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Old 09-27-2005, 10:14 AM   #1
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Can you ID this Airstream?

At the Wally club rally last weekend, a member had this camper on "display". I didn't catch the whole story, so I don't know how he aquired it, but apparently, there is little info available on what model/year it is. The owner doesn't know; there are no tags or identifying labels on it anywhere. So naturally, a bunch of us vintage afficianados were trying to guess the year/model.

So, oh airstream experts: what is it?

I only snapped a couple of pics, so there isn't much to go on. Here are a few tid-bits that you can't see in the pics:

we put a tape measure on it; it measures between 16 and 17', bumper to ball.

the factory rivets have a small dimple in the center, and according to one prognosticator, that indicates that they are "structural aircraft rivets", which were only used in the CA plant.

I noticed that it has teardrop wheel-wells, which also were a mark of the CA plant.

Inside, there is a bed on the curbside that goes from just aft of the door, to the back corner, and is curved on the end to match the wall. looks like the remains of a couch across the front. there is a toilet in the rear streetside corner (not original, but an original may have been in that spot). forward of that is a full length closet over the wheel well, then the galley, which brings you all the way to the front couch. It has an ice-box that appears original. Also, it appears that it had the "stove-pipe" type heater, just aft of the door opening. You can see the vent on the roof in that location...(stove is no longer there.)

comparing these features to the vintageairstream.com archive yeilds 0 matchs. the 7 panel end caps indicate later 50's. the windows make it look older...especially the double window on the curbside. most of the shorties from this era had no window in that spot. (?). the 3-pane front window and drip caps make it look old too.
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:09 AM   #2
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It looks like a 48 or 49 Wee Wind to me.
http://www.vintageairstream.com/arch...48WeeWind.html
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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nope. couldn't be that old; note the 7 panel end caps. also, this has a steel ladder frame. (note the a-frame in the pic). square front window...etc, etc, etc..

but thanks for playing!
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Old 09-27-2005, 11:56 AM   #4
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Late '50s Bubble... my guess would be '56-'57... forerunner of the original '61 Bambi... Seven panel front, still has the mid-50's front windows and door-in-a door screen...

Roger
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:56 PM   #5
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57 Cali. the 7 panel front started that year.

http://www.vintageairstream.com/arch...7BubbleCA.html

i want one!

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by A-Merry-Can
57 Cali. the 7 panel front started that year.

http://www.vintageairstream.com/arch...7BubbleCA.html

i want one!

jordan
I'm thinking that's the closest match, too. but, the side window is very different. and the door hindges on the other side. (?)
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:33 PM   #7
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probably made after lunch on a friday, when the lads got back from lunch at the pub. you should see the side panels of land rover defenders made in the afternoon. a friend of mine works in the LR plant and told me he can tell what time of day a defender is made, based off the rivet and tack patterns.
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:34 PM   #8
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May be a late '56 production? ... still has the older front windows... the '57 illustrated apparently has the later production single pane window.

Roger
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Old 09-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #9
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
I'm thinking that's the closest match, too. but, the side window is very different. and the door hindges on the other side. (?)
Front windows are different, too. What years were the Pacers made? They were supposed to be 18' total.
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Old 09-27-2005, 06:59 PM   #11
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Early '58 is my guess. Where's Fred when you need him? Never a historian around when you need one.

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Old 09-27-2005, 07:27 PM   #12
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Windows were changing in 58. Between the windows it has, the wheel arch and end cap makes it 57-58 cali. 56 would have probably been a whale tale. Heck Wally's 58 has the 59 style and 58 style windows on it.

It may be a custom model. One thing I will tell you for sure is the door is on it wrong or from a longer coach.

On short coaches like that it should open from the other side. Reason being is it interferes with the window when open. It also blocks the light that would have plugged into the outlet plate between the window and the door.

Longer coaches open left to clear awning arms. Light fixture plate and the windows are placed accordingly not to interfere with the door. Now you could order any way you wanted so it is possible that it came from the factory that way but it would not be a standard model. Without the SN# its really hard to tell. much more.

My Ohio 59 has the dimple Rivets. That were on all the coaches of that vintage. The dimple comment makes no sense. These were built like aricrafts and the rivets are structural. there is no skimping there. I have about a dozen unused that I found rattling around in the walls even.
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:35 PM   #13
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This is really interesting. I just spent a few minutes going thru the Vintage Airstream archives. The last small trailer that used the casement windows was the Cruisette. The Pacer, Bubble, and Bambi all used a full-size front window from about '54 on. What makes this one interesting is that it uses that window set, along with the suicide door. None of the small production trailers, at least from the examples online used a door in that configuration, as 59Toaster pointed out. The first year for the seven panel front end was '57. 1956 was the end of the 13 panel front ends. So... apparently this trailer is either a 'custom' from 1957 or later, or it was a Cruisette that had damage and had the 13 panels replaced with a seven panel front at some point. That still doesn't explain the door setup tho...

Roger
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
So... apparently this trailer is either a 'custom' from 1957 or later, or it was a Cruisette that had damage and had the 13 panels replaced with a seven panel front at some point. That still doesn't explain the door setup tho...Roger
Is that a round "International" badge forward of the door? If so, and if original, that would also date the trailer to 1957 or later, because I believe that there were no "Internationals" until about 1957.

If this unit was damaged and repaired, then both the front and rear ends had 7-panel replacements, as earlier models also 13 rear (ohio) or 9 rear (california whale tail) panels in addition to the 13-panel front. And clearly this unit currently has 7-panels front & rear.

I think it is a '57 Custom Bubble International that was built using some old left over windows and a custom floor plan. It most likely is California built due to the wheel openings. It reminds me a bit of the 1960 Custom 13-panel endcap 22' Jackson Center unit that sold on eBay a few months ago in that it doesn't fit the normals for the year of manufacture. I attribute the door to being a custom change, although to me the negatives outweigh the positive for this substitution.
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