There have been no records found to indicate how many trailers, if any, he built and sold.
Sometime around late 1945 for reasons unknown, his company was acquired by Fleet Aircraft of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.
Fleet took this fantastic design and used their wartime production experience to set up a Cabin Car assembly line with Mr. Holte being place in charge of production.
The initial goal was to produce 10,000 trailers
within the first year (1947) and 20,000 per year thereafter!
The company noted that in order to meet this goal, 10 completed trailers would have to be produced each hour!
The first mass produced units came off the end of the line in the last week of November 1946 marking
the beginning of production.
As a side note, Harry Herbert, a former factory assembly line worker, remembers all the window cutouts from the trailers.
Each trailer had 4 windows...
The factory allowed Mr. Herbert and other workers to take these "cutouts" home.
Mr. Herbert made tables, and other projects from the scraps.
I'm also told that there were several business signs in the area that bore the shape of the Cabin car window... :)
Here are a couple pictures that show one of the projects; a key box, that Mr. Herbert made with the scraps.
The point behind including the window cutout note, is to illuminate the vast numbers the company was
From the 1500 trailers they produced, six thousand window cutouts had to be disposed of.
To imagine what sort of "scraps" the company would have had if they had met the initial goal of ten thousand trailers per year times 4 window cutouts per trailer... no small thinking going on at Fleet!
The company began/undertook the production of Cabin Car trailers to fill a large order (in the thousands) from R.S. Evans, the world's largest dealer for the American market (as quoted from a company release).
Fleet also had great interest in expanding their potential market, and so worked at developing sales markets in Canada and South Africa.
Several of the known survivors are located in Canada, but it is unknown if any units were exported to South Africa.
Fleet fully intended to be the largest mass producer of travel trailers in the world!
There has been a persistant rumor that the duty structure for imported trailers into the US caused
the Cabin cars demise, though company reports indicate that, in short, because of poor planning, they produced more trailers than they could sell, leaving them
with a large parking problem...and not enough buyers to pay the bills...
For whatever reason, Cabin car production was halted, and the program scrapped in July of 1947. (The date of when the last trailer was produced is unknown).
The factory was left with a large stock of plywood, which it offered at a deep discount to the employees.
Mr. Herbert remembers purchasing a lot of plywood for personal projects, as did many of the other workers.
There are, depending on the source, between 6 and 9 of the trailers known to exist.
Most are not in good condition...
Do YOU know of a Cabin Car hidden away somewhere we can add to the list of "survivors?Click here to send me an email