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Old 09-08-2006, 08:28 PM   #15
2 Rivet Member
Bloomington , Illinois
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 23
Spartans worth a look

We own two Spartans, a 1946 and 1951. I was looking for a vintage Airstream when I discovered Spartans and I fell for the styling and high quality of the Spartan. I have never been in a more beautiful trailer than a Spartan.

They tow beautifully. The 1946 is a Manor and is 26' and a single axle trailer. The 1951 is an Imperial Mansion and is 36' long. We have towed the Imperial Mansion more than the Manor, and have towed it thousands and thousands of miles, and never had a problem of any type. The 36' Imperial Mansion weighs in at 5800 pounds, so it's relatively light for its size. I would encourage you to take a look at a Spartan and try to find one in the 1948-1951 year range as by then they had solved, through redesign, any of the leakage issues that might have existed in the first few years of production.

The Spartanettes are a different story. I don't think they are as stylish, nor are they very aerodynamic, but they were a very nice trailer.

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Old 09-09-2006, 12:50 AM   #16
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Originally Posted by asta2

My guide has been and I'll use my most recent experience as an example. The '56 Overlander on eBay that both steelbird and I were bidding on, I was able to physically inspect, as it was about 40 miles from here. It was better than what I expected as it had not been used in several years, but still needed framework, a new floor and lots of TLC. In my mind that put it somewhere between "As Found" and "Average". So being generous and putting it at the low end of Average its value is around $3500 -- it sold for $5100.

I expect to replace the frame and floor on what ever I buy, but don't think I should pay $5K+ for something that will require that level of work -- am I being unreasonable?

As I said before, I want a keeper and do not care about resale.
Couple of thoughts come to mind. I am not sure how old that list is. Between inflation and rising prices due to a limited supply the $5100 may not have been that far out of line. At one point 70's models, especially the infamous rear bath were selling for as little as $1500 for one in okay conditon, now they are fetching 3-4 times that. And even at that price they are still a decent deal. There are always deals to be had, but then there are the unscrupulous that are out to make a buck and will tell you anything in hopes you are desperate enough to pay their price. One of the first websites I ever read on rehabilitating a 70's vintage Airstream, blew my mind. The person posted what they paid for their unit (and seemed happy with the price) it was almost double what I paid for mine, and mine was in better shape. Also even with paying what I did, doing a complete tear down and rebuild I still come out ahead of the price of a new unit, and I get what I want and am intimately aquainted with all the systems and the operation of them.

Ultimately it will come down to; what is it worth to YOU. I have seen people spend large sums of money on things that I would haven't taken if it was given to me, and I am sure people think I am nuts for spending the money I do on some of my things too.


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Old 09-09-2006, 06:06 AM   #17
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1957 30' Sovereign of the Road
Atlanta , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Ultimately it will come down to; what is it worth to YOU. I have seen people spend large sums of money on things that I would haven't taken if it was given to me, and I am sure people think I am nuts for spending the money I do on some of my things too.

You are absolutely right, and for me it's going to come down to what my wife likes. That means a 50's era Airstream, Avion or Spartan. If the skin's in good shape anything else (like appliances) are gravy, as I'm expecting to replace everything else (frame, water/waste systems, electrical, cabinetry, etc..).

Gets down to remaining patience and waiting for the right one to pop up - heck not much longer till the season's over! Good for me, bad for you


BTW - that website was updated last month, but still only one opinion - I realize that - however if anyone knows of another site providing that level of info I'd love to have it. Right now its the only show...

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