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Old 03-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Question What is this? (1957 Airstream 22 foot?)

Im thinking about buying this , It has a lost title the Owner thinks its a 1957 22 foot. I think its an OverLander 26 foot. It needs a total Remodel.There asking $2,600 I was thinking about giving them an offer but I need to know what it is first.


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Old 03-12-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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'57 was the transition year where some earlier models have 13 end segment panels and some had 7. This looks like a 7?

I wish that upper left photo could be enlarged a bit. Is that 3 windows in a row on streetside toward the rear? Not exactly like '57 O'lander like this one at VintageAirstream.com but a 3rd window could have been a custom -- not out of the question. Best way to tell is if you could give the VIN located to the right of the door and embossed on the curbside of the A-frame.

Collapsed into the dirt and vegetation like that, I'd strongly question frame rust and floor rotting conditions. Hard to anticipate this could be anything but a shell-off restoration -- a large amount of work for the asking price. But then I'd rather suspect there aren't many '57s that aren't shell off unless they've lived their whole life in the desert Southwest. See Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values.

Is the interior intact? I see broken windows. How is the sheetmetal?

Interesting find... They aren't making them any more and that counts for a lot! Please keep us filled in.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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My guess is the body might be close to 22' long, but I think you're right, the trailer would be considered a 26' Overlander (or even longer?) based on the fact it has two axles. Do you have a VIN# to compare to the links Bob posted?

Looks like a total "do over" - I'm sure there's not much that's salvageable for more than templates with all the windows broken out. Wood floors rot - the floor is integral to the integrity of the trailer.

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Old 03-13-2012, 03:34 AM   #4
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Question

The Owner says the Vin Number is "6955" I double checked that the owner got the Vin from the right place and i'm waiting for a reply. I have redone newer trailers with EPDM roofing and such and I can fix this trailer 100% myself .I just think that it may be worth it to wait for one in better condition but, this one is a classic .How much do you think that this trailer could sell for after being redone.Is it worth it or should I wait for a shorter Vintage Airstream.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:22 AM   #5
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It might be the camera angle and it might be the slope of the wheel cut out, but to my eye, I see a curve to the roof from the AC back. I hope it is just an optical illusion.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:49 AM   #6
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This could be a 7 segment Overlander from 1956 to 1960, based on the windows. I have a 63 and it has different windows. It looks like the frame has collapsed. I think you would have to get a flat bed under it to move it. In my opinion, it would not be worth it to me or economically viable to rehab it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Selling after it is redone? You'd want to do a major resto because you have a passion for it and want to use something like this. One would likely lose money after restoring properly. Condition of the frame due to it collapsing into the ground is questionable. The leaf springs certainly are going to take a long look.

A 'shell off' restoration means that you have to remove everything from the inside so that you can lift the shell from the frame [an unknown - do any frame repair?], work on suspension/running gear, most likely replace the plywood floor, reinstall the same inner skins and original cabinetry (refinished). You'd have to have a place to do it -- removed shells can tumble in a wind. Your purchase, necessary materials & even a modest tool investment may chew up most of any resale price -- which might be in the upper teens range if done exquisitely. Done yourself, you'd be glad if this took a year of spare time -- and you'll begin to feel like you're working for 10 an hour and it's likely not to be even that much. Therefore do it for your passion. It would be nice for you if this was in condition to polish and make look very nice.

Hiring a restoration tends to cost toward the range of a brand new Airstream. Whether homespun or hired out, equivalent quality restorations still have similar values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
It might be the camera angle and it might be the slope of the wheel cut out, but to my eye, I see a curve to the roof from the AC back. I hope it is just an optical illusion.
I see that. A broken frame would mess up a lot more than the frame.

There are many $2K Airstreams out there that are fair values and may take a lot less work than this one. But it's hard not to require a shell-off to do it right. Peeps who know the value of such a classic (as this nearly was once) will be wary of a "polished turd" as it's called -- prettying up, polishing, putting hardwood laminate flooring that hopefully a buyer won't step in the wrong places, etc. I bought a '74 once and never got it done to my satisfaction -- it would have been a huge money loser if I'd have continued. Even a 70s or 80s Airstream has a classic look and will get you on the road quicker -- and still might require a shell-off. <sigh> Axles too. Imagine how much a '57 Buick squatting on its rims in a field would take to bring back. 
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Larger and more pics is gooder...
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
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All of what Bob just said is 100% true. I will just add that to do a project like that, a professional shop will spend at least 1000 man hours. That is a very low number, hence, at least was used. I would say more like 1500 for a trailer of that vintage. That is just labor no material. For a hobby restorer, the hours would easily be triple that.
If making a dollar is the goal, you might want to look somewhere else and somewhere easier. Very few people in this hobby do the math, they are too absorbed with the passion.
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