Elaine Vermeersch, left, and Victoria Mobley stand outside the “Lucy Trailer” in their  “I Love Lucy” get-ups. Vermeersch has decorated the vintage Scotty trailer to pay tribute to the 1950s television sitcom.

Elaine Vermeersch, left, and Victoria Mobley stand outside the “Lucy Trailer” in their “I Love Lucy” get-ups. Vermeersch has decorated the vintage Scotty trailer to pay tribute to the 1950s television sitcom.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Behind the Wheel: ‘Lucy Trailer’ is a trip down memory lane

By: Maria Allard | Metro | Published September 22, 2022


METRO DETROIT — Talk about a classic.

Fifteen years ago, Elaine Vermeersch and her husband, John, purchased a Scotty trailer that came with a lot of heart.

The previous owner had begun decorating the 13-foot vintage trailer with an “I Love Lucy” theme based on the 1950s television sitcom. Vermeersch fell in love with the camper, and she continued adding more “I Love Lucy” memorabilia to complete the look.

“I have always liked Lucy,” the Chesterfield Township resident said. “I think she was the greatest comedian ever.”

“I Love Lucy” starred Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, who became involved in plenty of shenanigans with their best friends, Ethel and Fred Mertz, played by Vivian Vance and William Frawley.

Gazing at the “Lucy Trailer” brings back good memories of the foursome. While the exact year of the classic camper is a bit of a mystery, it’s likely a model from the late 1960s or early 1970s, according to Vermeersch.

“You know that it’s vintage when you walk in,” said Vermeersch, who grew up in East Detroit, now Eastpointe. “My grandkids love it. They think it’s a little house.”

The trailer certainly feels like home. Inside, there’s a tiny dining table with two seats in an alcove setting. The trailer also has a bed, covered by a fashionable “I Love Lucy” blanket, that can snuggly fit two. The table can become a bed, so family and friends can stay the night.

A stove that’s mostly just for show and an old-fashioned ice box give the Scotty model a nostalgic feel. The interior is painted turquoise and pink, offset by Lucy knickknacks on display. One of the few more modern pieces is the DVD player, where guests can settle in to watch “I Love Lucy.”

The outside is adorned with black-and-white photos of the sitcom. Onlookers can check out some of the series’ most iconic lines posted on the exterior. Paying tribute to the 1954 film “The Long, Long Trailer,” starring Ball and Arnaz, Vermeersch posted the phrase “The Short, Short Trailer” on the back of the camper. Vermeersch said she and John camp quite a bit with the Lucy Trailer, pulled by a 1961 Ford Country Squire station wagon or a 1957 Ford Del Rio wagon.

“It just goes down the road,” Vermeersch said. “We get a lot of waves and a lot of horns beeping.”

It’s been to Algonac State Park, Traverse City and St. Ignace. When they set up camp, the Vermeersches put up a white picket fence and two “I Love Lucy” chairs featuring images of the famous “Job Switching” episode where Lucy and Ethel got jobs working in a chocolate factory.

The Lucy Trailer also is a fixture at local car events, including the Woodward Dream Cruise, Autorama in Detroit, the Shorewood Kiwanis Club of St. Clair Shores Harper Charity Cruise and Cruisin’ Hines in Wayne County.

“It’s the center of attention,” said Vermeersch’s friend, Victoria Mobley, of Harrison Township. “Isn’t it cozy? It’s a different experience when you walk in.”

It was Mobley, married to automotive historian Top Hat John, who made two pink uniforms to resemble the ones that Lucy and Ethel wore in “Job Switching.” Visitors can don the robes and hats to take photos of themselves standing by the trailer, looking just like Lucy and Ethel.

One of the best times Vermeersch and Mobley had was at a car show in Marshall, Michigan. The pair slept inside the trailer overnight. Up bright and early the next morning, they put on the pink robes and greeted everyone coming into the show.

Spectators are always welcome to step inside the trailer to get the full experience.

“I let people come in,” Vermeersch said. “That’s what it’s for. That’s the fun part — meeting people.”

Do you own a vehicle with an interesting story? Email Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com for a chance to be in a future edition of Behind the Wheel.