Seller’s representation of historic M-System trailer inaccurate

Published 11:59 pm Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ms. Hitchins’ article about the M-System trailer provided interesting history about this company that operated in Vicksburg. M-System is a rare and desirable trailer brand; the people of Vicksburg can be proud of that fact.

This letter is not an attempt to disparage the history of M-System or its trailers, but instead to bring attention to inaccuracies in the representation of the featured trailer by its seller.

When vintage trailer historians and researchers seek to identify the age of a specific trailer, they rely on objective data, such as documentation from the manufacturer, their knowledge of trailer history, and an evaluation of the attributes of the trailer. The trailer featured in Ms. Hitchins’ article is described as a pre-war, pre-Airstream, 1938 model. These statements are inaccurate. These inaccuracies are significant because they greatly impact the value and importance of the trailer, but also because they contribute to the body of misinformation about vintage trailers.

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The trailer has “Hollywood windows,” which were first introduced by the Universal Trailer Corporation in 1948. Hollywood windows are the curved glass windows in the front corners of the trailer’s body.

Advertising literature for the M-System brand for the 1947, 1948, and early 1949 model years shows that M-System did not offer Hollywood windows until March of 1949. M-System advertisements in 1949 depict a new feature: “full height stoopless door.” The trailer door extends above the drip rail into the roof area. The trailer in the article has both of these features, which were first introduced in 1949.

Many other discrepancies, including the floor plan, which date the trailer much later than 1938, and inaccuracies in the “museum quality restoration,” such as the use of incorrect materials, methods, and furnishings, have been communicated to the seller by numerous collectors. The seller apparently refuses to correct his sale listing. Vicksburg residents should be proud of M-System, but let the buyer beware!

Kevin Reabe

Bloomington, Ill.