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Old 12-21-2007, 06:14 PM   #15
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Birchwood , Tennessee
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I will post more photos on 12-22-07 now that the World Taveler? has arrived. I would like to add a bit of thanks to all that have been intrested and given feedback and input. Look forward to learning more.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:25 PM   #16
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Looks like your profile in your avatar arrea needs to be updated too. Can't wait to see more pictures of this unique trailer.

Brad
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
Looks like your profile in your avatar arrea needs to be updated too.
I suspect there is not currently an avatar category for your trailer. I'll work on that ... or PM to remind me in a couple days.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:40 PM   #18
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
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As promised..........(street-side and curb-side) this is in as found condition.
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:43 PM   #19
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Look what else was discovered......
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:02 PM   #20
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Looks to me like you have a World Traveler for sure!

Your trailer looks very good, but a little rough around the edges. Keep us updated as you clean that baby up!
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:27 PM   #21
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WOW!! That is nice indeed. More pictures please and as Richard says, keep us posted as your make progress. Also interested in what you find shoved into the corners of the closets and under the drawers. Probably some old time relics.

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Old 12-22-2007, 06:26 PM   #22
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1962 22' Safari
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I guess the closet door paperwork confirms that your trailer is a legit 1960 World Traveler and Airstream history has just been rewritten. I'm sure the Vintage Airstream Club Historian Fred Coldwell (47WeeWind) will want more information to document this new discovery. Congrats on a unique find!
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:52 PM   #23
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
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Knock, knock, knock. HELLooOOOOOoo. Anybooodyyy hoooome?? <Sticking head through hole in door screeen> Knock-knock! HelllooOOoo! I wonder what it looks like inside here?

Very interesting and unexpected trailer. The exterior windows are in the same locations as on the 2 known 1959 tandem axle World Travelers, so they and other features - rear mounted spare tire, whip antenna, location of the furnace and water heater - continue the family lineage that was present from the beginning of construction. The window locations tell us there's a strong chance the interior is identical (or nearly so) to the complete '59 tandem axle World Traveler ... but we'll have to wait and see.

Maybe the Capetown-to-Cairo Caravan had already departed for Africa when this trailer was ordered, so a single axle WT was deemed suffficient for exploring North America.

In any event, the exterior name plate and description on the lifetime warranty both declare this 1960 single axle trailer to be a World Traveler, so its name is beyond doubt. The reason for the late conception, however, has yet to be explained.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:51 AM   #24
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
1965 17' Caravel
Pleasanton , California
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Howdy folks, don't post much on the forums as there just isn't enough hours in the day, but !'ve had 4 people track me down and say I got to see this trailer.

Looks like I have some updating to do for the VintageAirstream archives. It appears you may a '57-'59 World Traveler shell, just minus the dual axles. Another common feature of the WT was the dual everything and unique interior (half Carvanner/half Safari). Any chance we are going to be able to get to see some interior pics soon?

In addition to the 2 WT's on the site, I have seen 2 others. A 1958 that I'm trying to coax the owner to supply more pics, and another that the owner didn't want me to post pictures of on the website (was worried people would track him down and steal his trailer..) The interiors and options all follow the same theme.

The Ohio Sales & Marketing Dept must have been a crazy place in the 1953 to 1964 era, as they were sticking all sorts of different nameplates on their 18 and 22 foot trailers, something California never did - rather reverse of what you would think. Might have been related to the California Dept of Housing standards oversight thing.

I concur that the '58-'59 dual Axle WT's were probably made and marketed in anticipation of the 1959 Capetown to Cairo event, and this trailer with its "C" Custom suffix, was ordered or built later in 1960 as a single-axle take-off of its older siblings, maybe for "USA" world traveling. If you stop and think about it, probably more than just 9 WT plates were made. I can just see the production manager pulling one (or more) of these plates out from his desk and slapping on a unique custom trailer, or even the Sales dept having a “World Traveler” promo: “Buy a fully equipped "International World Traveler" custom trailer, this month only, and we’ll throw in $$$ of extras!”

Well, however the story went, have fun! Getting the trailer is always the easy part, it's the fixing up that's the hard part.


Speaking of which, I think it's warmed up enough that I can go outside and get back to reinstalling the interior skins on the '56 Flying Cloud.

Bobwire, if you can, send all the images you can of the trailer to the address below and I'll add them to the photo archives.

Best of luck,
RJ Dial
(webmaster@vintageairstream.com)
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Old 12-23-2007, 04:43 PM   #25
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
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World Traveler meanderings...

This latest single axle World Traveler trailer has caused me to revisit my earlier understanding of exactly what the name "World Traveler" denotes. So lacking hard facts, I'll wax philosophical a bit and, accordingly, not reach any firm conclusion on the nature of things.

The 22' World Traveler was introduced in late 1957 or early 1958 as one of the five earliest Airstreams available with the International trim package. These five trailers were the first self-contained production model Airstreams. The 22' World Traveler was the late Fifties equivalent of the 1949 21' Globe Trotter, which was the loaded and fully equipped 22' Liner built for long term travel.

As far as I know, all the 1958 and 1959 22' World Travelers had tandem axles, unusual for a 22' trailer in the late 1950s. I've never seen any sales literature for the World Traveler, so don't know which of its many features were highlighted or touted as distinctive. But I suspect the tandem axles were emphasized as allowing the trailer to more easily traverse unimproved terrain, whether bumpy mountain roads or soft sinking desert sand. Four tires provide better floatation than two, so the WT had a lighter, more nimble footprint. It also could carry more weight than an identical single axle trailer, another useful feature for long term travel.

