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Old 01-23-2009, 12:30 PM   #183
Restorations done right
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I would think with a leaf spring axle it would only need shocks. In the UK do they not use surge brakes on trailers? I think electric brakes are a no no there too. Not sure. I bet with as small as it is, it will not take much to stop it. No Hensley Hitch needed here.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:15 PM   #184
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Fred Caldwell thought the interior was gutted, but it is actually quite intact.
Since my name has been mentioned by the seller, and my silence might be deemed my acquiescence to his above opinion, I thought I'd pipe up.

I still think the interior was gutted. Following the auction, we have since learned from the seller that many original interior components are no longer present. I won't list them all here, but by reading this thread and studying photos you can count them for yourself.

When I talked to the former owner who bought the trailer two decades ago and owned it before it was re-sold three times within the past 15 months, he said his seller had the original interior spread out on his lawn. The former owner bought only the trailer and none of the removed original interior pieces. I imagine those pieces have long since been discarded and are now lost to history.

Those are the very brief facts upon which I base my opinion that the trailer has been gutted. I don't regard it as "quite intact" because I understand intact to mean with nothing missing or injured; kept or left whole; sound; entire; unimpaired. But my opinion is not the one that counts. It's the buyer's opinion that counts.

I wish Sam the best of luck and success in getting this Bubble rebuilt and back on the road where most happily belongs.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:19 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by 47WeeWind View Post
Since my name has been mentioned by the seller, and my silence might be deemed my acquiescence to his above opinion, I thought I'd pipe up.

I still think the interior was gutted. Following the auction, we have since learned from the seller that many original interior components are no longer present. I won't list them all here, but by reading this thread and studying photos you can count them for yourself.

When I talked to the former owner who bought the trailer two decades ago and owned it before it was re-sold three times within the past 15 months, he said his seller had the original interior spread out on his lawn. The former owner bought only the trailer and none of the removed original interior pieces. I imagine those pieces have long since been discarded and are now lost to history.

Those are the very brief facts upon which I base my opinion that the trailer has been gutted. I don't regard it as "quite intact" because I understand intact to mean with nothing missing or injured; kept or left whole; sound; entire; unimpaired. But my opinion is not the one that counts. It's the buyer's opinion that counts.

I wish Sam the best of luck and success in getting this Bubble rebuilt and back on the road where most happily belongs.
Fred,

According to you, you have not actually seen the Bubble. Having inspected the interior (first hand) it appears to have many elements "in tact." None of this matters really because the interior is old and in need of total restoration. However, it does appear to be correct in many ways compared to other Bubble interiors that I have seen that I know retain originality and, therefore, could be used as patterns.

Perhaps the former owner that you speak of (Tommy Starks I assume) bought the Bubble "gutted" then went out of his way to install period correct standard cabinets, stove, etc. Then hacked them up. I seriously doubt it.

I think he was the owner that performed the modifications, and only some of the original parts were gutted like the bathroom pieces. Besides, most of the surviving pieces appear to be much older then 20 years (likely original, or partially original). The sink cabinets do appear to have been removed and reinstalled. Perhaps, this is part of the confusion.

It would be helpful if you could be more specific about what does not appear to be correct. Your advice might help the new owner assuming that like me he would like to restore the Bubble - sympathetically.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:30 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
I would think with a leaf spring axle it would only need shocks. In the UK do they not use surge brakes on trailers? I think electric brakes are a no no there too. Not sure. I bet with as small as it is, it will not take much to stop it. No Hensley Hitch needed here.
I would think about inspecting for broken leafs, and maybe have the arc of the springs checked. The shackle bolts may be worn or if rubber bushed they may need replacing. The axel itself should be inspected for corrosion especially from the interior. These are all normal safety checks performed on any vintage equipment before return to service.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:06 PM   #187
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I would think about inspecting for broken leafs, and maybe have the arc of the springs checked. The shackle bolts may be worn or if rubber bushed they may need replacing. The axel itself should be inspected for corrosion especially from the interior. These are all normal safety checks performed on any vintage equipment before return to service.
Thanks guys (and ladies) for all your help, to be honest I'm overwhelmed. What a great bunch of people you all are.

I'm going to sit tight for a week or so and get a plan together. This is a steep learning curve for me, but I'm enjoying it.

I have got a very good gentleman in Phoenix looking into options and working on a small plan for me, will not give his name but i think you could guess who it might be. I will most likely get work done in America but overall not looking to recreate an exact replica of what it was 54 years ago, the changes that have been made partly reflect the history of the van and I like that.

I think maybe it's time to close this long thread/chapter of the Byam Bubbles life, she's been and I suggest we start a new one aimed at bringing the Byam Bubble back to life and back to Europe (at least for the next few years).

Many thanks,

Sam.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:37 AM   #188
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UK Bubbles-

Hi Sam-

If you choose to, UK law allows you to keep your existing electric brakes on the Bubble, as long as your tow vehicle is properly fitted with a matching brake controller. The ones we've found to work the best, are the simplest, and cost about $80, I'm using a Tekonsha Voyager, its my 3rd, and I love it.

You should have a 2" hitch, which works with a 50MM ball, or someone can get you a proper one from the US and have it tossed in for about $10.

You'll find there are several Bubbles in UK and scattered about mainland Europe. Dan G has a beautiful example of a whale tailed 1956, as do I, which mine is heading there shortly. Simon C has one which is also perfect, Dan G picked it up for him on arrival in SOU, and can attest to that. There are a few other Bubbles in the UK, but these 3 are by far the nicest original bodies. All 3 were or are being worked over by GT, who I believe you spoke to. Would be nice to line all 4 up at some point for a photo shoot.

