Amidst the noisy hot rods and drag racers at the Douglas County Fairgrounds Speedway Saturday were two shiny, cozy vintage trailers.
A 1949 Crown trailer and a 1959 Shasta Airflyte were on display during the day’s Drag Races-N-Rat Rod Roundup. Showing them off and answering questions about the trailers were their respective owners, Lisa Mora of Sutherlin and Mary Corrington of Eugene. They were both dressed in the eras of their trailers, Mora in a bright red rose patterned dress in the Rosie the Riveter theme and Corrington in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes.
“I just love that whole era (the 1950s), I love the cars, the trailers, the music, the fashion, everything from the ’50s is so stylish,” Mora said.
Although not officially a part of the annual Graffiti Weekend, the vintage trailer display was another way to show Graffiti visitors how people traveled and camped back in the mid-1950s. Mora said Rally on the Rogue, a vintage trailer camping gathering in the Grants Pass area this same weekend, limited the number of trailers at the fairgrounds.
Mora, the publisher and editor of the bi-monthly Vintage Caravan Magazine, said vintage trailers are gaining in popularity. She recently attended a gathering in Ririe, Idaho, a suburb of Idaho Falls, that attracted 165 trailers.
Mora added that there is a women’s group, Sisters on the Fly, who frequently caravan together on trips. Most of the group’s members have vintage trailers.
Mora purchased her 1949 Crown at a swap meet five years ago at Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada.
“It was love at first sight, but it was in a bad way,” she said of the trailer. “The restoring process involved much blood, sweat, tears and money.”
She had the trailer restored with a Rosie the Riveter theme in mind. She said the rivets in the silver siding reminds her of Rosie putting rivets in airplanes back during World War II. Inside the trailer there is a Rosie the Riveter poster, the upholstery is done in blue denim to identify with Rosie’s coveralls, there is red polka dot trim to match Rosie’s bandana and the walls are yellow, the same color of the poster’s background.
Mora pulls the 12-foot-long trailer with a 1953 Hudson Hornet. She initially was looking for a 1949 vehicle to match the year of the trailer, but when she saw the Hudson, she was attracted to it. The car has a 350 Chevy engine, disc brakes on the front wheels, a new cooling system, air conditioning and a twin pipe exhaust system.
“It easily pulls the trailer,” Mora said of the car.
Corrington purchased her Shasta trailer in New Mexico. She said it was in “terrible shape.”
She and her brother, Ray Perry, of Roseburg spent 18 months doing a major restoration on the trailer.
“We restored it from the frame up,” Corrington said. “It even has a new axle.
“Ray did the heavier work and I did the detail work,” she explained, adding the restoration project was just completed in the last week. “It was poorly made, but it is very well put together now. The only things we kept original were the stove and the facing on two cabinets.”
Corrington pulls her trailer with a 1986 Chevy Caprice, a woody station wagon with a 307 engine.
Corrington, a retired registered cardiac nurse, said she plans to travel and camp with the trailer.
“I like restoring things, taking old things and making them new again,” she said.
The vintage camper trailers have gained popularity in the past decade, said Mora, because they represent a simple, more nostalgic time.