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Old 08-15-2017, 09:08 PM   #1
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1955 or 1957 Airstream - Buy or No? $3500

Listed for $4500. I told him at $4500, I didn't even want to tour it so he came down to $3500. I like that it's 13 panel but he's not sure on exact size. Also, he doesn't know the exact year or make and can't get a picture of the serial for a while since it's on his property hours away. This would be my first airstream. The idea is to polish and try to make some money. Or completely guy to chassis and redo. Fear is moss and mold from exterior... theory is that would also be overtaking the interior. Family purchased in 1999 and it's been sitting on their property unmoved since. Interior all original. Front kitchen, back bunks.

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendation?

Run.... run fast?
Or bargain for 13 panel?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:22 PM   #2
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I would buy it, clean it up, and flip it.
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Old 08-16-2017, 04:30 AM   #3
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Looking at the front window I'd say it's a 55 not a 57.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:56 AM   #4
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ThePooches,

You may want to consider insisting on seeing (touring) it before any money changes hands. Sometimes problems like, "I can't photograph the VIN because," are legitimate and sometimes they're a warning flag. You may also want to consider the cost of extricating it from the property in your negotiations. (Which can be a firm part of the reason for needing to see it.) It looks like it will have to be hauled out and you may have to remove some trees to get to it.

In any case we wish you good luck with your decision and hope, that if you ultimately buy the trailer, you'll keep us posted on your progress.

Roy and Marie
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:18 AM   #5
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We acquired our '57 out of a similar looking situation. Guarantee you the tires are dry rotted and you'll have to replace the rims just to get it down the road. Work that into your buying price. I would try to get him down to $3k based on the work you'll have to do to haul it away. The restoration can be done! And then you won't want to part with it. Good luck! (And yes, my '57 front window isn't like that, you're likely looking at a '55).
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ThePooches View Post
Listed for $4500. I told him at $4500, I didn't even want to tour it so he came down to $3500. I like that it's 13 panel but he's not sure on exact size. Also, he doesn't know the exact year or make and can't get a picture of the serial for a while since it's on his property hours away. This would be my first airstream. The idea is to polish and try to make some money. Or completely guy to chassis and redo. Fear is moss and mold from exterior... theory is that would also be overtaking the interior. Family purchased in 1999 and it's been sitting on their property unmoved since. Interior all original. Front kitchen, back bunks.

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendation?

Run.... run fast?
Or bargain for 13 panel?

Thank you in advance!
What you have found is a RARE front kitchen 1955 26' Romany Cruiser! Less than 10 were made. As such, I'd hate to see such a RARE Airstream gutted out for a custom interior, but I can assure you that restoring it will be a BIG task. You can assume after sitting so long unattended in the woods that there will be floor rot and likely frame rust issues. This is not a project for that right of heart.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:13 AM   #7
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let this go to someone who will actually restore it. "Polish and gut it " makes me ill.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:33 AM   #8
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Now that I know that rarity, I would never touch it other than hot soapy water on the exterior. I've also been speaking with two restoring companies in Ohio, prior to this find. In speaking with them, a true restoration on this would be $25k+, which I don't want to spend. However, I'm okay with buying this for $3500, polishing for $2500 then selling it....

Thank you everyone, genuinely, for your responses! It's greatly appreciated and I'm still undecided on this Airstream. This started as seeking a 1970 to gut because of their less than quality interiors. However, many 1970's are longer than I'd like for my family (30'+). So, I just stumbled upon this one, that's all. If I can turn this and make a grand or two to put towards my forever trailer, every penny helps!
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:29 PM   #9
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What a special trailer. It is worth restoring and then it is very campable. It looks like safari to me with twins in the back , dinette in the middle and bath behind the kitchen. Is it more than 22' long. If so I have the wrong model. Great trailer and looks like a great size. Why can't I find something like that😩
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:14 PM   #10
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Did you buy it?

If not, share with us the details places?
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Old 08-17-2017, 11:29 PM   #11
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What a special trailer. It is worth restoring and then it is very campable. It looks like safari to me with twins in the back , dinette in the middle and bath behind the kitchen. Is it more than 22' long. If so I have the wrong model. Great trailer and looks like a great size. Why can't I find something like that��
As I noted above, this is a 26' Romany Cruiser, basically the 26' front kitchen equivalent to a 1954 to 1956 22' Safari, but much rarer (only about 10 made in total, likely less still existing, and event less still with their original interior). The front street side corner bath included a separate shower that was not provided in the Safari. The middle section was a little larger than the Safari and included a couch and stand up table, but not a dinette (at least according to the brochure floor plan).

Here is a link to the Romany Cruiser Floor Plan: https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...320baf3b02.pdf

Hers is a link to a Romany Cruiser one-page flyer: https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...1634c69822.pdf

The documents are from Airstream and are dated 1954, but may be from early in the 1955 model year. I am not 100% certain if the Romany's were 1954 or 1955 models or both.

P.S. The even rarer 30-foot front kitchen model was called the Salon Liner and was made at about the same time at the Romany Cruiser. I have seen 1 or 2 confirmed Salon Liners over the years. There was also an 18-foot front kitchen Wanderer, although I have never seen a confirmed case of one still existing.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:24 AM   #12
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a big project for sure, for someone with talent and time. Sure needs to go to a good home...at least the guy says he won't gut it.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:46 AM   #13
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I never had the opportunity to buy since someone from out of state swooped in to buy it. I have my suspicion that it was someone from this blog, not the best first experience here. Makes me reluctant to post anything on here regarding purchasing an Airstream, as someone could easily start searches in my area to purchase. However. I also feel that I wouldn't have been the best fit to own that unique trailer so I'm not upset about it. I'm now onto a 31' that has some cuts in the lower part of the exterior aluminum but find it much too big. I want something cheap (under $4k in the 28' and under) but am having a hard time since these seem more rare than 30-33'...
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:53 PM   #14
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Don't feel bad about missing out. I am from Michigan, too, and back when I was actively looking for an Airstream, it used to frustrate me when I called on a Craigslist ad within hours of it being posted only to find it had already sold, often to someone from out of state. There are pickers that search Craigslist and other for sale sights every day. Not saying that is what happened in this case, but don't take it personally.
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