This is downright refreshing, to see a travel trailer that’s not from one of the all-too common cookie molds. Not surprisingly, this was an expensive and exclusive trailer, selling for $8,500 ($75k adjusted) in its time. It was designed by world-renowned industrial engineer Chuck Pelly, designer of the Scarab race car and founder of Designworks USA, which is BMW’s California Studio. This example is one of only two currently known to be in existence, and has been completely redone and updated.
From the ad: “David Holmes, President of “Harry & David” fruit company, began producing the Holiday House travel trailers in November of 1959, in Medford, Oregon. These were aluminum and wood constructed trailers as many of their counterparts of this era, however, the Holiday House trailers stood out as distinctive due to their highly progressive and futuristic design.”
How it looked when it was found in Utah in 2019.
“In 1958 David Holmes enlisted Chuck Pelly to design the Geographic model, also known as Model X, as a super limited production model, which he dubbed the “Trailer For The Rich”. The styling was unlike any trailer of its time. There are thought to have only been parts of 7 of these strikingly futuristic fiberglass trailers ever made with a price tag of almost $8,500. The Holiday House factory burned down in 1962, and the molds that survived were discarded years later.”
“This 1961 Holiday House Geographic has been completely restored from the frame up with no expense spared, by Flyte Camp, in Bend, OR. The exterior was tastefully re-finished with Axalta finishing systems and coatings, in a two-toned champagne and moss green with bronze colored pin-stripping. The entire running system was upgraded with new axels, brakes, wheels, and 10-ply Diamond Back white wall trailer tires. The exterior is completed with a vintage style fabric awning.”
“The interior features Black Walnut wall skin, cabinetry and black walnut hard wood flooring with custom aluminum detailing. The bathroom/dressing room features Marmoleum flooring, Walnut & Marmoleum countertops and a Stainless Steel shower with a Teak hardwood shower floor insert. Through out the coach original vintage light sconces are combined with LED lighting. Warm LED strip lighting accents the cabinetry, with lighting in cabinet, under cabinet and along the floor in the living area. The kitchen is outfitted with a stainless two burner cook top, a two drawer stainless 3-way fridge, and a stainless sink with a built-in drain board. Stainless kitchen countertops, and luxury upholstery fabric, in moss, accented with high end custom pleated and lined drapery complete the interior finishes.”
The choice of tow car (not included) is a bit off. There needs to be a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville convertible or such.
I’m impressed! A little beyond my budget for a weekend getaway.
Wow! Completely agree with your tow car comments. I was thinking a 1959 Buick Invicta 4 door hardtop, but a Bonneville would be appropriate as well. The only truck that would work would be a 1960 Chevy Fleetside, but it would have to be a loaded Custom model with two-tone paint and all the chrome.
Not much in the period newspapers: being shown in Centralia, 1961; Holiday House getting out of the bread-and-butter trailer business, 1962; fire, 1962.
BTW, Paul, your comment about an appropriate tow car is **exactly** right!
1955 Chevy with amber turn signal lenses. Why? Amber bulbs do the trick. And nonstandard paint. I don’t want to see what happened to the interior.
How to ruin a classic and maybe reduce its value at the same time.
(modern engine, transmission, brakes etc. may be approved)
The trailer is pretty awesome though.
Flyte Camp had a show for awhile called Flippin’ RVs, and it became a favorite in our house – and we are not even campers. These guys appear to be the place to go for the coolest old camping trailers.
As for the car, I would put a 61 Imperial in front of it, or maybe a New Yorker 4 door hardtop wagon.
I think the New Yorker hardtop wagon seems more appropriate as it can haul more. A 1960 or earlier Lincoln wold look OK too.
J P, I’m with you, Flippin’ RVs is one of the few TV shows I ever watch and really enjoy. It is fascinating to see how they were made in the first place and they do a great job bringing them back to their former glory while making them more usable. If I’m ever in Bend Flyte Camp is one place I have to be sure to visit.
We also were fans of “Flippin’ RVS”. From what I remember, if Flyte Camp did the restoration ,it was likely $60K +. I was usually shocked when I heard their price. Top quality work comes at a price.
The best tow car would be an Imperial, any Imperial.
That’s a beautiful RV, amazing workmanship, and the styling is just right.
I agree on the tow car. Harley Earl’s bulbous designs don’t complement the sleek retro Modern look. I think a silver 1959 Lincoln would work better.
The average house in 1950 was $7500. $8500 was. . . Well, pretty close to what it went for in purchasing power terms, depending on what you were purchasing. I think the first chain motels were coming along around this time so this was a more appealing alternative then to travel than it might be now. It’s beautiful and I’m happy it was saved and restored
At last, a caravan I could go for.
For the price of a credible holiday home (which you could let as well….)
This is one heck of a trailer and I appreciate the period style interior, it would be all too easy to redo it in HGTV bland.
As a minority vote I think a Travelette would be a good tow vehicle since they were popular with Airstream owners, or a mid 60s Pontiac wagon with 8 bolt drum brakes.
“Jetson” styling at it’s best! Astro (the dog) would have to be left at the kennel, unfortunately. Couldn’t risk him damaging the interior.
My ’62 Falcon wouldn’t be up to the towing tasks, I’m afraid.
A big GM wagon would do nicely, though!
Growing up, our ’63 Falcon did a lot of trailer towing. Then again, it was a folding tent trailer.
I wouldn’t want that sharp corner behind my behind in the shower. Or in front of my front.
Oh my gawd. Sex on wheels!
Magnificent. If I had that kind of money hanging around, this is exactly what I’d spend it on!
Move over George Jetson!! A example of Pelly’s early work I hadn’t seen……quite striking given the state of U.S. RVs in 1961.
Another “STAR” from good ol ACCD. Really NICE exterior design. One nit: that much weight on a single axle with the bias ply tires of early 60s; one might wonder how well it tracked??? RVs aren’t the leader in cutting edge ENGINEARING, especially back then…….DFO
A marvellous 21st century version of the Pullman Car.
I would lean towards 1959 Chevrolet Wagon for a tow vehicle
Just lovely .
I’d like to have seen the original interior though, this one looks very modern .
You could be right, but I will say from watching their show (that seems to have gone away after a couple of seasons) that they try very hard for authenticity in trailer restorations. The problem is that the genuine fabrics and materials from old trailers are impossible to find, so they have to find modern substitutes. In most cases they look for colors and finishes that are as close to the era as they can find.
They are not of the restomod/HGTV mold where everything is re-done in the same modern aesthetic. That said, there were some examples where customers wanted what they wanted, and maybe this could be one of those.
It’s just so cool. I’d be just as interested to know its timeline from new to when it was found in Utah in 2019.
The one pictured as “as found” in Utah in 2019 is not the same trailer as Flyte Camp restored. The one found in Utah is currently being restored by Silver Lady Restorations for The Gulley Museum Collection ( who now owns this one that Flyte Camp restored and one other. )
Since I’m not much of a GM guy, how about a ’59 or ’60 Mercury wagon? They have unusual styling. Or even better, one of my personal favorites, a ’60 Edsel Villager wagon.