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Monday, September 29, 2014

Decide to Buy

After looking at these two dilapidated old trailers I had to decide what to do. I had enough money saved up to buy them. I had a place to put them. But I knew it would be a hell of a lot of work to fix them. It was just so compelling that there were TWO of them. My research showed that there is a market for these things fixed up just like when they were new, same as cars. This doesn't actually appeal to me at all. I like things customized to how I want to use them. I am not the target customer of a young family starting out after a World War.

But because there are two I can combine the original parts from both of them to get one that has all the trappings of the original Spartan. And the other one I can modify however I want to. Somehow preserving all the parts to be used on the other one made me feel ok about trashing the other one.

I emailed both the sellers and said I'd take the Spartans. I mailed the man in Blountstown a check for $500 as a downpayment and to cover delivery.

Then I had to clean up my shed. Here's where I wanted to put the Spartan.
Before. That stack of 1x6 T&G pine is bigger than it looks.
I will use all of it up in the Spartan project.
Where the stuff went when I moved it.
This used sheet metal I was saving got put out in the woods.
I need to just take it to the recyclers.
Clean empty half a shed. Ready for a Spartan!

While I'd been out of town in Austin for a year and a half
my skylight in the shed started leaking.
So I replaced it. (Paint cans for weight while silicone cures)
The 1949 Spartan, the one in better shape, came from 70 miles away on January 22.

I won't see this side again for a while.
My shed is obviously bigger than my house too but
that never seems to bother me. The way things are.
This Spartan is still exactly where they parked it. The men that brought it helped me jack it up with a floor jack and put concrete blocks and chunks of wood under it, just stuff I had around. They took away one wheel they'd put on it temporarily for the trip. I paid them the rest of their money in cash on delivery. I think it was probably $1900 total for the Shed Spartan.

It is sort of a problem that it's only got three wheels. My mechanic in Tallahassee is on a mission to find me a fourth one that will fit. The Shed Spartan has the same hub as an old Ford. It takes a wheel with 5 x 5" spacing with a 4" center hole and 4 windows. It takes bolts instead of having threaded studs sticking out. The other Spartan was like a Chevrolet or Toyota, 6 x 5 1/2". I don't know why Spartan changed the hubs and wheels between '49 and '51.

For the other one I drove to Havana to take a check in person. I gave her $1040 to cover having somebody tow it to my house. It only had to go 20 miles on two lane backroads through rural Florida and Georgia. When I went to pay for the Spartan I got a better look at some of the things I was confused about from my subsequent research. Like, why did it only have two wheels with the other Royal Mansion had 4?
This explains it. The second axle was there and is just... not anymore. The Seller swore she could tow it like that.
Here's the one remaining axle 
I also managed to snatch the front door open to look at the
serial number of this one.
Can you believe I went ahead and wrote a check for this? Admittedly I was pretty anxious about it from January 14th to January 25th when it was delivered.

More in the next post about how I got ready for the delivery of the 1951 Spartan.

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