In 1945, with oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, Spartan got into trailer production with the intent of delivering the most luxurious, high-quality, and instantly recognizable vacation homes.
It was mission accomplished on that end. Not even today's fanciest, most luxurious, and most expensive tiny houses could hold a candle to the kind of comfort and amenities a vintage Spartan offered or the aesthetics inspired by aircraft design. Or maybe they could, but they wouldn't have the heritage of a Spartan.
The first Spartan was introduced in 1945, with a planned 100-unit production for the following year. By 1961, the company had 19 models in its lineup, with the biggest measuring 57 feet (17.3 meters) in length and 10 feet in width – genuine home on wheels that compromised on nothing to deliver that Cadillac feeling, oftentimes selling at half the price a brick-and-mortar home could command.
Spartans were everything company bosses hoped they would be: big, luxurious, unlike any other, high-quality, with different styles, and most importantly of all, popular despite their huge price tag.
This Carousel unit, a 1960 release that's been completely rebuilt and just so happens to be for sale out of North Carolina, shows the kind of mobile living Spartan trailers offered. Forget about tiny houses or converted buses, this is nomad living with a touch of home, and plenty of style and vintage flair.
This isn't a spon-con, though you might be tempted to believe so. It's just an occasion to reminisce or revisit one of the most impressive RVs of that era: the Spartan Carousel was designed as the most lavish family mobile home, and this completely restored unit is proof of that.
These might sound like standard features in today's mobile homes, except for the circular bar, but back then, they were anything but.
Expansive glazing, including a complete wall made of glass at the front end of the trailer and skylights, helped create the feeling of a much bigger space. A Sputnik light fixture added a futuristic touch to the kitchen and is still in place in this particular unit.
In fact, according to the listing, most original fixtures have been kept, from the furniture to the cabinets. That alone is an impressive feat for a trailer this old, where maintenance or replacement becomes a chore only for the bravest of heart.
Speaking of vintage, this Carousel is just that, without falling into tacky territory. Geometric patterns on the curtains and rugs, period-correct furniture, and delicate pastels are just some of the ways in which whoever rebuilt the unit infused it with the original vibe.
If you've been looking for your next, vintage mobile home and just happen to have $210,000 for it, it's exactly what this 1960 Spartan Carousel is asking. It's ok if neither of these applies to you: for the rest of us, this rebuilt unit is like a trip down memory lane or a look into a very glamorous, super fancy past.
More than anything, this Spartan Carousel is a slice of U.S.-made RV history, and it deserves all the appreciation that goes with that.