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Old 04-28-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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'60s vs '70s models

I'm contemplating purchasing a gutted AS from the mid 60s or early 70s. If I'm only interested in the outer look is there a difference in appearance between the two assuming the lengths were the same?

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Old 04-28-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LittleA View Post
I'm contemplating purchasing a gutted AS from the mid 60s or early 70s. If I'm only interested in the outer look is there a difference in appearance between the two assuming the lengths were the same?
There was a body style change with the 1969 models. Look here for the most complete picture archive of Airstream trailers: Vintage Airstream Home


Bill Kerfoot, WBCCI/VAC/CAC/El Camino Real Unit #5223
Just my personal opinion
1973 Dodge W200 PowerWagon, 1977 Lincoln Continental, 2014 Dodge Durango
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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imho... Mostly personal preference but we looked for a 70's version because of the more modern and appealing look for "us". The softer looking windows with curved corners compared to the square windows is a biggy.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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We initially weren't fussed, apart from looking for a trailer with an original interior... then we found Gladys - a '68 Overlander. I love the square windows.

I haven't actually been in many other Airstreams, something I hope to rectify this year at Burning Man, we live in London (UK).
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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60s = square windows and more end cap panels. Parts harder to come by. More $
70s = round corners and front wing windows. Less panels on end caps. Parts easier to find. -$ Lighter construction.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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Did they make the chassis stronger in the 70s than the 60s?
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:23 PM   #7
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early 60's, cool door within a door, even cooler tail lights
1960 Sovereign 33' Pacific Railroad Custom
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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60s vs 70s models

Both eras have their charms, and I would be torn if I had to choose between my 1964 Overlander and my 1978 Minuet. Due to my long history with the Overlander it would have to receive my greater favor -- my favorite features include:
  • The door-within-a-door. Anyone traveling with small dogs can appreciate the greater security that this arrangement offers when compared with the more typical screen door found on the later coaches -- my Chihuahuas are far less likely to force the screen out of the retainer channel on the Overlander than on the Minuet.
  • The crank-out windows. My Overlander has the Hehr windows with crank mechanisms which are far easier to operate than the manual lever operators on my Minuet. Granted, there is more to go wrong with the crank mechanisms, to me, their convenience far outweighs the repair costs.
  • The Jalousie Side Window. Prior to 1965, the longer coaches each had a jalousie side window next to the door. This window simplified getting air circulation during rain storms, and was a window that could be cracked open to provide for at least some ventilation while away at activities.
  • The oak veneer interior. While I can't fault the easy care of the laminates in my Minuet, there is a charm and warmth with the original oak veneers in the Overlander that is hard to overlook.
  • The "See-Through" Interior. While both my Overlander and Minuet have this feature, it is not useful on the Minuet where the dark tinted stone guard prevents seeing through except following headlights at night. The Overlander has a Lexan front window, and when towing with my Suburban all I have to do is glance at my center rear view mirror and I can easily see if I have a tailgater behind the coach.
My 1978 Minuet is not without its charms, and I find the following among its most desirable features:
  • The wing windows. The front wing windows certainly create a feeling of greater room and bring the outdoors closer. They are particularly nice when lounging on the sofa when the weather is inclement.
  • Vinyl Laminate Surfaces. The Minuet has vinyl laminate surfaces including cabinets, walls, and ceiling. This material has stood the test of time in my coach -- it is easy to clean and maintain -- even after 30 years it still appears new when freshly cleaned -- it does not, however, have the aesthic warmth of the wood veneers in the Overlander.
  • Retro 1970s Interior Colors. This is definitely a point of individual departure. One of the things that drew me to my Minuet was its Burnt Orange interior color scheme -- dated, but to me, very attractive and reminiscent of the popular colors when I was in high school.
  • Better factory manuals. The Overlander was produced during the first year for the owner's manual which was rudimentary by today's standard. By the time the Minuet rolled off of the production line both owners and shop manuals were available providing much more detailed information.
  • Tambour cabinet doors. Again, one of those things that you either like or hate, it is another of the features that drew me to the Minuet; and despite their temperamental nature, I still really like the ambience that they lend to the coach -- I particularly like the use of the white laminate on the roof lockers and the darker wood-look vinyl laminate on the base cabinets.
As a friend in the Volkswagen New Beetle Owner's Club recently stated: "you almost need to sit in each one being considered to see which one ""speaks"" to you." To me, the same is true for Airstreams -- each era has its charms -- as does each of the various Airstream products -- Argosy -- Argosy Motorhomes -- Airstream Motorhomes -- Square Argosy -- Square Airstream -- Integrity Fifth Wheels -- and Airstram B-Vans.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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What a great comparison, Overlander 64. Very informative.

Lisa and Paul

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1973 13' Boler (fiberglass egg) "The Boiler" (

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