Meet Paul and Tracy Bridges – TCT Member Profile

Paul and Tracy Bridges, Fort Smith, Arkansas

We are new to Tin Can Tourists but I’ve been involved in trailering most of my pre-married life.  Tracy and I were married in 1981 and moved from California to Arkansas with my job.  When President Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers, I decided to apply and they sent us to Fort Smith where we’ve been ever since.  Since leaving the FAA I’ve been a Christian School administrator and a Pastor, and I am currently the Superintendent of Union Christian Academy in Fort Smith.  Tracy is a Certified Financial Planner.

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We have a 1958 Rainbow that my grandfather purchased new.  I’ve chronicled the whole story on a blog, www.1958rainbow.blogspot.com.  My dad bought it from him in 1962 and I inherited the trailer from him, so in its lifetime the Rainbow has been towed with:

1958 Ford Custom 300 4-door

1959 Ford Country Sedan

1964 Ford Country Sedan

1971 Ford Country Sedan

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…And we tow it with my 1996 Ford F-250.  Sorry I broke the run of Country Sedan’s.  (By the way – you know the script – my grandfather and my dad always bought for utility, never for luxury. So the Country Sedan’s did just fine and there was no need for a ‘Country Squire’).

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The trailer is all original and has not been restored.  Dad parked it on our property in southwest Utah in about 1977 under a covered roof, and that kept the trailer preserved in remarkable condition. I still haven’t been able to get the refrigerator working, but the heater, stove, and plumbing is all in great shape.

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The interesting thing about this trailer, I think, is its history.  I’ve just not found a lot of enthusiasts that have been able to find and/or restore an antique or vintage classic that is the original family-owned relic.  And every once in awhile I will get a brief smell of “Utah” or “the trailer” that floods my mind with memories.

We’ve enjoyed the looks, the thumbs-up, the pictures that people take and the talks at gas stations that occasionally happen with towing a vintage trailer.  On the way home from Utah this summer at a gas stop – now remember, this trailer had not rolled in 35 years – a gentleman asked if he could look inside as he wanted to know who did the restoration work.  He couldn’t believe it when I said it was all original and had not been restored.  I could tell in his reminiscing that it brought back a lot of great memories for him. That’s what I enjoy about vintage trailers!

We have not attended any rallies with the trailer yet, as we are just getting it back on the road, and our membership is with Tin Can Tourists.  We are also members of the Fort Smith Antique Auto Club and I’ll be joining the Model T Ford Club of America soon as we also have a 1924 Model T.

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In closing, we are excited about our new venture with a vintage trailer.  As we are approaching retirement, we’re beginning to plan some travels we want to make. We’ll be taking the Rainbow to Yellowstone in June and we’re beginning to plan a 48-state voyage in the new “tin can”.  Thanks for being so welcoming to TCT!

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