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Old 07-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
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1971 31' Excella 500
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Help determining year/model

I just bought this Airstream (my first of hopefully many more!). I was told it is a 58 Safari but it doesn't look like the specs I found online. Can you tell with this web album what I am dealing with?

Picasa Web Albums - Craigslist Items - 1958 Airstrea...
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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Ask the owner for the ser#,wouldn`t want to pay too much for it. Dave
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #3
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You should be able to go up and down years and back and forth across Airstream lengths/models by matching photos at R.J. Dial's website -- Vintage Airstream Photo Archives

Another side of his site is Price vs. Condition. Do not believe any representations as 'Restored' or 'Renovated' unless someone knowledgeable does an in-depth evaluation. Otherwise I wouldn't pay anything more than 'As Found' prices without an inspection.

Renovating a vintage Airstream can run half to full price of buying a corresponding new Airstream.

The VIN is on this image -- on the blue plate on the left; not the California plate on the right. I can't read either.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:14 PM   #4
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Hi Africaroots! Welcome to the forums, You have a big project ahead of you. I saw another Safari on Vintageairstream.com with a similar color.
The damage to the outer skin is pretty significant. Did you do any research into the cost of replacement or repair? I was looking at a '67 caravel about 2 years ago, as my first Airstream (and my first travel trailer). It had about seven or eight badly damaged endcap panels so I contacted Sierra trailer restorations to see what it would take to put some new skin on here and there. Wholesale panel price was about $400.00 each(!) and labor was going to be about $5,000.00 to $7,500.00 total! The seller wanted $5,000.00 so I went home and kept looking.
The pics look like a '59 Safari, possibly. There were no '57 or '58s listed.
What are you intending to do with it?

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Old 07-17-2010, 12:40 AM   #5
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thanks!

Thank you all for the help. I've already bought the trailer.. but it looks like I should have looked here first. The good thing is that I only paid $700 for it and already had a few people offer me 2x that in cash.

@CanoeStream - thanks for the notes about the RJ Dialer site. I have browsed it a bit but need to delve further into the price vs condition numbers.

To answer your question, it looks like the numbers read in order - 22TS (on top of) 6206 and to the right s0858. The black plate from the CA Department of Housing shows M-4 s0858 2510 a-28647. Sounds like the latter is just from the state

@viking - you have thoroughly scared me with the cost estimates! It'll make me rethink what I intend to do with it. I knew it was a good buy @ $700. Ideally I want to turn it into a home work studio (both my wife and I have businesses @ home and earning advanced degrees so the quiet getaway is ideal). I thought of renovating to custom specs but I'd probably be better off buying a ready to go model for $5K or so.

Looks like I do have a 59 Safari. Agree??
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:27 AM   #6
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22TS S0858 would be the VIN.
That would make it a 1962 Safari.
62Safari
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by africaroots View Post
Thank you all for the help. I've already bought the trailer.. but it looks like I should have looked here first. The good thing is that I only paid $700 for it and already had a few people offer me 2x that in cash.

@CanoeStream - thanks for the notes about the RJ Dialer site. I have browsed it a bit but need to delve further into the price vs condition numbers.

To answer your question, it looks like the numbers read in order - 22TS (on top of) 6206 and to the right s0858. The black plate from the CA Department of Housing shows M-4 s0858 2510 a-28647. Sounds like the latter is just from the state

@viking - you have thoroughly scared me with the cost estimates! It'll make me rethink what I intend to do with it. I knew it was a good buy @ $700. Ideally I want to turn it into a home work studio (both my wife and I have businesses @ home and earning advanced degrees so the quiet getaway is ideal). I thought of renovating to custom specs but I'd probably be better off buying a ready to go model for $5K or so.

Looks like I do have a 59 Safari. Agree??
The model numbers tell the story: '62 Safari. There are so many different layouts it's hard to tell sometimes.
Don't be scared by the price, For a stationary office this may be just the thing. If you want to have a nice vintage Airstream to haul around with you its not hard to find one with good skin if you look diligently and have lots of patience. I mean LOTS AND LOTS of patience. It took me about 8 or 9 months of searching to find mine, and the interior was pretty well shot, but the skin was in very nice shape and it has a new axle and tires (mandatory replacement item on these oldies). Look in the forum listings for a thread called: links to the major renovations. This has links to lots of threads documenting everything you will need to know about remodeling, renovating, or completely rebuilding (or shortening) your Airstream. There are people here who have done it all, and then some. Also look for information on inspecting and purchasing vintage Airstreams, and feel free to contact an inspector in your area to help you with pre-purchase inspections.
It's best if you take some time here and educate yourself somewhat by reading up on these things, then look at several Airstreams, even ones you would never buy, and practice your inspection tecnique a few times if you want to tackle the whole thing yourself. That's what I did and I feel that I got a fair value and no real big suprises. It also helps to know how much you can spend ahead of time, and have it in your pocket when you go shopping for real. Sometimes the nice looking ones don't last an hour on Craigslist, so as they say: BE ready, so you don't have to GET ready.
Personally, I think I would sell it quick (with full disclosure as to its condition) and get another one with a better foundation to build from. Or part it out, as it may be beyond what would be reasonable to repair to a good condition. I was relieved to hear that you got it for only $700. We sometimes hear of folks being taken for a ride for thousands of dollars for something that could never go back on the road.

Don't be discouraged by this, Aluminitus is not that easy to get rid of.

Rich the Viking
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