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Old 11-18-2006, 09:40 AM   #1
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Curtis Wright? Clipper? Year?

I will pick up a 1947/48 (?) Curtis Wright trailer today. I am new to Airstream collections, and would like more info on these trailers.



I need one of these glass globes.



Note from Fred Coldwell... snip
I believe Wally helped design the CW model 5, which is the transition trailer between the prewar Airstream Clipper and the postwar Airstream Liner. The CW Clipper was introduced in early 1947 (the earlier magazine ad I've found for it was in a February 1947 issue) and the first Airstream was pulled by bicyclist LeTourneaur (sp!!) in early May, 1947. This tells me Wally left CW in the first few months of 1947, so I think he might have been involved in the very early production of the CW model 5, but that is solely opinion with little support by known facts.
Hope this helps you.
Fred Coldwell
VAC Historian
...snip

Questions I have:
It seems the Curtis Wright trailers had Wally Byam's design influence. The trivia question... When Wally Byam was employed/partnered with Curtis Wright, did he oversee the construction of the trailer?

And if so, how many were produced under his direction?

How many Curtis Wrights were produced after he left to start Airstream Inc.

It would be interesting to know how rare these trailers are.

Do Airstream enthusiasts, consider the Curtis Wright (Clipper?)as part of the family of Airstreams?

Is it nationally recognized?

Cliff
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:22 PM   #2
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Curtis Wright is not recognized by the WBCCI, although it looks eerily similar to early Liners. We here tend to be more open minded about such things, and personally I feel if a travel trailer has managed to survive as long as that one has, it and its owner can benefit from all the help we all can give them.
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Old 11-18-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
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You've made a marvelous find that we will enjoy watching while you post your progress in its restoration. I think we'd agree that your Clipper is a near-relative (second cousin??) of our Airstreams if not a full-blood brother! Welcome to the forums and keep sending us pictures. ~G
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Old 11-18-2006, 05:45 PM   #4
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Cliff

I have a friend in Fernie, BC, Canada who is in the process of restoring a '46/47 Curtis Wright. He purchased a wrecked 2004 Airstream and is using whatever was salvageable for appliances, etc, inside his. He's replaced some of the aluminum panels and it's about half way done. He also redid the frame/axle. He will be towing it with his '41 Plymouth hot rod.

Barry
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Old 11-18-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
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Curtis Wright in NMex

this trailer is in Organ, New Mexico (near Las Cruces). The couple was intending to sell it as soon as the better half finished a remote job assignment. I could probably id the house on Google Earth, but didn't get their name or address.

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Old 11-18-2006, 09:00 PM   #6
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cuyeda ,great find ! welcome to the world of vintage trailering .Im sure all
here will help in anyway we can . I personally think that since curtis wright
and Wally Byam designed and built the curtis trailer and then Wally went on
to build his own version (very much the same ) almost anyway ,that these trailers should indeed be at least be recognized as the earliest predecessor
to the airstream of today and thru out all the previouse years as well .
I could really care less what the WBCCI recognizes or not ,it seems that they
don't want to recognize Wallys torpedo either ,but then you know ,if Wally
was alive today ,im sure he himself would happy to see all these trailers
surviving and still in use today .

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
cuyeda ,great find ! welcome to the world of vintage trailering .Im sure all
here will help in anyway we can . I personally think that since curtis wright
and Wally Byam designed and built the curtis trailer and then Wally went on
to build his own version (very much the same ) almost anyway ,that these trailers should indeed be at least be recognized as the earliest predecessor
to the airstream of today and thru out all the previouse years as well .
I could really care less what the WBCCI recognizes or not ,it seems that they
don't want to recognize Wallys torpedo either ,but then you know ,if Wally
was alive today ,im sure he himself would happy to see all these trailers
surviving and still in use today .

Scott of scottanlily
Scott,

WBCCI does recognize the Torpedo, Dr. Holman, Jr was parked next to me at this years International Rally in Salem, OR. There are several pictures of it here and on the Sierra Nevada Unit's pictures of the Rally.

Bill
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:33 PM   #8
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Hi Bill , Thanks for that info ,I know they allow the one unit #1935 I think
but it sounded as if that was a special one time thing ,and if someone had
built another from the plans that wally had back then and it surfaced today
it wouldn't be allowed .I may have read the other thread incorrectly though .
Over63s comment on the WBCCI not allowing the curtis, or the torpedo thread which said only self contained trailers were allowed to be in the WBCCI
as the criteria is where I picked up this idea ,which I cannot agree with ,
but then its no matter as Im not the say in any of this ,but I do love these
trailers and all the versions of them and believe they should be welcome.

