While exploring an area north of Lethbridge Alberta we came across the Big Pink Trailer. This beauty, known as a Country Clipper (Country Clipper 24), was made by the Clipper Coach Company of Ilderton Ontario. Quite large, the design has graceful lines and with it’s riveted aluminium construction looks almost like an aircraft fuselage. It was found in the small town of Barons Alberta.
While I was snapping away, the owner who was working on his truck nearby, came by and graciously provided some history on the unit. And he invited me inside!
Manufactured around 1960, everything inside and out is original, including that cool retro-pink paint and that amazing oak panelling. According to the builders plate, it is a 24 foot model (or just over 7 metres). At the time of it’s construction, Canada still used the old imperial system of measurement.
Bought in Calgary, it was taken up north and used as a temporary residence while the owners house was being built. After that it was apparently used very little, except being put to work as a make-shift greenhouse. That information comes from the person the current owner purchased it from.
Entering it is like stepping back in time. The furniture, the appliances, the wood, it all had this wonderful retro vibe. And it’s airy and bright inside, not claustrophobic at all like many trailers are. In spite of being neglected for some time, it did not have much of a musty smell as you’d expect.
The sellers sticker is found above the door. It was sold by the Alberta Trailer Hire company, which was the predecessor to the huge Atco company, a well known Calgary firm. That organization started out by distributing travel and utility trailers, but later moved into manufacturing them. And they still do it to this day, making industrial trailers in Calgary and supplying them to oilfield and construction industries around the world.
The address shown (Alberta Trailer Hire, 805 3rd St NE Calgary. Phone H-3937) is now part of the Calgary City Hall complex. How things have changed! Note the old style phone number used too. I think these changed to the current and familiar seven-digit form (actually ten today if you count the area code) not long after.
While the trailer looks massive and heavy its Aluminium construction means it actually quite light and only a singe set of wheels support it. The owner mentioned that it pulled well. Those wheels are hard to see but they are there – they have sunk a bit into the soft soil and so it looks like the trailer is on blocks or something. The wheels are also skirted, adding to that low-rider look.
Researching the Clipper Coach Company turns up very little. They were based out of the small town of Ilderton, which is just northwest of London Ontario. That’s all we know at this point. I have been speaking with someone from that area to see if they can provide more data but so far we’ve had no success.
The trailer is certainly rough but with some elbow grease it could be brought back to it’s former glory. Imagine towing it behind your classic car? You’d really turn heads. The unit is for sale (as of the date of this post) and you can find it by searching Kijiji.
To see another loudly painted retro home on wheels we found, follow this link…
The Big Green Motorhome.
To see another vintage motorhome, click this link…
The GMC motorhome, a cool retro camper.
If you wish more information, by all means contact us!
Date: September 2012.
Location: Barons Alberta.