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January 13, 2020

Ritchie Bros. subsidiary to auction extremely rare trailer on Saturday

  • The restored 1950 Westcraft Capistrano Calypso trailer has been outfitted with modern AV features hidden in cabinets and behind period switch plates.
  • Photos from Leake Auctions [enlarge]
    The Capistrano Calypso has a Pullman roof outfitted with seven small windows on each side.

    The interior was refinished with art deco elements.

    Looking for something a little different to haul behind you on your next vacation? How about a 1950 Westcraft Capistrano Calypso trailer?

    Ritchie Bros., through its Leake Auctions arm, on Saturday will sell this extremely rare vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    How rare, you ask? It may be unique.

    “There is only one other Capistrano in existence that we know of and it's completely dilapidated, so don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of transportation history,” said owner Lucas Lackner in a news release.

    Lackner, industry expert Steven Butcher and a team of craftspeople in California resto-modded the 33-foot-long trailer in an art deco style. It has a Pullman roof with seven windows on each side, allowing for 6 feet, 4 inches of head room. The remodel included modern features (video and audio systems) hidden within cabinets and behind period switch plates. Custom-made curtains add to the classic look. Crews also added new hearing and air-conditioning systems.

    “This is the largest and rarest Westcraft trailer in existence,” Lackner said. “The people who originally labored to design and fabricate these trailers were masters at their craft. My team and I have worked tirelessly to bring it back to life. This luxury trailer is now in better-than-new condition, with numerous features that didn't exist when it first rolled off the production line 69 years ago.”

    An article in Trailer Life magazine said California-based Westcraft used aircraft construction methods, with aluminum frame ribs and heavier-gauge aluminum skin panels than those of competing brands. It said the trailers seldom leaked due their high level of construction.

    Westcraft made trailers between the mid-1940s and mid-1950s.

    Ritchie Bros., based in Vancouver, B.C., is a large reseller of construction equipment. Leake specializes in collector car auctions and was acquired two years ago by Ritchie.

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