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Old 05-26-2014, 06:43 PM   #1
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Campitalizing: '59 Ambassador (an As Found project)

I had been looking for a good cheap trailer to haul into our hunting property to camp out of for a couple years. My wife and I, with our two daughters, love being outdoors but didn't want the "hassle" of trekking in with camping gear every time we wanted to head up. A quick and easy solution seemed to be: travel trailer.
Unfortunately, for my wife, I found a craigslist ad for an Airstream just a few miles from our home. I always loved the history of the company and the Airstream craze, even watched a PBS show about it. I called the guy and started scouring the internet for advice about what to look for and what to avoid. I was prepped with all the right knowledge to know when to walk away. My wife and I scheduled a time to go look at the trailer. It was being used as a storage shed. The outside didn't look too bad, but I couldn't really get a good view of the inside due to how much stuff was in the way. We left with the owner promising to call once the trailer was unpacked. I reviewed my internet notes (many from this forum) and went back to look at the inside of the trailer with a pretty good idea of the time and effort that would be required to get her up even to the condition to pull onto our hunting land.
None of that seemed to matter. I was blinded by all that aluminum. I went through a mental checklist of why I should be driving away as fast as I could, and even told the owner twice that it would just be too much work for me. But for some reason I just could not get in the truck and drive away. So as we were leaning over the tailgate talking racecars and racing (he owns the local racetrack, where the trailer was housed), I made him an offer I half hoped he would turn down.
Soon after, I was pulling home an Airstream a little less than twice as old as I am.

Here are a couple "positive" pics:

I'll be researching more information about restoring this Vintage Airstream and creating a plan of action.

I'll also be posting more pics of the problem areas and seeking advice...

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Old 05-27-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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Heliguy63's Avatar
1964 28' Ambassador
henderson , Nevada
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 43
Wow! That's looks way better than my 64 ambassador! Post some pictures of the inside. I am also preparing to restore mine. Looking forward to more post.

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Old 06-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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1967 28' Ambassador
Gatlinburg , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 50
Very nice!
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #4
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
awesome looks great from the outside and can not wait to see the inside! Post those pictures and welcome! don't forget to order the axles!
Gotta get busy! Have a great day! Now where did I put those revits?
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #5
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
1963 28' Ambassador
Gadsden , Alabama
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 17
That looks nice!

I think the Ambassador is a very good size, not to big and not to small. It looks like you have a good trailer to work with. I have a 63 and I have done a little to it but I hope to get busy soon on it. Best of luck with your project. I hope to see updates soon.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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A bit of work required...

I haven't yet taken good shots of the inside. I think I'm stuck on the exterior work load. I'm guessing it might take me a while.

Tank holder/ battery box needs some work.What are those heavy latches for?

The lower window beside the door is broken, but the frame remains. Thankful for small blessings.

I think this is an aftermarket cover?

Pretty sure I can do better than this to cover what I think was the furnace opening?


Still holding on

The antenna rubbed a little bit.

Are these original brackets for the door, I don't think so but figured I needed to make sure?

The last few feet of the frame are non-existent:

I have him parked on some concrete blocks, and my 5 yr old and 7 yr old are excited about helping clean the inside.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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1966 17' Caravel
Newport , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,286
The cover is over the hot water heater which is not there! I like it shows a lot of potential! The frame is going to require a shell off repair and as far as the inside you will have to see what you want to save or try to save! But it looks good so far!
Gotta get busy! Have a great day! Now where did I put those revits?
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Summerville , South Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 134
Images: 1

Since it sounds like too much work for a young buck like you, how much do you want for it?
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
Folsom , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 696
Images: 12
"Heavy Latches" on the A-Frame are for a Weight Distribution Hitch

Those are the Original Door Hinges, previously they made them out of Sheet Metal, at some point, maybe 1960, they started making them out of Stainless. Looks like you'll want to replace the rivets on the hinges. There's a backing plate behind the skin where those 9 rivets are. There's a good chance that when you drill out the old rivets, the backing plate will "fall" to the floor (inside the wall), where you'll have to peel away the interior skin to reposition it . . .

Anyway, it's definitely a "project" but it's also definitely a desirable trailer (year and size). Good Luck.


Aluminumbskull with Led Balloon in Drag
Birch Plywood and Aluminum go together like
Peanut Butter and Chocolate
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1959 ambassador, ambassador

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