Vintage Wheel Estate
|"I can tell all of you we are really excited by this, and we'll all have to take our turn with this amazing item."|
Bucky Kibble III, Llano CA
The EKF is an honored name in luxury recreational vehicles. Originally designed in 1921 and built in Austria, the original EKF Model I was a 4-meter, 2-wheel-duraluminum trailer towed behind a 3-cylinder Opel Kadett. When the trailer was set up, it deployed oleo-strutted shock absorbers, which earned the undying affections of the thousands of honeymooning couples that took to the autobahn. The initials EKF quickly became known as "Eine Kleinischen Fuckshäcke", a moniker the company never fully disowned nor discouraged.
The Famed Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer
The Depression put a major crimp in sales, and the growing war-footing of the Nazi economy siphoned off all production to the recreational arm of the Wehrmacht. By 1944 Allied bombing nearly finished off the company. Immediately after war's end in 1945 saw a heroic relocation of the factory out of the Soviet Zone was finished by February 1946. Models built under British military supervision showed a noticable lack to finish detail, and leaked.
Due to poor quality control, lackluster advertising, and poor marketing, the EKF company went into receivership in late 1953. The EKF marque was bought out in 1954 by a Swiss consortium who sensed a pent-up longing for affordable creature comforts in the postwar recovery. A series of clever ad campaigns using Grundig radios as a marketing tie-in took the EKF company towards new heights. However, this was nothing compared to what was to come.
The picaresque 1958 road movie, Caliente Sur la Planche set in Franco's Costa del Sol, Spain provided the stratospheric marketing boost. "Caliente Sur la Planche" featured matinee-idols Reginald Debacle and Mimi Farrago as a star-crossed couple making their way down the sun-splashed Ibiza coast. But it was their EKF Model 8.5 that stole the show, with the whimsical deployment of the hydraulic struts that audiences knew as mere prelude to romance, romance, and more dance numbers. All that and the antics of Pepe, the Dancing Bichon Frise, packed movie houses across Europe for the better part of 1959.
In its day, various models of the EKF have been owned by Farouk of Egypt, the Shah of Iran, various Borneo potentates, Iranian mullahs and several by Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev's "Das Kapital" EKF was carefully modified to be towed behind a T-54 tank, had communications plug-ins and was nuclear-hardened.
Vintage EKFs now command top dollar at auctions, and are always in demand at concours d'elegance the world over. They have come back into favor with the high-flying members of the international glitterati, in addition to the "ziteratti" as typified by O-Town, A*Teens, Britney and so forth.
Today's EKF is a far cry from the its humble origins. Some models stretch over 30 meters from stem to stern, and come with an observation deck. The more lavish have skeet traps and driving ranges set on gimbals. Check local ordinances prior to use. With proper care and maintainence, your EKF will give you pleasure for years to come.
Eberhardt-Kranken Fabrikant Travel Trailer: 1979 EKF Model XXVII
- Dual Axle 10-wheeler
- Powered by twin Wright Patterson Anderson/Lee Radial engines
- Gold shag carpet thru-out
- Avocado appliances
- 8-track stereo
- rotary-dial intercom
- Multiple doors and windows
- Mansard roof with squirrel-proof drainspouts
- Top speed 80 knots
- Range: 350 miles
- Pressurized to 1.1 atmospheres
- LORAN enabled
***And much, much more
This article recently appeared in the "Vintage Travel-Trailer News" out of Sarasota, Florida.
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