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Old 04-28-2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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The Buddha Baby A Restoration

This is the first thread in a new sub forum for 61 Sovereigns.
It will be a long thread fully documenting the search, purchase, recovery and restoration of a rare California custom built 1961 30ft Sovereign.
I first saw this trailer on Craig's list a few weeks ago. It reappeared last week coupled together with a SOB as a package.
I called the seller and made an offer on only the A/S. He accepted the offer.
I was informed that I only had 4 days to remove it from the property as the county was ordering the trailers removed by then.

I have always dreamed about owning a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible so it made sense to look for a 1961 A/S to go with it. My birth date is Nov 1960 and that is the production date of this sovereign. Once the restoration is done I will be searcjing for the right TV to complete my dream vintage package.

My next call was to Frank Yensan (62overlander) of Frank's Trailer Works in Baltimore MD. We talked and he heartily agreed to go on the recovery.
Frank left last night and drove all night, arriving in North carolina early this morning. He had to change out the tires and spend some time attaching the rear of the belly pan to bring it back to Baltimore. I spoke to Frank late this aftrenoon and he was close to home and the trip was going well. A huge thank you goes out to Frank for the great effort he has undertaken on this recovery.

I intend to have Frank undertake the restoration of this trailer as I am still in the middle of my 73 Excella full monte and can't do two trailers at once and still find time to run my business. Frank is very busy now so won't be gettting to it for a month or two to start the tear down and anlysis of the true condition.

Here are some pictures from the ad and I will post some more once Frank gets some rest and has the time to shoot some for me.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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Here are the rest of the pics.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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Wow! They were jalousie-happy with that one.

The tiny little interior photos doesn't look nearly as scary as I'd expect from the outside. It looks like an exciting project.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:40 PM   #4
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A little history of it's last home. It was being used as a guest house for a Buddist monastary. So that's why I have christened it the Buddha Baby.
Maybe I will have some really good Karhma coming my way by helping out the monastary with their clean up efforts and rescuing this old baby from the depth of the woods.
The interior colors are a bit gaudy and I'm not really in love with the pink sinks and tub. I'm not sure if any of the cabinetry can be saved.
It will definitley have to be a full monte. Frank has informed me that the floor has had a patch up done by laying new plywood over the old one and then they screwed 2x4's to the floor and the interior skins sort of like baseboard in an attempt to attach the new floor to the shell.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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Another adventure begins!

I do think you are earning your way into enlightenment with that project....it should end up being another adventure for sure. I am glad you are going to document what happens along the way so we can all learn from it. You are a hard worker and not one to shy away from challenges. I can't wait to see what happens next.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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The seller informed me that it has been housing monks since the mid 80's I think the collective Karma is very strong. Nothing flew off. She towed great once I put all four tires and rims in the front and increases the tongue weight. I towed her bare back the entire way and she wanted to push me into into every intersection. I found by saying Om Mani Padme Hum brought her to an instant stop.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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I've been doing a little research and found that the interior paint is the colors of the Buddhist flag. Blue for compassion, yellow for the middle path, red for blessings, white for purity and orange for wisdom.
I've been thinking about the final finishes and will try to incorporate Buddhist stylings and colors into the design.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #8
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Wow. I saw the ad for this one and am so happy to see someone is going to be bringing it back to life. That's one very cool Airstream.

It will be amazing when your finished. Can't wait to see updates in the future.

Good Luck and Congrats!
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
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I had a long telephone call with Frank this morning as he did some forensic investigation into the trailer.
This trailer is turning out to be quite a unique find. It is definitely a custom built init with many interesting features. The coolest thing is that 9 out of eleven of the windows are Jalousie style.
After discussing this trailer at length with Frank I have decided on the look for the interior. We will be trying to keep it all retro so when you look inside it will be like looking back 50 yrs into the past. Luckily Frank has a donor trailer, a 61 TW and has in stock many of the missing or damaged pieces especially the front & rear windows.
I was originally thinking about keeping the exterior looking original and totally modernizing the inside. My 73 will end up like that so I think having the 61 all retro will be better. Nicki You'll be glad to hear the pink sinks and tub will be staying.

Frank is going to send me some more detailed and clearer pictures soon and I will post them once I have them.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #10
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wow looking forward to watching the progress on this one. it looks like a hell of alot of work! but it also looks like she's got great potential. good luck and god speed.....or buddah speed
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
After discussing this trailer at length with Frank I have decided on the look for the interior... I think having the 61 all retro will be better...
I like the plan - very cool trailer, and an old Lincoln (gloss black is my fave - sets off the chrome) would be an incredible combo. Gosh, you'd pull out of the driveway and by the time the rear bumper leaves... you'd be at your destination.

Might I suggest the first ascents of Everest as some inspiration as well. Leathers, cotton canvas and those colorful little strings of prayer flags in Tibet might add an charming touch. It'd be a nod both to the monks who've lived in it... and to a spirit of adventure and travel.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #12
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These are a few of the things I found so far online. They are examples of what the final decorations will look like.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #13
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Congrats on the new purchase, Chris. Lots of potential. It will be fun to see the progress.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:23 PM   #14
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Congrats Chris!
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