We immediately fell in love with this 1948 old trailer across the road from our property, the second we saw it! The horse trailer was super rusty, corroded, busted up and in super rough condition. Any normal person would barely want to use this old horse trailer for dump runs.. let alone restore it, but something about it caught our eye! The front of the trailer had an old home made diamond window that opened up. Diamonds have been a big part of Tinker Tin from the beginning. The diamond shape is inside all our Tinker Tin logo letters, and our 1956 Jewel with its iconic diamond window door is our Tinker Tin trailer logo… so when we saw this old horse trailer we knew it belonged in the fleet! After a few years of harassing our neighbors.. we ended up finally rolling the trailer across the road! The trailer had some poor hodge podged repair jobs fromover the years, the interior though had really neat early salvaged wood planks for the floor and the sides .. that were scrapped from our local Templeton Feed & Grain down the road. The trailers diamond window and the salvaged wood floor from the local Feed & Grain (sidenote: the Templeton Feed & Grain was built in 1913 – the grain mill started in the 30s and is still family run and operated today! We get our horse feed there and it is the best quality around!) … to say the least this trailer checked a few boxes for us, so we knew it was a good restoration candidate!
We decided we were going to turn the Trail King into a horse trailer bar.. a long time idea of ours! First things first, we gutted the trailer and brought it down to its frame! Keeping the integrity of the horse trailer and not taking away from its original build was important to us! We called in our friend Mikey (www.behance.net/mikeygaumann) who is an incredible welder and metal fabricator, as well as wood worker.. plus he makes amazing custom furniture to! Once we tore the trailer down to its bones, we realized that it was going to be more of a project then we initially thought .. as always! The original open steel caged roof was completely rotted away. Mikey had to start from scratch and weld a whole new cage together, that way we could fit a new custom canvas top onto the roof, as well as paint the roof without rust seeping through, and hang lighting and chandeliers without the worry of the roof collapsing!
This trailer got a new custom welded roof, a whole new trailer tongue and ball hitch, reinforced steel throughout, new webbed eyes and metal grates, a new custom diamond window door that opens, a new larger side door to enter the trailer through with custom engineered door grates among other things! Mikey did such an incredible job with the build on this trailer, and being flexible and adaptable to every wrench this trailer threw into the design! We are well versed in trailers and restoration, and typically most every build takes quite a bit more than you originally anticipate… but this trailer took that theory to a whole new level! There were areas of corrosion that were almost unbearable and made us want to scrap the whole project! All for the love of a horse trailer of course haha!
After all the metal fabrication was done, Mikey sourced some gorgeous reclaimed redwood for the sides and was able able to build a gorgeous custom wrap around bar and siding! We loved the original wood planks from the Feed and Grain that were inside the trailer sides .. but most of it was at the point of no return and sadly couldn’t save it. Luckily we were able to save the plank floors on the Trail King that were also from the Templeton Feed and Grain! We were so excited that we would be able to keep them intact! This trailer has a wild history and our goal was to preserve as much of it as we possibly could.
Once the reclaimed redwood was intact, we brought the trailer back to the property and started on the finish.. fresh white paint, new bearings, tires and wheels, popping out and filling the fenders and front aluminum dents and reattaching them, building the back redwood bar shelve siding, built the new redwood wall for the tap handles, fit the coolers and kegs, hang lighting and chandeliers, fit the redwood mount and antlers, and the new custom canvas top! We then took the trailer over to our good friend and old time sign painter Dave Bond (Lucky B Design) who was able to hand letter the trailer and pin stripe the front of it!!
Our first 1948 Trail King Horse Trailer Bar debut was at the Madonna Expo Bridal Show and then of course our infamous Trailer Prom! Our friends over at Barrelhouse Brewery were able to serve their amazing craft beer our of the horse trailer for patrons all night long! It was a huge hit!
To see more pictures from this restoration check out Mikey’s website at: https://www.behance.net/gallery/28703171/Horse-Trailer-Project or its recent photo shoot published on Green Wedding Shoes: http://greenweddingshoes.com/new-years-eve-cocktail-party-inspiration-2/