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Old 02-01-2017, 09:12 PM   #43
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goransons, Think twice about replacing panels. In the corvette world, a surviving car is worth more than a restored car. So by having most or all it's original exterior might be more appealing. A good body man can do miracles. Yes it will have some battle scars, that's what makes it more authentic. I'm sure more will chime in. Maybe ask the Discovery or history channel about making a documentary on restoring ''Airstream's Holy Grail''. Maybe get a advance on movie/book deal to finance the project. Or good advertising for the company that restores it for you at a discount. I think Wally, smiled on you this week This thread is going to be epic...no pressure goransons.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:17 PM   #44
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Today Megan and I purchased a 1955 "Cruiser" off of the Portland Oregon Craigslist. I had been tipped off by a great friend (a different Wally, FLYRC on the forums) to an odd trailer on the page.

Being a 1955, why did it have 7 segments, why did it have the jalousie windows on both sides? I dismissed it (it was over priced) and it sat for several weeks.

Sunday night I ran across it again, and started noticing more things, an odd bumper, more pictures showing the H-20 lock, but noticing it had signs of a front kitchen, lots of airstream badges, just too many odd things to explain including the different water heater and front rock guard.

I shared photos Monday morning with Joe, the VAC historian, who confirmed the trailer as Wally Byam's. It took 18 hours but the trailer is home safe. It's going to be a HUGE restoration project, but the end goal is to get as close to original as possible while still being practical for our family to use (in other words it will have functioning appliances and modern wiring etc).

I've got several big projects, Airstream (including "Windy") and house, so it will be done gradually. It's already been suggested we start a go fund me sight to help restore it but we'll cross that bridge as we take in what we have. Here are just a few pictures, a few more to follow after some much needed rest. We're going to need to find quite a few things, the short wave antenna, jalousie hardware for one window, the original light fixtures, latches, drawer pulls, and I'm sure more as we dig in further. Our plan is to restore the outside to original conditions, even the bike rack.

Thanks to Joe for providing the historical pictures.
Glad I could help identify this unique and historic "Wally Byam slept here" trailer in time for you to complete the purchase. I had often wondered where that unique Airstream was hiding.

I am glad it is going to someone that appreciates it and will restore it back to what it once was. You have a big challenge, but are the right guy for the task! I will continue to help in any way I can.

I should note that most of the historical photos are courtesy of the Estate of Helen Byam Schamborn, by way of Dale "Pee Wee" Schamborn. One is from a Life magazine photo archive that I found on-line a few years ago, that I can no longer find.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:29 PM   #45
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My sincere congratulations!
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:46 PM   #46
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Here's the water heater, quite unique!

Also noticed that the floor was originally cork square tiles. Heard from Frank Yensen a few weeks back in just a general conversation that Wally Byam like cork floors and he was right!
I would not be surprised if that was the very first exterior mounted propane water heater ever installed in an Airstream. The story goes that Wally wanted one and convinced a company to make it some time in the 1950s. I have seen this style, with the round center port, occasionally show up in late 1950's Airstream in photos. I know at least one or two (probably more) were used on the 1959-60 African caravan. I have never seen that style on a 1960's Airstream though. Finding a replacement might be tough, but there may be some still out there. Rebuilding it may end up being a possibility. I guess time will tell. Good luck!
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:52 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streaminwild View Post
goransons, Think twice about replacing panels. In the corvette world, a surviving car is worth more than a restored car. So by having most or all it's original exterior might be more appealing. A good body man can do miracles. Yes it will have some battle scars, that's what makes it more authentic. I'm sure more will chime in. Maybe ask the Discovery or history channel about making a documentary on restoring ''Airstream's Holy Grail''. Maybe get a advance on movie/book deal to finance the project. Or good advertising for the company that restores it for you at a discount. I think Wally, smiled on you this week


Rest assured anything we can keep original including interior parts will be. Only recent abuse will be repaired or replaced. I'm a history buff and so is my wife. The build is half the fun, but financing the project will be the next step besides collecting all the necessary pieces to put the puzzle back together
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:56 PM   #48
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Wow - I own the other trailer in the first picture - get that restored and maybe we can get them together again - mine is 90% done - it's amazing what happens to these trailers and where they are found - mine sat in a storage unit in Amarillo Tx for 20 years - I think if you search "a very famous Airstream " you will see pics of #50 - keep in touch and up to date on your restoration - mine took about four years
Ken, I have other photos from the 1956 European Caravan showing your Airstream as well as the original owners of your Airstream, Louis & Mildred Mousley. Contact me by email if you want me to send some to you.

BTW, of the approximately 36 Airstreams that were on the 1956 European caravan, yours and now Scott's are the only two that I know of that have been identified as still existing. I wonder if any others will ever be found and properly identified?
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:30 AM   #49
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So glad you got in touch with Dale - he's a treasure trove of information and an all around great guy!
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:16 AM   #50
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Missing window:

I do want to protect what is left from the elements so I need to find a few other things


First, it's missing the mechanical parts to one jalousie window. Glass is 3" and 8 panes tall. I'll take some close ups of the complete ones this afternoon but need to remove the plywood first. Yesterday after work focused on snow moving to park the thing.

The other item is all three roof vents are missing everything and they don't look like the early 60's hear vents. The base on the roof appears to be steel. Pictures to follow.

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Old 02-02-2017, 12:13 PM   #51
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Fyi, there are thread on the forum that cover fixing original skins. There has been recent results using an English wheel to restore the shape. In my biased view there is not many skins that need to be replaced.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:26 PM   #52
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I've been very impressed with that thread. I will reuse everything possible to preserve history. Click image for larger version

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To the rear of the door that short panel will get replaced to delete the wood stove added at some point.

The Tradewind my wife and I are finishing with Flyrc's help was beyond English wheel but Aerowood's roller fixed dented end caps nicely. Here's that project

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ID:	279083. It's almost done now. All original restored woodwork, less than one 4x8 sheet of new oak in it. Countless hours of veneer repair etc.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:52 PM   #53
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Here's more detail on the missing window hardware. 3" panes 8 high. Need 2 sides for the one by the door, and lifter for it and lifters for 3 others. Found some areas of zolatone after removing the plywood they had boarded things up with. Front roof vent is odd, rusty screws makes me think someone took off a hehr vent. Wish I had kept all the ones I've come across over the years! Goal #1 at this point is to keep the snow out. Click image for larger version

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Man I wish those 3 long long lights were still there!

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Old 02-02-2017, 06:35 PM   #54
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Joe has been sending me pictures from his archives. This overhead picture shows some interesting roof vent covers (which are all missing). Any guess? Wondering if those are cutouts with plexi for light?
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:54 PM   #55
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Don't ya wish these old trailers could talk and tell you where they have been ?


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Old 02-02-2017, 08:05 PM   #56
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Joe has been sending me pictures from his archives. This overhead picture shows some interesting roof vent covers (which are all missing). Any guess? Wondering if those are cutouts with plexi for light?
Wally's Gold trailer had similar vent covers. They appear to be nothing more than Hehr covers with round holes cut into the center for a plexiglass lens to allow light in, with the lens held in place by a rubber gasket. Attached are two photos (originally obtained from the estate of Helen Byam Schawmborn by way of PeeWee) that show these lids on the Gold trailer.

In the first one, that is from the 1957 Kentucky Derby-Indy 500 Caravan, you can see what appears to be a rubber gasket around the lens.

In the second one, that is from the 1959-60 African Caravan, you can see thru both lenses with what looks like a Hehr bracket without a fan in the front location and with a fan in the rear location.
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