When Mid-States Corporation built the 1952 Executive Flagship dubbing it the world’s most exciting mobile home and office, boy, they were not lying!
Mid-States was the largest trailer manufacturer in the world in the early 1950s, so this one-of-a-kind mobile home was a perfect rolling advertisement for the company. Mid-States had 6 factories building 7 brands: Duo, Elcar, Star, Kozy, National, Pan-American, and the Terra Cruiser. Most were popular name brands across the country.
The 1952 Executive Flagship Had It All
The Executive Flagship was designed by the company president William B. MacDonald (top, second from left). It was a 65-foot long, self-powered articulating mobile home with 10 wheels weighing in at 18 tons.
The front motorhome unit had a 26-foot wheelbase and held the more important things like the kitchen and bathroom. The back section, the actual mobile home, was similar to an articulated 5th wheel unit and had all the fun stuff: an observation lounge, a sun deck that could withstand a helicopter landing, a portable six-foot-deep inflatable swimming pool with a diving board, an extendable sundeck, air-conditioned dining nook, and bar. It was the ultimate party (and work) mobile.
The Executive Flagship had everything!
By 1955 just about every mobile home had duo paint, which seems to have been influenced by the Executive’s color schemes.
The company would take the Executive to trailer shows and fairs to show it off. They also passed out souvenir brochures of the Executive Flagship (sorry about the watermarks they are annoying but it’s the only version I could find) like the one seen below:
- Top Right: The Executive Flagship is a double unit, articulated, self-powered mobile home-and-office, equipped with every conceivable convenience for the busy executive. It is designed for luxury living en route. It has radio-telephone, television, air conditioning, complete bath facilities, portable swimming pool, helicopter landing deck, and accommodations for sleeping seven persons, including the driver. It has an observation lounge, bar, and refrigerator, and weighs 18 tons.
- Middle Left: William B. Macdonald, President, Mid-States Corporation, builder of the Executive Flagship descends the gangway from the sundeck of his amazing creation. View of the dining room on the upper deck, amidships, with Peter Kohler, designer of the Flagship. Looking aft across the spacious sundeck, the diving board, and the pool.
- Middle Right: The magnificent lounge looking toward the stern from the bar, showing the great picture windows all around.
- Bottom Right: The portable pool makes a resort of any stopping place, where the busy executive and guests can relax in the sun.
The fifth-wheel unit was 65-feet long, weighed 18 tons, and traveled on ten-wheels. The behemoth contained all the comforts of home along with a combination rear sun deck and helicopter pad and a portable swimming pool that could be erected behind it on site.
The Executive Flagship was offered for sale for $75,000, quite a sum for in 1952. The first look at the motorhome with a helicopter pad on the back brings to mind the “Zephyr Land-Yacht” Brooks Stevens designed for William Woods Plankinton, Jr. in the mid-1930s. A second similar rig also comes to mind, the 1938 Reo Tractor that pulled the “Vagabond,” a large-sized and deluxe Curtiss Aerocar constructed by the Standard Carriage Works of Los Angeles for Dr. Hubert Eaton. The two pale in comparison to the 1952 Executive Flagship motorhome.
If you’re like us and can’t get enough of these vintage beauties, be sure to visit our entire section devoted to vintage mobile homes. You can also visit our Pinterest board to find all kinds of vintage mobile homes, remodels as well as some cool vintage ads.
We hope you enjoyed our look back at the 1952 Executive Flagship. It sure did have it all!
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