Friday, 12 August 2016

Restoration vrs. Preservation when you have a unique trailer...

I have been on an interesting journey with my Golden Falcon since I got it. I have found out that a Golden Falcon Trailer is to Canada what the Shasta is in the USA. It was an iconic, Canadian trailer.  The luxury model in the tin can ranks. Not an airstream, but not a standard camper either.  They were  proudly "made in Canada" and there are very few intact and unchanged vintage models left. In addition as I have done research on my trailer, it is looking like I may have a "prototype" or very early model. 
I have learned all of this while trying to establish what antique or art dealers call the "providence" or history of my trailer. It started out with me having a mystery refrigerator brand that none of the other Glendale owner's had in their trailer, and which no one else had seen in a travel trailer. It's called an LEC Regis Bognor. I even tried Tim Heinz and the TCT crowd to try and find someone with the same fridge. No takers. 

So, after some research, I realized why no other North American trailers had this fridge... it was from England. Then, after more research, I found out that the family who started the Glendale Trailer company were from England. And after a bit more research I realized that there were a few differences between my trailer and the Golden Falcons others were working on... 

There were no running lights on the roof (everyone seems to have them but me and one or two other very early Golden Falcon's out there), and of course as mentioned I have the weird fridge. 

My assumption is that when they started the Golden Falcon line, (in 1961) at first they ordered the refrigerators from England from a company they were familiar with, and then once they took off, within a year or so all the Golden Falcon's have Dometic refrigerators. Or perhaps it was custom ordered with this type of fridge? 
They also started without running lights of the roof and added them later. So this helps me to date my trailer to be no earlier that 1961, when Golden Falcon was launched, and before 1963 when I see running lights and dometic refrigerators show up on them.  So it appears I have a somewhat unique early model Golden Falcon.  

So all that to say that I have started to feel a bit of responsibility to make my restoration correct, and honoring to the original model and the history of the company. I feel like I am preserving a piece of Canadian history. 
How does this translate to my restoration? 
I'm not 100% sure, but it is starting to effect all the decisions I am making on the restoration, and I would like it, that when people see my finished trailer, they feel like they have a good idea of what an original Glendale Golden Falcon looked like. 

So, I am having the original decals reproduced, and trying to keep the original look of the exterior. Although on this early model, thus far the original paint job is unknown, later ones had metallic gold sections on them, so I will be have to be creative on that one. 
One unique element on the trailer is the gold drip rail and counter trim used throughout. I may have to have some gold counter trim custom made, as I am missing one section of it. 

I am unable at this point to find any brochure showing original fabrics, so I am focusing on what design element were used around 1959-1961 when the trailer was likely designed. This will include wide tufted buttons on the gaucho and booth cushions, and I am going to stick with red fabric, to reflect being "proudly Canadian."

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