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Trailer Tribe - Funky Junk Farms

Phil Noyes
Apr 1, 2012
Photographers: Phil Noyes
There are collectors, aficionados, experts, and enthusiasts who inhabit the world of vintage trailers, and then there is John Agnew. To say he stands alone is an understatement.

John grew up in California in a home he describes as “something out of a black Norman Rockwell painting.” His grandparents had a 1958 Ford pickup with a camper on the back, which John attributes to his love of all things vintage. His grandmother would load up the kids in the camper and take them “junking” — and John hasn’t stopped since.
Photo 2/9   |   trailer Tribe Funky Junk Farms funky Junk Farms Logo
John’s first car was a 1956 Chevy 150 that he bought for $300, and he figures he’s bought and sold hundreds of vehicles since. John quickly realized that he loved the odd balls, the one-offs, and generally the vehicles nobody cared about. When I asked why, he told me that “a ’57 Chevy is always going to be saved, but the 1935 Dodge fire truck that somebody dropped a 1946 Spartan trailer on to make a motorhome needs saving, too.” John is an urban archeologist who loves the orphans and rarely turns anything away.
In 1993, fate stepped in as John pulled into a driveway to turn around and saw a gold anodized trailer with porthole windows at the bottom of the property. It turned out to be a 1957 Airfloat trailer and he was in love. He found out that he had pulled into the Monterey Trailer Park, which had been in existence since the 1920s. He ended up with the trailer and a job managing the park, where he then lived for 10 years. With lots of extra space, John started to collect trailers like some people collect stamps, and of course it was the “weird ones” that he loved the most. About this time his girlfriend, Yipsy (an artist/jewelry maker) referred to their home as Funky Junk Farms and the name stuck.
Photo 3/9   |   John Agnew and his 1935 Dodge fire truck that somebody dropped a 1946 Spartan trailer on, to make a motorhome.
In 2003, the trailer park was sold and John was left with the daunting task of finding a home for his sizable collection. Again, fate stepped in when he found a property that was once the Altadena Water Gardens, home to a fish farm built in the 1920s. Still dotted with more than 70 cement ponds and various outbuildings, John and Yipsy have turned it into a vintage wonderland and a home for all their “junk.” John likes to say “junk to some, antiques to others.”

John’s enthusiasm and passion for collecting is infectious and with his signature overalls and mutton-chop sideburns, he is a local celebrity who always has time to chat about his latest find or share some of his immense knowledge.

Do yourself a favor and visit his website for a glimpse into the wonderful world of Funky Junk Farms!
For More 411

Funky Junk Farms www.funkyjunkfarms.com

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