Lutes Trailer Company
(Information and pictures collected by Brandon Morrison – owner of a 1951 Lutes Coach)
Spent the afternoon at the RV Hall Of Fame doing research, found some great stuff that still leads me to believe we have the very first Lutes ever built! 51 was first year and our model was only made that year, serial #51T1000
Found out a ton more today about the Lutes Coach! Went to the WMU archives and also the Kalamazoo Public Library and got some good stuff! Apparently the Lutes factory burned nearly to the ground in December 1951, only a little over a year after they had started production. All 41 employees made it out, there were 7 trailers under construction at the time that were lost. I don’t have any production numbers but based on our serial number I still believe ours to be the first, the Travelaire model was only made for 1 year, the first year of production. After the fire the company was sold and moved to Indiana. Clarence Lutes had been a pioneer in the trailer industry starting Kozy Coach in Kalamazoo in 1931 and becoming one of the biggest manufacturers of the time within 3 years! It’s a very interesting history and we have a whole slew of family names now so maybe we can track down some kids or grand kids of his to learn more!
A few pictures I was able to obtain courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library! Although this is not our exact model Lutes, its the 27 footer, this is one of the early trailers being pulled by Mr. Lutes and his wife with their 49 Cadillac to a big trailer show in Florida. The original factory that burned in 1951 is pictured in the background. Probably the only photos I will be able to find.
Brandon Morrison’s 1951 Lutes Coach