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Old 04-23-2011, 08:18 PM   #1
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Billings , Montana
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Smile Flying high on a Cloud from 1958

And we are off like a dirty shirt! I have secretly battled the aluminum addiction of aluminum for 8+ years. I've come clean with this "disorder" and found myself a 1958 Flying Cloud (VIN 8445) to help with the cure, or as some might say, further enable my "disorder".

Found my first Airstream up here in beautiful Montana about 3 weeks ago. The seller used it for fishing / hunting over the last 15 years so it was expected to have a some seasoning. Montana doesn't have any humidity and the dry climate helped over the years. The trailer pulled perfectly for 400+ miles with every gas station drawing crowds. I won't say what I paid for it here, but many thought I "stole it" as I surely did get it cheap. The seller wanted what he paid for it 15 years ago .

Our only hiccup - 47 miles before we got home - BOOM - we blew a tire. My war wound consists of a deep cut on the top of my thumb to the bone and hindering my ability to change the tire effectively (darn wheel well trim). Brother in law came to the rescue and we were home shortly after dark. Thumb just healed this week, I will wear the scar with pride!

All in all, I have hesitated to post here as I love these forums and I know that everybody here will start commenting and following my remodel progress. Intimidates me a bit as I am a newbie but the information here is so invaluable I really need it. Heck, I even chatted with the famous David Winick as he is restoring a 1958 Cloud too!

Off to the races we go! I will sincerely appreciate your input as we lay out our plans. Totally stoked to create something great with my hands!

Oh, and the interior was all original. Not sure what works but if you have a need for something let me know - I am selling everything from inside (appliances, lights, original astrodome cover, cabinet hardware, sink, etc.)!
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Oopps, I forget - everybody loves pictures! Here are some outside ones, I will get interior ones tomorrow for ya!

I look happy now, hopefully will keep smiling. Top of the trailer was lightly painted but has easily come off when testing paint removers. Trailer has Montana algae build up but comes off with wire brush. Old Wally Caravan sticker seen faded in the front and back. And the biggest bonus, all the windows open and close with ease! Snow lately has kept me from digging into the restoration.

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Old 04-23-2011, 10:31 PM   #3
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What a beauty! Congrats and welcome to the forums.. no longer a lurker.

Cheers Vinnie
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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Thanks Vinnie ~ I shall lurk no more, bad on the vision and sleep patterns (late nights searching forums, etc). Now I am on my own "cloud" so the scenery is personally wonderful. Thank you for your message!

Oh, and to the many that have PM'ed me on items you are interested in buying - I will get back to you shortly with prices, etc. A bit tied up with a great and busy Easter weekend with my wife and 3 little boys.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:11 AM   #5
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A rare trailer full of character! If I did not have my Cruiser...... However, one should not steal, or?
Greetings from Switzerland
Werner
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:01 AM   #6
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All in all, I have hesitated to post here as I love these forums and I know that everybody here will start commenting and following my remodel progress. Intimidates me a bit as I am a newbie but the information here is so invaluable I really need it. Heck, I even chatted with the famous David Winick as he is restoring a 1958 Cloud too!

Off to the races we go! I will sincerely appreciate your input as we lay out our plans. Totally stoked to create something great with my hands!

Congratulations on your new treasure. I was at the same place 2 years ago, chatting with everyone here on the forums has been great and very helpful.
I am still not sure if I know what I am doing
Keep posting pictures and have a good time.
Doug
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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Awesome!

Welcome to the fifties and the forums!! Our stories are very similar, my 54 was used has a hunting cabin for about 25 years. Guess that means all the more work we have to do.

And seriously all you will find is support here. I am a young 23 year old who has never restored anything but an old motorcycle. When I look back nearly two months ago I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge thanks to these forums. The only thing I would be worried about is showing up to a restoration rally...pictures make everything look nice...but in person people would be snickering behind my back!!

Keep us updated! maybe one day we will get all of the 50's Airstreams pulled out of the woods!
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
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A rare trailer full of character! If I did not have my Cruiser...... However, one should not steal, or?
Greetings from Switzerland
Werner
Oh how we love and adore Switzerland! We have considered moving there temporarily many times!