You can actually have the Bubble loaded into a container, no matter where its sitting, and have it shipped over from Phoenix, without risking trucking damage, which is far too common in the US. They mainly need a warehouse depot that has both a street level and dock height entrance. This is a delicate and valuable shipment- the leading front curbside corner where all the names are painted- should it take a hit, is sure to affect the value. Dans was shipped in a container, with Simons, mine will be as well. Picking the proper shipper will be the key to having it packed right and carefully tied down from the proper structural points- more from the axles than the bumper, support the hitch with blocks, not the jack. You can book a 20' container, ask for truck transport and a water delivery only from the port of departure. Make sure they don't use rail transport from Phoenix to the sea port, which would probably be Long Beach. The jarring effect of the "humping" when the rail cars are attached to each other occurs at around 15MPH, which can shake an Airstream to pieces, and not worth the risk.

I'd avoid roll on freight with this one. They tend to stab things with the forklifts, especially on the UK side, and not worth the risk. Avoid Liverpool. You can find a freight handler in UK, who mostly works with expensive cars being imported who will gently roll this one from the 20' container, and make sure its unscathed. A cradle can also be built, which slides into the container, ensuring proper clearances from the interior walls.

Enjoy this one, hope to see it pulled around by a split window Beetle at some point- Dan G can help you with one of those as well. Welcome to the EU Bub Club.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:01 AM   #189
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A Few More Pictures of the Bubble

Here's the remainder of the pictures. I hope to get more.

Brad
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:03 AM   #190
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Brad
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:08 AM   #191
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Last one. There where the cabinet, the bed and wall meet you can tell there has been some work done here. Sorry the picture is so bad, I took it through the rear screen. I need to get a closer look to see what is going on here. I didn't want to step behind the axle while inside for fear of dropping the trailer on its bumper.

Brad
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:16 AM   #192
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Bearing Inderestin'

I enlarged these two areas in an effort to show some interesting tidbits. Let me know what you think.

Brad
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Old 01-24-2009, 11:56 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by say.no.evil View Post
Hi Sam-

If you choose to, UK law allows you to keep your existing electric brakes on the Bubble, as long as your tow vehicle is properly fitted with a matching brake controller. The ones we've found to work the best, are the simplest, and cost about $80, I'm using a Tekonsha Voyager, its my 3rd, and I love it.

You should have a 2" hitch, which works with a 50MM ball, or someone can get you a proper one from the US and have it tossed in for about $10.

You'll find there are several Bubbles in UK and scattered about mainland Europe. Dan G has a beautiful example of a whale tailed 1956, as do I, which mine is heading there shortly. Simon C has one which is also perfect, Dan G picked it up for him on arrival in SOU, and can attest to that. There are a few other Bubbles in the UK, but these 3 are by far the nicest original bodies. All 3 were or are being worked over by GT, who I believe you spoke to. Would be nice to line all 4 up at some point for a photo shoot.

You can actually have the Bubble loaded into a container, no matter where its sitting, and have it shipped over from Phoenix, without risking trucking damage, which is far too common in the US. They mainly need a warehouse depot that has both a street level and dock height entrance. This is a delicate and valuable shipment- the leading front curbside corner where all the names are painted- should it take a hit, is sure to affect the value. Dans was shipped in a container, with Simons, mine will be as well. Picking the proper shipper will be the key to having it packed right and carefully tied down from the proper structural points- more from the axles than the bumper, support the hitch with blocks, not the jack. You can book a 20' container, ask for truck transport and a water delivery only from the port of departure. Make sure they don't use rail transport from Phoenix to the sea port, which would probably be Long Beach. The jarring effect of the "humping" when the rail cars are attached to each other occurs at around 15MPH, which can shake an Airstream to pieces, and not worth the risk.

I'd avoid roll on freight with this one. They tend to stab things with the forklifts, especially on the UK side, and not worth the risk. Avoid Liverpool. You can find a freight handler in UK, who mostly works with expensive cars being imported who will gently roll this one from the 20' container, and make sure its unscathed. A cradle can also be built, which slides into the container, ensuring proper clearances from the interior walls.

Enjoy this one, hope to see it pulled around by a split window Beetle at some point- Dan G can help you with one of those as well. Welcome to the EU Bub Club.
Sam,

If you use Cosdel (Martin) for shipping I would send him no.evil's comments. They are spot on.

All the best
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:39 PM   #194
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Sam,

If you use Cosdel (Martin) for shipping I would send him no.evil's comments. They are spot on.

All the best
Thanks,
If I got the right deal I'd consider having her restored prior to leaving the states.
I just found this picture for the first time, would be great to see some more from the trip.
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:14 PM   #195
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Thanks,
If I got the right deal I'd consider having her restored prior to leaving the states.
I just found this picture for the first time, would be great to see some more from the trip.
Picture furnished from the Estate of Helen Byam Schwamborn
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:53 AM   #196
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Picture furnished from the Estate of Helen Byam Schwamborn
Many thanks Pee Wee. I wonder if they shipped the car over with trailer or if it was a european bug. Would be amazing it if could be tracked down.

Would you have any more info on the 1955 trip, the routes, the people, the trailers. Would be very interesting to see. Did they keep a scrapbook of the journeys?

Sam.
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