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This 1960 Spartan Carousel Mobile Home Is a Look Into a Very Glamorous Past

Despite recent heightened awareness and fervent conversation around alternative, preferably mobile, housing solutions, tiny living and mobile houses aren't new. Of course they're not: humanity's longing for a more nomadic lifestyle has manifested many decades ago and eventually translated into iconic products like the Spartan trailers.
Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past 16 photos
Photo: SpartanTrailer.com (Composite)
Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous pastFully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past
The Airstream is another such iconic product, but the difference between the two is that only one aimed to be the "Cadillac of trailers:" the Spartan. Founded in Tulsa in 1928, Spartan's roots are in the oil trade before it went into aircraft production and eventually branched out into RVs.

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.

Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past
Photo: SpartanTrailer.com
So go fetch your nostalgia-tinted '50s glasses and have a look at this Carousel mobile home to get a better appreciation of that.

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.

Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past
Photo: SpartanTrailer.com
The Crescendo and Carousel models, the last two added to the lineup before Spartan closed shop for good, also brought a circular layout, a most unprecedented feat on that segment of the market up to that point. They weren't just massive in size but also super fancy in everything they had to offer.

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.

Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past
Photo: SpartanTrailer.com
Sitting at 11.1 feet (3.4 meters) high and weighing 12,400 lbs (5,624.5 kg), a Carousel would sell for $9,897 in the '60s, which is the equivalent of approximately $101,400 in today's money. Though it had just one bedroom, it offered plenty of living space, including a circular breakfast bar next to the more formal dining area, a spacious lounge, and a full bathroom with a soaking tub.

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.

Fully rebuilt 1960 Spartan Carousel is a gorgeous look into an equally gorgeous past
Photo: SpartanTrailer.com
What the unit brings new is new plumbing and wiring, insulation, paneling, and flooring. An on-demand water heater, two new 12,000 BTU mini-splits, and a new circuit breaker box have been added, bringing a touch of modernity to the home, but are well disguised to retain the vintage styling.

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.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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