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Old 08-27-2010, 09:17 AM   #1
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1957 26' Overlander
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1967 26' Overlander
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
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Found: Rare Aero Flite , 2nd oldest known

oh man... not an airstream but too rare to not mention -
one of 10 known aero flites according to owner.

Vintage 1947 Aero Flite 20 ft. travel trailer VERY RARE: eBay Motors (item 140444359494 end time Aug-28-10 16:21:26 PDT)

it actually looks like one of the 2 original prototypes... see here:

Models

wally byam owned the first prototype, originally purchased by neil vanderbilt.

on the website, the next oldest known trailer is #1020. i wonder if this trailer is a new discovery.

i wanna follow this reno!!! someone on the forums please buy it so i can watch
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:23 AM   #2
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That is way coooool! It reeks of 1947. That could be a time machine.

Brian
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
Birdie Momma
 
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1957 26' Overlander
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1967 26' Overlander
Rutherford Co. , North Carolina
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 871
after some digging, it looks like its being sold by birchwoodbeauties.com.
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Old 08-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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2001 30' Classic S/O
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Those folks are only like 25 miles from where I live. I have always wanted to go out there and see the inventory. They have Spartens and all kinds of interesting stuff. Maybe a road trip is in order..
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Bloomington , Illinois
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Aero #19

The Aero Flite on eBay is the 19th production Aero Flite built. The ad indicates there are only 10 Aero Flites, and perhaps that is how many the seller is aware of. I have photos of closer to 25 trailers, which is a pretty decent survival rate considering only approximately 100 to 110 trailers were built. This trailer is not one of the prototypes (being serial #1019 means it was #19). A very noticable difference in the production trailers and the prototypes is that the production trailers have rectangular door openings and the protypes had arched door openings. This one has been in the collection of a Northern California collector/vintage trailer restoration company for the past several years, and apparently he decided to sell it.

The eBay ad mentions that this was originally a painted trailer, and I do not agree with that statement. The trailer would have had the distinctive Aero Flite painted stripes, but the bulk of the body would have been unpainted aluminum.

This particular trailer will make a good restoration project, but it will not be an easy one. The construction of this trailer is an aluminum frame that is comprised of I-beam main rails and "C" channel tongue rails, with light gauge aluminum "C" channel crossmembers. A 1/4" thick plate of aluminum sits on and is riveted to the frame. These parts are all riveted together - not a weld anywhere, and there are thousands of rivets. A lightweight (balsa-core) plywood is then screwed to the aluminum plate on the inside before the linoleum finish flooring is installed. This trailer needs to have the aluminum plate replaced, and there is enough damage to the frame that it wouldn't make sense to me to try to fix it - just replace both the frame and floor. The body, which is riveted to the aluminum plate floor needs to be stabilized (the floor/frame add to the collective strength of the parts as an assembly), the rivets drilled out, and the body lifted off the floor and suspended. A new frame and floor would need to be constructed, then the body reset on the floor and everything riveted together.

I am hoping the new owner will restore it to its original beauty.


Kevin Reabe
www.aeroflitetrailers.com
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