1967 Field & Stream Trailer, Fuel Curve

Our Rovin’ Home – 1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration

Barbara Harris’ 1967 Field and Stream Trailer takes us back to what camping in America looked like in the good old days, long before slideout Prevost motor coaches. If what they say is true—that home is where the heart is—then we know exactly where Barbara’s heart is. It’s in her vintage Field & Stream trailer and her Ford Country Sedan. Get ready for a crossover between American Pickers and Tiny House, Big Living.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveBarbara grew up in a family that was crazy for muscle cars. Between her first car—a ’69 Firebird—her mother’s 1967 Sunbeam Tiger, her father’s many assorted vehicles, and her uncle’s 1966 Corvette and Woody, she had plenty of vintage automotive material to work with. However, that only covers the car side of things. Trailers, on the other hand, are very specific, and it takes a special kind of enthusiast to really understand the niche.

1967 Field & Stream Trailer, Fuel CurveOne night, Barbara was lying inside a tent somewhere in the outdoors. Her peaceful rest was interrupted by the surprise of a river of rain flowing through the tent’s floor. Tent camping had been a favorite pastime of hers up until then. She decided to ditch traditional tent pitching for something a little more custom. She started with a ’65 Apache Pop Up trailer and found herself obsessed. This led her down a fox hole of trailers, and she ended up on the hunt for the next project. In her comical words, she wanted to find “one of those trailers that look like a canned ham.”1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveBarbara set out with a friend and got busy looking for “the one.” They conducted the search old school style, peeking over fences and drudging into vacant fields. Naturally, this brought the two into contact with some rather interesting people. Finally, they found it. The 1967 Field and Stream they found would eventually be called Charlie.

1967 Field & Stream Trailer, Fuel Curve1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveWhen they found Charlie, she was in less than ideal shape. There had been at least one man living in the trailer in the middle of a field in Fresno. The walls inside the trailer were ruined by water damage, and the floors were rotting under what seemed to be feet of garbage and debris. There was a broken window and pieces of the trailer’s interior were missing—presumably hidden among the garbage on the floor. The odor that was present can only be speculated by third parties.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveTelling herself to “see the potential, not the mess,” Barbara made a deal with the man. For a whopping $125, she hooked Charlie up with her friend and they went straight to a tire shop to replace the existing flats. For the drive home to San Jose, they set off two bug bombs in the trailer just to be safe.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveOnce home, the dirty work began. Barbara painstakingly removed everything from the trailer, piece by piece, to ensure that nothing of value was thrown out. Sure enough, she found a nightlight cover, a couple of window cranks, and the fronts of the kitchen drawers. This set forth a year’s worth of research, restoration, and diving into the trailer rally community.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

1967 Field & Stream Trailer, Fuel CurveAs for Christine, the ’66 Ford Country Sedan, the story is just as interesting. Now that Barbara had the vintage trailer, the next logical step was to acquire a matching vintage tow rig. At first, she was dedicated to the idea of a classic Chevy truck. She found however that a truck wasn’t the most practical idea due to weather liabilities.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveWhile searching Craigslist one day, she came across a Ford Country Sedan. After going to inspect it and negotiating a deal with the original owner, she ran into some trouble. The owner bounced around for a month and seemed unsure of the deal, so Barbara made a cold call one day to get a final answer. In a change of heart, the owner said she could come pick up the wagon.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveIt had been sitting for a while, so Barbara and a couple of friends had to tinker with it in the garage to sort out some minor issues. Her father gave his hand in the process, and while he was working on a part under the garage door, he cursed the troublesome project. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the garage door came down on him. (He lived!) The next time an incident occurred, her father was on his back under the car, which was being lowered on a jack. The car slipped, fell, and crushed his shoulder. You can see why she earned the name Christine.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel CurveIt’s important to note that the feeling we get from say, classic cars, is hardly different from classic trailers. While build sheets and dyno results aren’t necessarily relevant to the world of vintage trailers, the same sense of culture and fellowship is still there.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

“Restoring this trailer kept me focused,” Barbara explained. “I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone.” Much like women in any area of the automotive world, she was questioned and heckled at times, with people reminding her that she’s one woman in a minefield of men. But oftentimes what happens in these circumstances is this: women can do it just as well as men can. Barbara has poured her heart and soul into restoring this trailer. As if it were homework in a college class, she researched and gathered the most far-reaching information on this hobby (arguably, lifestyle). “I researched so much about how to keep the trailer original, down to the type of wood that was used as well as the factory color of the shellac.”

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

Not a single piece of this Field and Stream has gone untouched. She tore it down, inside and out, installing hand painted birch sheets, replacing window framing, installing new floors, walls, bunk, and seat benches, and completely replacing the electrical system. Her mother even chipped in and sewed all of the curtains and upholstery. Think of it as a home renovation, but tiny house sized. Inside, the trailer is full of antique goodies, from coffee and tea tins to a vintage radio to JFK reading memorabilia. It’s a mini wonderland for those who enjoy aged finds.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

When it comes to the world of vintage trailers, the community is vast. Barbara has participated in events and rallies with fellow trailer enthusiasts. “It’s like an open house,” she said, regarding the shows. “You can tour inside most trailers to look at and get ideas from.” There are events planned all across the US from April through November, and the themes vary greatly. There are groups, such as Tow Girlz (and Tow Boyz), Tin Can Tourists, and many more. From beachside shows to forest campouts, the vintage trailer scene is anything but boring.

Ultimately, Barbara’s favorite part about being a vintage trailer builder is the end result. The finished product. The enjoyment that she and others get from what she’s brought back to life. Her Field & Stream was named after her grandfather, who ironically sold trailers back in the day. To some, putting so much work into a trailer may seem puzzling, but there is just as much love and dedication in this automotive sublet as any other. Barbara is a fantastic example of a builder who knows what she’s doing and loves every step of the process. She is an inspiration to everyone around her, and her strong, bubbly personality more than reflects that.

1967 Field and Stream Trailer Restoration, Fuel Curve

Thank you Barbara, for appreciating that which is old and forgotten, and for making it new again!

Courtney is a freelance automotive photojournalist + creative based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For her, cars have always been more of an art form than simply a method of transportation. Over the last several years, she’s worked to find ways to combine her love of both photography and classic cars. Now, she spends most of her time shooting and driving classics, collecting cameras, and enjoying the communities that surround both fields. Her primary affliction centers around classic Datsuns and BMWs, but she has a well-rounded appreciation for almost all aged autos.