November 05, 2006

#30 - Are There "Restoration Ethics?"

For the record, the serial number for #1 is O-9003 and #2 is O-9045. I have great reverence for the history of vintage trailers. I see each of these as unique historic artifacts with stories to tell.

I'm always sad to see vintage trailers parted out. Every day in my job I talk to restorers who are looking for windows, doors, vents and other items that are simply not available anymore. As our hobby has grown, the overall value (not just $$ value) of an original exterior has gone way up. As our hobby continues to mature, the value of an original interior will become greater, too. I take all this very seriously--to the point of an ethical duty--while undertaking this restoration.

Less than 100 Caravanners were built in 1956, the first year Caravanners were made. It is somewhat wrong to reduce the surviving examples by 1. But there is so little left of my #1 that it wouldn't have been all that original when it was done, anyway. I have to think of it as saving one gorgeous example and using the spare parts to save a few an organ donor.

Once the shell swap is finished, I'll need to rename them... referring to them as #1 and #2, or by their serial numbers will be confusing. Which trailer gets which serial number? I have already registered O-9003 and it is the one listed with the WBCCI... but doesn't the serial number stay with the shell?