have noticed me taking pictures.
Surf City here come the Shark...
Be careful you don't impale yourself Dave. Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. I know you are rather forgetful and would not want any accidents. After working the Port twenty years it easy to forget hours of operation and where you are walking....
Stay close to the fifties cars that are all rounded over.
Or stay close to the Airstream.
I will refrain from comment as to what this old girls next life will be. Let's just say Wally intended his product to travel. That is why it is called a "travel trailer."
You are probably wondering what she is. This is a front kitchen Safari. A 1955 that is titled as a 54.
She is rather complete inside even though all the wood work was painted at some point.
A little dent up front and a very soft floor inside. This one is off on her big adventure across the pond. Her owner has big plans for her.

I just cannot imagine what it must cost to fill that beast up in the UK. A 345 Classic gets what, about 7 mpg? Gasoline over there is well over $5.00 a gallon. At least this one looks like it could actually drive. The last time I was here there was another Airstream motorhome that looked so broke down it. I bet she had to be dragged onto the boat.

Hope you enjoyed another adventure to the Port. I am not to sure you are going to be seeing too many more. I have some transport obligations I plan to follow through on, but after those I do not think I will be taking any more trailers to this destination. My business is to restore these wonderful trailers. I need to focus my energy there, not helping export American Icons. I would feel so much better putting a restored trailer on the boat, knowing someone was dedicated to the project. Unfortunately many of these classic trailers are being converted to vending vehicles. The interiors and their complete history is thrown away to make room for the fish and chips fryer. I am fully aware that someone will step right in and fill my void, but a man needs to have his beliefs and he needs to stand behind them.


  1. Frank - thanks for bringing a little vintage sunshine to my breakfast - yes, you must crank down that ISO - lovely to see all those finned beauties from the 50s and 60s. It seems a lot to ship to Sweden but I'm sure they'll be well looked after.

    I completely agree with you when it comes to converting early trailers to fish and chip vendors - what a shame ! Surely they could use later models ? Much as I love my fish and chips, I'd be just as happy to buy them from a later, more common trailer.

    On the other hand I do have to stand up for those few of us across the pond, who have been Alumanuts for years and while, yes we have imported a little of your heritage, we are really trying to restore them to their former glory, in much the same way as you are.

    And on that note, I think your talents are much better used in the workshop than in the tow truck - lets see some more Frank-stylie restorations.

    Best from Blighty


  2. Frank, I'm working on a trailer for a guy here in Canada, who has sent 15 to England through your port of Baltimore. Must be a clearing house for shipping.

  3. Chris--

    You are definitely one of the "good guys" and I love the meticulous work you're doing on your FC.

    And there are plenty of people right here in the USA who are taking the nicer, older trailers and "damaging" them (my opinion of course) beyond all hope of restoration as well, so it's certainly not that all Brits are "bad guys" while all Yanks are without blame. :)

  4. Frank, your stealthiness against the security cameras is much appreciated. Love the shot of the '58 Caddy. You know how badly I want one of those soneday!

  5. I've seen all manner of english airstream vendors, particularly down here in the SW, but i ain't seen no fish an chip vans. Maybe try wiping the apple pie from your safety goggles and looking over the channel to zee Chermans. Airstream4u seems to be the biggest silver cloud busters in europe. That said, they do make 'em well. Still don't seem to sell fish and chips though. Love the blog.