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Old 11-02-2017, 05:11 AM   #29
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1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
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1955 Commodore Vanderbilt

Well, It has been seven (7) years since a post has been "posted" on the Commodore Vanderbilt. The torch has been passed by Jason, and we are now the caretakers of this time capsule. We were just wondering if ever another one has surfaced, ..... anywhere. As far as we have been able to search, this is the only one known in existence. The search is on.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:16 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by StevieB View Post
Well, It has been seven (7) years since a post has been "posted" on the Commodore Vanderbilt. The torch has been passed by Jason, and we are now the caretakers of this time capsule. We were just wondering if ever another one has surfaced, ..... anywhere. As far as we have been able to search, this is the only one known in existence. The search is on.
Hi Stevie B,
I never got a chance to see the Commodore Vanderbilt when Jason owned it, although I communicated with him via email a long time ago.

I am also from Michigan and would love to see it some day. From the photos, it definitely looks like you got a very rare Airstream in amazing condition.

To address your question, at the current time I know of only one other surviving 30' Commodore Vanderbilt, although some may still be waiting to be rediscovered. Higher in this thread, a man named David from North Carolina (user name "dlx25225") says he has a Commodore Vanderbilt S/N O-5075.

We do not currently know how many were actually produced, but Ohio built 30-footers were from about serial number O-5032 thru about O-5064 (differing from previous claims of O-5043 thru O-5075), so you may have the last 1955 30-footer built, out of about 32 total. Airstream did not keep exact records of model year serial number breakpoints back then, so I am making my best guesses on the starting and ending S/Ns. How many of the 32 were Commodore Vanderbilts vs. other models (Liner, Salon Liner, Sovereign of the Road) is unknown, but probably very few.

What I can tell you is that I am aware that at least a third Commodore Vanderbilt that was built, but from photo evidence it has obvious small differences from yours. That other Commodore Vanderbilt was the Airstream that Wally Byam personally used on the 1955 Mexico and 1955 Eastern Canada Caravans, so your Commodore is in good company.

BTW, your Commodore was delivered on 9-9-1955 to Warner Trailer Sales in Pontiac, Michigan. Wally's was earlier, delivered in December 1954. I will opine that David's Commodore is probably actually a 1956 trailer because of it's higher S/N and delivery date some time after 11-23-55.
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:45 AM   #31
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Still Searching for Another 1955 Commodore Vanderbilt

Joe,
Thanks for the reply and the additional info. From the pictures posted in the past, it appears that David's 0-0075 has quite a different layout than ours. Ours matches up with the 1955 Airstream Commodore Vanderbilt Sales Flyer to a "T." Also, while going through it yesterday, I found tags on both of the original twin Airstream Mattresses which have a deliver date of 9/2/1955 which matches up with your 9/9/55 delivery to Warner Trailer Sales in Pontiac, MI.
Should you ever wish to take an up close and personal look, an open invitation is yours. Please PM me and we will set a date and time.
Regards,
StevieB
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:32 AM   #32
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Yeah, upon a deeper look, David's trailer looks like it might just be a standard Sovereign of the Road from the floor plan and bath room, so maybe I shouldn't have counted it. Tough to be sure, because I do not believe most Airstreams had model name badges in 1955 and floor plans were still being tweaked regularly by Airstream.

Your Airstream was obviously Ohio built and the brochure that matches it's floor plans was issued by Ohio I'm sure.

The Commodore Vanderbilt brochure on the Airstream company web site shows a different floor plan than yours - a rear bedroom:
https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...0ebff457d1.pdf

From various detail, I can tell that was a California built trailer, so we can be sure that at least one trailer that Airstream considered a Commodore Vanderbilt was built in California, but it had obvious differences from yours.

I am attaching three of the best photos I have of Wally's Commodore Vanderbilt on the 1955 Mexico Caravan (credited to Life magazine). You can see Wally in one or two of the photos, and his dog ("Chica" I think). The window configuration matches your trailer and this trailer was definitely built in Ohio.

You can see one of Wally's personal modifications on his Commodore, dual electrical inputs, one for 110V AC and one for 12V DC, which he has connected to a generator in the trunk of his car. I've seen that detail on photos of other of Wally's personal trailer's, but never on a standard production Airstream. Obviously, a new thing he was testing that never made it to production.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:37 PM   #33
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Airstream Dealership

Joe,
By chance do you have the address for Warner Trailer Sales in Pontiac, Michigan?
Thanks,
StevieB
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:47 PM   #34
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Joe,
By chance do you have the address for Warner Trailer Sales in Pontiac, Michigan?
Thanks,
StevieB
Hi Stevie,
Our first Airstream (a 1966 Overlander) was sold by Cal Warner to Lorrie's parents (we bought it back many years later). Lorrie's mom has pointed out the location of the sales lot to us. It was on W. Huron St. (M-59), on the north side of the road, at least as of 1966

EDIT: Found an address as a certified Airstream Service Center in 1966:

Warner Trailer Sales, Inc.
3098 W. Huron Street
Pontiac, MI 48054
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:15 PM   #35
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Were you guys in Hiawassee, Ga this weekend? I briefly toured a Commodore Vanderbilt this weekend during an open house event at the Mountain Air Airstream gathering. Nice people and a wonderful model of Airstream.
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #36
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Thanks for the Kind Comment

Yes, that was us. It was very nice meeting you too!!!
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:54 AM   #37
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Re: Post 32
For trivia mavens. The kayak looking boat in the photo I believe is a Klepper. It is similar to a Fol-bot which I did have. They both have models which are dissassembled for travel and they reassembled for use.
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Old 03-19-2018, 11:08 AM   #38
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Re: Post 32
For trivia mavens. The kayak looking boat in the photo I believe is a Klepper. It is similar to a Fol-bot which I did have. They both have models which are dissassembled for travel and they reassembled for use.
Yes, that is a Klepper. You can tell by the little pennant emblem sewn onto the rear deck canvas.

I have one that my father bought in Germany in 1968. Except for the hull material getting kind of tatty it still works fine. New ones cost upwards of $3000 now, I think my dad paid the equivalent of a bit over $100 back then.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:46 AM   #39
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Commodore Vanderbilt in Key West

Key West 2018
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:49 AM   #40
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Commodore Vanderbilt in Cedar Key

Cedar Key 2018
Commodore Vanderbilt on the right, my Bro-In-Law's 1964 Overlander on the left.
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:49 PM   #41
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Another Commodore Vanderbilt has been FOUND!

Should anybody be interested in purchasing a 1955 Commodore Vanderbilt, there is one that just has popped up in Airstream Forum Classifieds today! I sure would like to know the history and serial number. Now, we have two real Commodores now known to be in true aluminum skin!!! The layout is very similiar, except this has only one bed near the bathroom, while I have twins in the area. If this is yours, please private message me so we can talk.

Regards,
StevieB
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:24 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieB View Post
Should anybody be interested in purchasing a 1955 Commodore Vanderbilt, there is one that just has popped up in Airstream Forum Classifieds today! I sure would like to know the history and serial number. Now, we have two real Commodores now known to be in true aluminum skin!!! The layout is very similiar, except this has only one bed near the bathroom, while I have twins in the area. If this is yours, please private message me so we can talk.

Regards,
StevieB
Another Ohio built Commodore! I can't rule out that it could be the one Wally Byam personally used on the 1955 Mexico and Eastern Canada Caravans, but it does have several differences that could have been added later.
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