Finally the long disputed existence of the Gambles Hiawatha trailer produced by Bantam has been proven. Michael Morrone of Wisconsin sent me an email on Jun 22, 2009 asking
"Based on what I'm finding on the web..., I have a rusting old Bantam T3-C. I thought this was an army jeep trail but I can make out the word Hiawatha on the tail gate. Its been on our farm for years and my boys are interested in fixing it up. I'd like to find out more about this trailer before restoring it for use. Can you direct my to related information on this?"
I about fell out of my chair when he said "Hiawatha". This has to be a hoax and he's pulling my leg I thought.
I immediately requested pictures and then did not hear from him for nearly 2 months making me even more suspicious.
His next email confirmed the tailgate stencil in the form of the header image above that I enhanced and cropped for this page. He also mentioned a very keen tidbit. The Hiawatha data plate was created on the rear face of the Bantam T3-C data plate. (a picture has been requested).
His next email made my heart skip a beat...
"... I have good news and bad news. I originally thought this was a completely worthless trailer. I was using it as a project for my 3 oldest boys. Anyway, I'm so very busy that I wasn't making much head way on restoring it. I am helping/guiding an older fellow who was laid off go back to school. He was/is so thankful that he asked his brother to help me restore the trailer. It turns out that his brother is a very serious tractor restorer..., high-end restoration only. His brother said he would want to make this a project for my boys. Initially, he suggested we restore it back to how it was originally (Like me, doesn't know about bantam trailers). Anyway, my boys really wanted to make it an army trailer. We have a number of pictures and also video. Up to last week, we hadn't touch the appearance. But when we arrived at the shop this past Friday we found that the trailer was sandblasted and primed. I wish we had previous warning. "