Scott
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
Hi Bill , Thanks for that info ,I know they allow the one unit #1935 I think
but it sounded as if that was a special one time thing ,and if someone had
built another from the plans that wally had back then and it surfaced today
it wouldn't be allowed .I may have read the other thread incorrectly though .
Over63s comment on the WBCCI not allowing the curtis, or the torpedo thread which said only self contained trailers were allowed to be in the WBCCI
as the criteria is where I picked up this idea ,which I cannot agree with ,
but then its no matter as Im not the say in any of this ,but I do love these
trailers and all the versions of them and believe they should be welcome.

Scott
Scott,

If one could find the original plans, and Dr Holman is not giving or selling copies, and built a Torpedo, I think that you would have a good argument for having it in WBCCI. One of the problems would be proving that it was from the original plans, no other copies have surfaced, but then I am not an expert on this or many other items.

Bill
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Curtis Wright is not recognized by the WBCCI, although it looks eerily similar to early Liners. We here tend to be more open minded about such things, and personally I feel if a travel trailer has managed to survive as long as that one has, it and its owner can benefit from all the help we all can give them.
My understanding after talking with HQ last year is that the WBCCI does recognize the Curtis Wright model 5, like cuyeda owns, as a Byam designed trailer and will allow owners of those trailers to become full WBCCI members. The WBCCI constitution was amended within the last 2 years to allow less than fully self-contained Airstreams built earlier than 1974 to join or remain in the WBCCI, after conflicting earlier language was identified and quickly amended. So I think the WBCCI is as equally open minded as this Forum regarding aluminum Curtis Wright trailers. I'm not aware that the issue of a Curtis Wright model 2 aluminum trailer has ever come before the WBCCI for a membership decision, so in my mind at least that remains an open issue. Overlander 63, what is the basis for your above statement?
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Old 11-18-2006, 11:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
My understanding after talking with HQ last year is that the WBCCI does recognize the Curtis Wright model 5, like cuyeda owns, as a Byam designed trailer and will allow owners of those trailers to become full WBCCI members. The WBCCI constitution was amended within the last 2 years to allow less than fully self-contained Airstreams built earlier than 1974 to join or remain in the WBCCI, after conflicting earlier language was identified and quickly amended. So I think the WBCCI is as equally open minded as this Forum regarding aluminum Curtis Wright trailers. I'm not aware that the issue of a Curtis Wright model 2 aluminum trailer has ever come before the WBCCI for a membership decision, so in my mind at least that remains an open issue. Overlander 63, what is the basis for your above statement?
Fred,

Thank you for joining this thread and the information which you have.

OK cuyeda, you can join WBCCI so come out to Pechanga in March and join the El Camino Real Unit. We will enjoy seeing your trailer.

Bill
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:02 AM   #12
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The 1947 Curtis Wright is home!

What a day! The 1947 Curtis Wright (Clipper?) is finally in the driveway. Bought new tires to tow it home... ahhhhh... it didn't fit the tire well. A quick call, and a trip across town, for new tires (again). Ok learned lesson #1, don't let the tire salesman talk you into anything else than the size printed on the original tire. A quick clean up for a better inspection, and it all looks good. There is much to be done, it all seems solid. Missing a marker light lense, and a gas lamp globe. A slight indentation on top rear (about the size of hard baseball), minor surface scratch. Ok Stop! Enough of my trailer condition. I'll post more in a different thread.

Thread subject: 1947/48? The paperwork says 1947!

Is the Curtis Wright 1947 considered a "Clipper"?

After all it was Wally Byams design. A Clipper is a "Clipper", and Liner is a "Liner". Is a Curtis Wright a "Curtis Wright", or a Curtis Wright Clipper? I am guessing it's just a Curtis Wright 1947.

I didn't intend any controversy over WBCCI acceptance, and really appreciate the acceptance of the trailer. There is so little information available, research is required. Perhaps more pieces to this puzzle will surface in the near future.

Last questions for this thread topic...

How many Curtis Wrights were produced? How many under Wally's direction?

How many Curtis Wrights were produced after Wally left to start Airstream Inc., if any?

Is there anyone still alive that worked at that facility to tell about it?

Sounds like a good Huell Howser story. :-).

Thank you to everyone sharing here.

Cliff

P.S. A special thanks to Fred Coldwell for the support, and wkerfoot for the invite.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:29 AM   #13
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here's the nameplate off the Curtis Wright in Organ, NM. I love the "Aircraft and Trailers"--a perfect combination.

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Old 11-26-2006, 02:40 PM   #14
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Hello cuyeda ,
Great news the trailer is now in your driveway ! You made no controversy
regarding your trailer ,It s just that it should be acknowledged as a piece
of pre airstream history and curtis Wright / wally byam partnerships .It does
appear it is ,from the posts made here. I love all these old trailers and history
related to them .Just exciting stuff!!

Scott
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