Originally Posted by gc24
Trying decide between a 51 Flying Cloud that has been restored....
Only you can answer that question - will YOU be happy without the extra foot -
More important - what does the seller mean by "restored"...
Was the restoration a shell off? Was the frame properly inspected and repaired?
Are there any "patches" on the floor, or was any floor repair properly made and correctly joined into the frame and the "C" channel connecting the frame to the floor to the shell?
Without a complete photo documentation of the "restoration" you have only the sellers word that the "repairs" were properly done. With the bucks you are probably talking about, even if it was a "professional" restoration job, I would insist on a complete inspection by an experienced technician...such an inspection would not be limited to a boroscope inspection of the belly pan, "A" frame and outriggers, and a GOOD surface inspection of the floor/frame/shell interface - even if you would have to take up any floor overlay and tear apart a bed or two and the closet area to affect this inspection. Don't expect this to be for free - a GOOD tech will run upwards of $100 per hour, and the seller will have to be satisfied with the inspection tear-aparts being replaced properly after the visual inspection.
The more expensive the "old" trailer, the more important a thorough inspection is - if the seller balks at such a thorough inspection just walk away, as the seller probably knows he is hiding something and would be afraid you will find it. A properly done "restoration" would have nothing to hide, and would probably have a thorough documentation (pictures) of the process.
Become familiar with the restoration processes as documented here in the forums. The more familiar you are with what is required the more questions you will know how to ask. Also take heed of what these restorations require in terms of time and money.
As much as anything with these old trailers, you get what you pay for...if the "restoration" was not done properly you will soon find out, as with automotive brakes/transmissions/engines - "Pay me now...or pay me later".