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Greetings From Tucson, Arizona!

The RV Purse Museum being prepped for paint in its new home in Tucson.

It's been quite a while since we posted, but we have some great news to share, along with a story about some literal bumps in the road.

2019 was the year we decided to move from Simi Valley, California to Tucson, Arizona. These plans derailed our work on the Rolling Vintage Purse Museum. 

We sold our home in California in early 2020, and then Covid happened. We were very lucky that the sale went through, considering the circumstances.

We lived in our trailer (not the vintage Land Commander, but a modern travel trailer!) on a friend's property for just a few weeks until we found the perfect mid-century home in Tucson in April 2020.

And here we are! 

But, as we said, there were some bumps. We had a very difficult time getting a reliable transport company to move our trailer and its tow vehicle, a 1960 Chevy panel truck, from California to Arizona. In fact, the first company we hired broke the radiator drain plug trying to get the truck onto the wrong-size ramp. Through a field. In the dark. 🙄

When we finally found a company that seemed a little better, they managed to deliver the vintage truck and trailer to our new home in Tucson. Wow, were we relieved to see them show up!

Then the driver told us that somewhere between California and Arizona, the entire viewing window--which Mike painstakingly created incorporating the original Aristocrat Land Commander glass window--had flown off. The driver noticed it was missing when he pulled over to take a break from driving. Hence, the literal bump--or bumps--or something like that--in the road, shaking loose our window and flinging it into the desert somewhere.

Well, by now you know our intrepid Mike. The trailer already has a new viewing window, unfortunately without the original glass, but still there for us to remove when we have our handbag exhibits, hopefully starting some time this year.

He also put more of the rubberized coating on the top, front and back of the trailer and is getting ready to paint it. The panel truck will be painted to match. Stay tuned for more updates!


Viewing Window Update


Check out the removable viewing window! Mike incorporated the original louvered trailer window when he built this piece out of wood. It is firmly secured with interior locks, and it lifts out to make it easy for visitors to see the exhibit without having to step inside.


Nighttime view, window removed. How about those interior lights? :)

Floor is In!

Here are some pics of the floor. Great job, Mike!



And here's one of the original "confetti" Formica tables, mounted in the front inside corner of the trailer. We'll be reupholstering the original metal frame for the couch soon. Mike made the wood base for it, which is positioned next to the table.

Hello 2019!

We're still here and we're still working on our Rolling Vintage Purse Museum! Our contractor Mike had a busy 2018 with his day job, so the trailer took a bit of a backseat. (Is that a pun? We'll just say it is.)

Our tow vehicle, a 1960 Chevy panel truck, also had its share of unforeseeable issues last year--including some major engine work--but that's finally resolved (knocking wood, and various mechanical parts). All it needs now is a paint job!

Mike moved the trailer from its small storage area to a bigger workspace. Here it is, all primered and ready for more work. After he gets the flooring in, the next step is to change out the viewing window. Because its original incarnation was super heavy, it would've required special hinges to suspend it up high, which we decided wouldn't be the best design. Instead, Mike is creating a lighter-weight removable panel that still allows people to look at the handbag exhibit from outside the trailer. The configuration is kind of like what you might see in a food truck.

Don't worry--the only tasty treats we plan for our RV are for your eyes! Keep watching and we'll keep updating!

Back to work on the trailer, January 2019!

Flooring going in February 2019!

RV Purse Museum Photo Gallery

Check it out! Here are a bunch of photos showing the progress of The Rolling Vintage (RV) Purse Museum. Scroll down for an important announcement about our 1960 Chevy panel truck tow vehicle, plus the video backstory to our dream of creating a mobile vintage handbag exhibit.

Mike assessing the situation

Original (and pretty yucky) condition




Come on in! But be careful...



Cool old Formica table
Playing with fire


The floor was not in the best condition

Mike is obviously impervious to sparks

We sent the frame out to be sandblasted, then Mike refinished it


Gutted
You kind of feel sorry for it here, don't you? Like it's in traction.

Patches! We don't need no stinkin' patches! (Oh, yes we do.)


Our private donor funded the purchase of rhino-type coating to weather-proof the exterior

Amazing display case with plexiglass shelves, purchased with the help of our wonderful private donor

Extra display and storage under viewing window


Cool new retro lighting
Viewing panel opens so visitors don't have to step inside to see the exhibit


Beautiful new interior walls
Hello, tow vehicle

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hello Vintage Purse Friends!

It's been awhile, so we wanted to update you on the progress of The Rolling Vintage Purse Museum.

The 1961 Aristocrat Land Commander Trailer is about two-thirds complete in its transformation to become a mobile vintage handbag exhibit. We still need to paint the exterior and do a bit more to the interior. While it is mainly a self-funded project, we were gifted with additional monies through the generosity of a private benefactor. This allowed us to purchase the plexiglass shelving and exterior weather coating for the RV Purse Museum.

Our main issue--and problem!--was the tow vehicle, our 1960 Chevy panel truck. We purchased it knowing it would need work. But--and we're sure some of you will empathize--we didn't realize exactly how much work it would need.

One very good example of why this vehicle wasn't what we expected was the discovery that someone had used a gym weight to balance part of the engine. Yes, you read that correctly. A gym weight. This was both hilarious and horrifying.

So, we have ordered a new motor and transmission! This is fantastic, because it will be a more modern engine--one that can be checked diagnostically rather than taken to someone who might use a gym weight to fix it. (We're kidding. We hope.)

Then, after the engine work is complete, we'll get to the even more important part of The RV Purse Museum's tow vehicle. What color should we paint it? Let us know by taking the poll on the right side of this page, beneath the photo of @VintagePurseGal.

Thanks again for your support! Be sure to visit our virtual vintage handbag museum, The Vintage Purse Museum. Our photo archive (shortcut: VintagePurse.gallery) is continually being updated as we add more purses to the collection. And, because it's online-only, it's always open and always free to enter!

What color should we paint our tow vehicle? Click on the poll to the right!