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Rolls Royce Of Pre-War Trailers! 1937 Pierce Arrow Travelodge

Back in the thirties, if you owned a trailer of any sort it was seen as a pretty high-on-the-hog type of living, as it just wasn’t as common back then to see one of these things being pulled behind a car as it is nowadays.  But if that camper was of the Pierce Arrow variety, it was looked upon as caravan royalty, and the seller of this 1937 Pierce Arrow Travelodge Model A even compares it to a Rolls Royce trailer equivalent of its time period.  If this sounds intriguing and you’re looking for an unusual winter project, this rare portable mini home may be worth checking out.  It’s located in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, and can be spotted here on eBay, where so far only one lone bid of $1,995 has been placed.

Pierce-Arrow began manufacturing high-end luxury automobiles in the U.S. back around the turn of the twentieth century, beginning in 1901.  They also produced some commercial trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles, but by the 1930s the company was in financial trouble and decided to begin manufacturing trailers in an attempt to save the business.  Three designs were available, designated as 1937 models, including the shorter Model C at around 13 feet long.  This was followed by the Model B at 16 and a half feet, then the big boy, a nineteen-footer known as Model A.  Sadly, it all proved to be a rather short endeavor and only lasted about a year, followed by Pierce-Arrow closing its doors for the final time in 1938.

The seller’s Travelodge is quite a rarity, as apparently only 16 Model A examples are still known to exist, and he also includes a nearly 20-minute informative video that gives a really good insight as to what you’re getting here and its condition.  While the coach is in need of a full restoration, the good news is it’s been stored inside a building for a lot of its lifetime, and it still retains many of the original features and hardware.  The body needs a thorough going-over all the way around, but with some time and TLC, I’m envisioning a really nice result once that’s completed and it receives a new coat of paint.

According to the owner, most of the Travelodge trailers that have been on the market over the last few years have been completely gutted, and although it needs some attention, a lot of the interior is still intact on this one.  Things inside really don’t look all that bad to be 85 years old, and the seller thinks a lot of the wood will be reusable, which seems like a fair assessment.  It’s not going to happen overnight, but this strikes me like a reasonable project to take on if you’ve got the patience and skills, and one that could produce some serious bragging rights down the road whether you’re towing it or showing it.  What are your thoughts on this 1937 Pierce Arrow Travelodge Model A?


  1. Avatar photo colleen egan

    Wow what a cool project. That’s gonna take some serious commitment but if you are the biggest Pierce Arrow addict in the country, this is gonna look great behind your Model 1703. So worth saving. A true piece of Americana. Belongs in a museum. Bravo.

    Like 12
  2. Avatar photo Frank Sumatra

    I have always wondered if every nook and cranny of the Pierce-Arrow factory in Buffalo has been searched for any hidden gems. The building is huge and has multiple floors and I assume sub-basements.

    Like 10
  3. Avatar photo Milt

    You may be getting a visit from the Rolls Royce attorneys for illegal use of the Rolls Royce trade name.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Ike Onick

      Thanks for the warning. I’m sure it will be at the top of the “To-Do” list at Rolls-Royce Legal on Monday morning.

      Like 14
    • Avatar photo Will Fox

      Paraphrasing is not ‘illegal use’ of a name. No different than saying this trailer is the “Cadillac” of trailers. No legal grounds whatsoever. Sorry.

      Like 8
      • Avatar photo Ike Onick

        So you’re saying it’s OK if I “Xerox” your comment?

        Like 9
      • Avatar photo Robert Pittman

        Brand names that have fallen victim to generalization include Google, Taser, and Xerox. Even common words like kerosene and escalator were once trademarked.

        Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Tony

    That would be a nice thing for my 1966 Lincoln to pull…after its critical running components have been gone over (the trailer, that is, not the car). If I had $2g’s to spare to compete for it, I probably would, just to brag about having a Lincoln and a Pierce-Arrow.

    I mean, I do have $2g’s right now, but not to spare; it’s critical living cash.

    Like 3
  5. Avatar photo luke arnott

    Brough Superior described themselves as the Rolls Royce of Motorcycles in the 30’s.Rolls paid the factory in Nottingham a visit and were so impressed they agreed!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Lance

      Might add that Brough Superior used Hudson engines in their cars.

      Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Lance

    Actually, the Pierce Arrow didn’t dissapear completely after 1938. Part of it lived on. The 12 cylinder Pierce engine tooling was subsequently bought out by Seagaves fire equipment and lived on until 1970.

    Like 6
  7. Avatar photo angliagt Member

    Pierce still makes fire engines/trucks.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo George Birth

    Well at least it’s repairable.

    Like 1

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