But tandem axles also meant more weight, more tires and required longer wheel wells which allowed less interior storage space, all offsetting features in a 22' trailer. Were the tradeoffs worth the extra weight and higher price? Well, Airstream customers apparently didn't think so because only 7 WTs were sold in 1958 & 1959, so it was dropped in 1960 as a production model. The same trailer service could be had in a single axle 22' Caravanner, Falcon, Flying Cloud or Safari at slightly less weight and at a smaller price during those years. These four others were the 22' trailers Airstream buyers mostly purchased during those years.

So what is the essence of a World Traveler? Is it the major exterior feature, the tandem axles, or the interior floor plan with top-of-the-line International features?

In the late Fifties, the length of every Airstream longer than 22' could be determined solely from its model name. All Trade Winds were 24' long, all Overlanders 26', all Ambassadors 28' and all Sovereigns 30'. But each length was available with different floor plans having either two twin beds or one double bed (and the same floor plans often differed in detail and layout between the Calif. and Ohio factories). So in these longer Airstreams, the model name denoted the length, not the floor plan.

But the 22' Airstreams were an exception to this general rule, as they were produced under 4 or more model names during the late 1950s. So for these Airstreams, the model name denoted the floor plan, not the 22' length which they all shared.

This 1960 single axle World Traveler drives that point home. It lacks the tandem axles but the location of its exterior features, especially its windows, furnace vent and hot water heater, all suggest it shares the same floor plan with the earlier tandem axle WTs (but with slightly more interior storage space due to its single wheel well housings).

So, one way of viewing this trailer is as a 1960 World Traveler with the tandem axles as a "delete option", a "custom" feature noted by the "C" suffix in the serial number. This view presumes the World Traveler still remained available in 1960 even though not listed as a production model. This is akin to, but the opposite of, ordering a 1960 Trade Wind with tandem axles as an upgrade option from the TW standard single axle.

Alternatively, this 1960 World Traveler could be viewed as essentially being a 1960 Airstream Custom-built trailer that incorporated all the features of its namesake, the fully loaded, top-of-the-line International trim package combined with the old World Traveler floor plan, but all on a single axle chassis. Under this view, it had to be a Custom model (as shown by the "C" suffix to its serial number) because the World Traveler was no longer available as a production model in 1960. But the Ohio factory would custom build a trailer to a customer's specifications for an extra charge, and that was done here. And since this trailer (presumably) has the World Traveler floor plan with the International trim level, it also received the World Traveler name plate and model designation to more specifically identify the out-of-production Airstream model it was based on, a very nice touch that used up one otherwise obsolete surplus name plate.

Here, one could delve into minutia such as the relative positions of the name plate and serial number plates on this 1960 World Traveler (serial number plate above the name plate) verses the 1958 and 1959 production model World Travelers (name plate above the serial number plate which does not contain any "C"). Are these differences significant and meaningful, indicating one prevails over or trumps the other? Or that the 1960 WT name plate was added underneath as an after thought? Or are the relative positions merely differences without any distinction, showing nothing more than the workers employed different attention levels to this particular order-of-installation detail in different years? Ponder, ponder, wonder and wonder ... how many angels can boogie on the head of a rivet?

Whichever view one prefers may depend on whether on sees the name plate and model designation on the Lifetime Warranty as trumping the "C" suffix in the serial number, or vice versa. That remains an open question in my mind.

But under either view, this trailer still exemplifies what makes this hobby so interesting. There are usually a few unexpected finds each year that keep things exciting, fresh and unresolved. It would too soon become very dull if we already knew all the answers. So thank you very much, Bob, for sharing photos and letting others also experience your excitement and joy, and ponder some imponderables as this year closes out.
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:13 PM   #26
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
Birchwood , Tennessee
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Once again thanks to all that are following this..........

The inside has had its first cleaning, and although some discoveries were made, I didn't find any unique or unusual items that would have given some insight into the owner. I found covers for the outside heater and water tank along with six poles in the original box for the awning system (no awning). The intake cover that goes under the stove and for the heater was found, but in bad shape. Not sure if it was standard, but, on the sink is a water purifier (looks like something for a coffee machine). This model seems to have an abundant amount of drawers, closets and storage space that is not available in my Flying Cloud. The front gaucho frame is in working order with some slight damage to one of the frame supports, but all of the drawers, armrests, backrest and bottoms (plywood) are present, all that is needed is the bottom foam (and of course to have everything recovered with new material).


The biggest disappointment, I can see at this point, is that sometime in its wonderful life the inside has been taped off, (just the big stuff), and then someone with a six pack of beer and a spray gun transformed the interior with white paint covering all natural exposed wood and a few other things (some windows, floor, bath tub). What I do not see is a refrigerator. Would this have been to the left of the door? There is a fuel line coming up from the floor to this space, outside access panel, but no evidence of anything else. It is a large enough space for one, does anybody know?


The outside has had its first wipe down, and although I have only owned two air streams before this one, the skin only has one deep scratch on the street side, just under the window, that is about ten inches long. Everything else, to include windows, door, lp tanks, battery box, belly skin, frame, axle, tv antenna, cb antenna all seem to be original and in good working order.
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:15 PM   #27
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1957 22' Flying Cloud
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As of today.............
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:35 PM   #28
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
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standard World Traveler interior layout ...

Hi Bob:

Thanks for posting the interior photos. Yep, that's the standard World Traveler floorplan, so that - more than the tandem axles - may be the main identifier of a 22' World Traveler. Your trailer certainly points in that direction. Very nice find!

Yes, the refrigerator would have been to the immediate left as you enter the door. There is a small eyebrow on the roof that is the vent for the fridge's combustion fumes, but the heated air from the refrigerator's cooling coils would have been circulated back into the trailer living area, providing welcome heat for a cool day but excess heat for a summer's day.

Oh, and by the way ... since you've just shown us you have Merry Christmas well in hand, have a very Happy New Year!
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