I am a newbie on the forum. I have been looking for my first vintage trailer renovation project, and this past weekend came across a 1947 Masterbilt trailer. It was not for sale, but was sitting on a business owner's property. I contacted the owner, who has the pink slip and has agreed to sell it to me ($500 and he is putting on new trailer tires and packing ball bearings). It is not a travel trailer, but is a "surveyor's trailer" and it has the original desk (good condition). It also has the Masterbilt Coach Trailer plate with the serial number. It has been sitting for 16+ years deteriorating, and though the wood ceiling and other wood pieces will need to replaced, it is just too cool to see sitting there, rotting away. This particular model has door on each side and is approximately 20ft long. I have looked on the Internet for information about Masterbilt (this is the correct spelling), but I am not finding much with the exception of a rare 1936 trailer. And a 48 (?) renovation. Anyone have any information regarding Masterbilt resources for photos, renovations, etc?
Post by vintagebruce on May 5, 2015 4:07:01 GMT -8
to VTT. I will do a bit of searching. Do not have anything I can just call up. If I am correct in dragging stuff up from memory, the Masterbilts were Masonite sided and had almost futuristic (for the times) styling...sleek and very swept back and maybe even had wheel well skirts on some models.. I think some of them had sliding (horizontal) windows. Finally if I remember correctly one Masterbilt model had a bathtub under the rear gaucho couch/bed. VEEERY COOL trailers with designs way ahead of the times. If you can score one, even if it is a contractor's trailer Good on You Mate!!!
Update: For those who do not remember what a Masterbilt looked like or those who have never seen one...here is a "Teaser" thread. WOO HOO, I remembered a lot of the coolest stuff about them.
Post by vintagebruce on May 5, 2015 5:33:19 GMT -8
If the info in that article is correct, they were built only from 1934 to 1937 and some models had as few as 5 built in a single year period. I'd suggest this is a GREAT find! I too am anxious to see the pics "as found"...inside and outside from all four sides PLEASE!
Thanks all! I found the same info regarding the Masterbilts, masonite, cool windows, built in late 30's. However, this one has the trailer plate with the vin number, is registered as a 1947, and has aluminum sides, windows typical of similar 40's models. So, probably not as great of a find as a 30's masonite. That's the mystery, if they stopped making them in the late 30's, where did this one come from? Perhaps they added the aluminum to the sides, and I will find masonite underneath???
Unfortunately, I didn't take very many photos. Too excited about my find, I guess. The location of the triler is 300 miles from my house, and I won't be picking it up until the first week in June. I am gonna ask the seller to take and send me more photos. In the meantime, here is what I have...
Hope I am doing this correctly, to post pictures...
Post by vintagebruce on May 5, 2015 17:36:22 GMT -8
Just ran across this thread to a pdf on TCT from Branham that gives weights and sizes of trailers in 1939-1940. It is fun to scroll through in alphabetical order. A 1940 Masterbilt is referenced so that shoots the theory they went out of business in 1937. Apparently they must have stopped production during WWII and then I'll bet they resumed for a brief period after the War and just didn't make it. I think I read there were over 2,000 companies manufacturing campers soon after the War ended. If you scroll through stop at LINN campers, the one pictured is mounted on 1 wheel, very short and has a bit of the Masterbilt design to it.
Thanks, vintagebruce! Good to know! I spoke to the owner of the 1948 that I referenced and provided a link for above. He has seen one other in Bakersfield, CA. I think he said a 1948 or 1950. By the way, the 1935 rare Masterbilt trailer plate says Los Angeles, CA. Mine and the 1948 have Glendale, CA. So, I think you are correct. Production halted in late 30's and re-instated in 40's. Anyway, I am excited to get this one properly restored. I'll update with additional photos when available.
Post by vintagebruce on May 7, 2015 5:29:49 GMT -8
I think it is cool that as you said, it appears to be a Contractor's trailer, including the "office desk", and the office desk has an aluminum rub strip along the front just like you would expect along a vintage camper kitchenette counter. I am sorry that the one door has suffered what so many of the neglected vintage campers suffer...some idiot deciding s/he has to see what is inside the camper (possibly to grab anything pawn-able), so they try to "peel" the door open. Most of the time s/he could give the door handle a swift knock with a hammer, (if it is not a flush mount Bargman type) and it will pop off, and do so much less damage. Of course vandals are not trying to leave a damage-free footprint are they?