No worries about "stealing", the seller and his son were no longer using the trailer and really wanted to see it stay in Montana. The trailer is straight, has a great underbody, and tows smoothly. Based upon prices I have seen, I feel very blessed to have such a great start on a rare trailer.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman54 View Post
Congratulations on your new treasure. I was at the same place 2 years ago, chatting with everyone here on the forums has been great and very helpful.
I am still not sure if I know what I am doing
Keep posting pictures and have a good time.
Doug
Thanks Doug for your reply. We all have to start somewhere! I relish the advice and experiences of others here on the forums, it really was one of the main deciding factors for me to buy my first Airstream. The help will be invaluable to me.

Believe it or not I have looked at 2-3 other old Airstreams to restore too after I get done with my Flying Cloud. My wife knows I have been bitten by the aluminum bug and as long as I keep my ducks in a row she will let me run with it. I will keep everybody updated here as I know that they love pictures! Thanks again!

Jeremy
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:56 PM   #10
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Welcome to the Airforums. I have a 56 FC with the same layout as yours, and I work on the coach in Montana in the Stillwater Valley not far from you. We may be able to help one another. Good luck with your restoration. Hank
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewM View Post
Welcome to the fifties and the forums!! Our stories are very similar, my 54 was used has a hunting cabin for about 25 years. Guess that means all the more work we have to do.

And seriously all you will find is support here. I am a young 23 year old who has never restored anything but an old motorcycle. When I look back nearly two months ago I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge thanks to these forums. The only thing I would be worried about is showing up to a restoration rally...pictures make everything look nice...but in person people would be snickering behind my back!!

Keep us updated! maybe one day we will get all of the 50's Airstreams pulled out of the woods!
Thanks for your message! I am 35 (I feel like 25) and since I was a kid I've been in love with the history of America (cars, furniture, etc). I use to wander thru antique shops while I was in college, in the south, as it was one of my favorite pastimes. I've never restored anything on a grand scale such as this but I feel with the resources I have, the people here, and the love I have my Airstream, I will come out okay.

I look forward to the experiences of others to guide me along my first restoration. Pictures are great but yes, I do wonder what people will say when I decide to show up at a rally sometime. Oh well, we have to start somewhere, right?

I have my eye on 2-3 other "Montana" trailers, I look forward to rescuing them soon! I will keep you updated on my progress on my Cloud! Thanks again!
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:11 PM   #12
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Welcome to the Airforums. I have a 56 FC with the same layout as yours, and I work on the coach in Montana in the Stillwater Valley not far from you. We may be able to help one another. Good luck with your restoration. Hank
Hi Hank! We love Stillwater! Our family has a place along the Stillwater River (outside Absarokee) and needless to say my 3 little boys love to float and fish it. Is your 56 here in Montana with you? I look forward to chatting with you more, thanks! Jeremy
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:32 AM   #13
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Congratulations on your first Airstream! A nice one at that...my only concern is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaAIR View Post
Trailer has Montana algae build up but comes off with wire brush.
Just a word of advice...throw that wire brush away! Right now, if not sooner!!! If you have any intentions of polishing your trailer - or even if you don't, I suspect you will regret taking a wire brush to it someday down the road. Aluminum is very soft and the scratches left will be very difficult to remove. I'd try something a little (ok, a LOT!) gentler to remove the algae...like soapy water & a sponge. From the looks of the door, it'll polish up nicely...

Shari
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:47 AM   #14
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
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Congratulations on your first Airstream! A nice one at that...my only concern is...



Just a word of advice...throw that wire brush away! Right now, if not sooner!!! If you have any intentions of polishing your trailer - or even if you don't, I suspect you will regret taking a wire brush to it someday down the road. Aluminum is very soft and the scratches left will be very difficult to remove. I'd try something a little (ok, a LOT!) gentler to remove the algae...like soapy water & a sponge. From the looks of the door, it'll polish up nicely...

Shari
Yikes! Thanks for your message. Sorry for any miscommunication on my part. Reading these forums over the last 4+ years I've read that the wire brush is a no-no. I should of posted that I used the wire brush, very lightly, only on the painted part of the trailer (top). The rest of the trailer I used a rag and warm water. In hindsight, even on the painted part I should of used the rag and water too, I thought I might of had a little protection with the paint. I need to be gentle with her and take care of her! Thank you so much for your comment, this is what I am after and need as I get ready to dig in! The wire brush has now been demoted to BBQ grill cleanup duty.
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