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Old 08-06-2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Help with Identifying

There is an older Airstream sitting in front of a trailer not too far from our house. It looks to be between 20 and 25' and has 13 panels on the front. Does anyone have a clue what year and model it might be? I was told that it was for sale but there wasnt anyone home when we went by. Just curious
Thanks Tammy
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Threads
There is an older Airstream sitting in front of a trailer not too far from our house. It looks to be between 20 and 25' and has 13 panels on the front. Does anyone have a clue what year and model it might be? I was told that it was for sale but there wasnt anyone home when we went by. Just curious Thanks Tammy
Hi Tammy:

Thirteen panels were used from 1947 to 1957. If the front end is semi-circular with an oval window, the trailer was built from 1947 to ~1950. If the front end is flat across its middle with a window that opens, the trailer was built from ~1950 to 1957. The best way to identify the model is to read and tell us the trailer's serial number (VIN) stamped into the small plate next to the door.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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Tammy - Fred got there first! Yes to all of his points. Remember that length was measured bumper to ball. See Vintage Airstream Photo Archives for the best photo library on the net.
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks. I will try to go back and see if they are interested in selling it and see what kind of shape it is in. It had a small flat window in front. From looking through the photo's on the link, I am guessing a 55 Flying Cloud. The 54's didnt quite look like it, some minor differences in the windows. How Cool! Im not sure if it is the one, but a man that came by my yardsale told me one was for sale on that road for 4000.00. That seems high, or does it for that age and model?
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:48 PM   #5
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Sounds reasonable to me, if it is indeed a '55 Flying Cloud...depending on the condition, of course.

Check out: Price vs Condition

Shari
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
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Same source -- R.J. Dial's webpage: Price vs. Condition - Airstream Values

Depending on condition - I agree with Shari. And like lakeshore, they aren't making 'em any more! Remember, all trailers of this era are very shy on what we expect for electrical and plumbing systems -- if original you might consider restoring as is, modest modernizing, or a significant rebuild. Depends on how you want to use the vintage unit if the work is for yourself -- resale might not recover significant investment for a big rebuild. I would refer you to listen to episode 37 (Fred Coldwell on the 1950 Airstreams) and episode 47 (R.J. Dial) on theVAP.com.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:07 PM   #7
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Yep...if you do intend on modernizing it with all the systems, the "cost" of the trailer is just the point of entry...trust, me I know. Restoring and modernizing a '50's trailer is not for the faint of heart.

See my "Birdy" website to see how I know...we are redoing everything.

Shari
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Yep...if you do intend on modernizing it with all the systems, the "cost" of the trailer is just the point of entry...trust, me I know. Restoring and modernizing a '50's trailer is not for the faint of heart.

See my "Birdy" website to see how I know...we are redoing everything.

Shari
Ditto on the above, but with one personal qualifier - it was the only way for us to get the vintage look we wanted, the lighter weight, and the trailer customized to meet exactly our needs. Our investment is still less than buying a newer vintage one with more modern conveniences, which still would have needed customizing to our needs. I have friends who recently acquired an absolutely stock '51 (regi'd as a '52 when it first sold but it's actually older by 30 s/n's than my '51) and they paid more than this for it. It's been in dry storage for a big portion of its life. That said, and as original as it is, they intend to camp the wheels off it over the next 10 years so they are doing what I'd call subtle and sympathetic upgrades to make it fully functional. It's like the vintage car hobby - you buy the best body and interior you can afford as body work and interior work are the most expensive components of a restoration, then you invest in the less expensive stuff when you need to (mechanicals) or can afford to, but at least it's already a functioning unit. If this one is decent to someone who is wanting a vintage unit and willing to invest some time and money, they will have a great trailer. When you can, if you can, pictures would be great.

Good luck with it,
Barry
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