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Overlander Land Yacht International
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Airstream Name Overlander Land Yacht International
Year 1964
Make Airstream
Model Overlander Land Yacht International
Length 26' 8"
Options International Package
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International
Overview Special ordered by John and Mary Carson of Jacksonville, Illinois in the spring of 1964, this would be their second Airstream but first brand new coach. They traded the 1957 Caravanner that had been their introduction to Airstreams on their new Overlander. The selling dealer was Kolbe Airstream on Eight Mile Road in Detroit Michigan. A special feature requested by the Carson's was that one axle have hydraulic brakes while the second would be equipped with electric brakes. The hydraulically braked axle permitted them to continue using their 1957 Mercury Monterey tow vehicle with minimal adjustment; while the electrically braked axle permitted towing the coach with a newer tow vehicle having a controller for electric brakes. This feature was revised when the 1957 Mercury Monterey was traded on a brand new 1967 Mercury Monterey coupe that would be this coach's second primary -- tow vehicle -- so from 1967 on, both axles had electric brakes.

This coach turned out to be a particular favorite of both John and Mary as it would be kept in their fleet even when a new Ambassador was purchased a few years later. This would also be the last coach that John sold prior to retiring from traveling in 1980.

Lovingly maintained for 16 years, the coach survived a period of general neglect from its second owners (1980 through 1995). For most of this time period, the coach was relegated to hunting camp duty on a farm in Southwest Missouri.

I acquired this coach in 1995 from its second owner, and did not recognize the coach so was unaware of its pedigree. I knew that the coach was familiar for some reason, and six weeks later, John and Mary's family identified the coach as the one that they had owned based on the drapes that Mary had sewed for the coach about three years before it was sold.
Exterior
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Exterior 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Exterior 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Exterior
The exterior of the coach was polished and Plasticoated by P & S Trailer Service in Helena, Ohio in 2004. While receiving its refurbishment at P & S, new Worthington 40 pound LP tanks were purchased and drop-shiped to Helena so that they could be polished to match the coach. Unfortunately, A & E Systems did not offer parts support for their 1960s Airstream roller awnings, so when main components of both awning arms broke in 2004, a new awning was ordered from ZipDee with "Blue Fancy" striped material -- a bathroom window and bedroom window awning were added at the same time as well. A solar electric system was added over a two year period at the WBCCI International Rallys in Bismarck, ND and Sioux Falls, SD. The solar electric system included three solar panels, charge controller, charge monitor, and an Inverter Charger to properly manage the AGM battery pack that was installed (three Group 27). The original ceiling vent fans were replaced with Fantastic Vents as the International Rally in Boise, Idaho. Between 1995 and 2000, the water heater, furnace, and refrigerator were replaced with their modern equivalents which meant that the vents for furnace and water heater required modification -- since the original shrouds had been badly damaged over the years, they were discarded in favor of the sleeker appearance possible using the vents supplied with the new equipment. New Alloy wheels were added in 2009 to replace the solid steel wheels that were installed when the original split-rim wheels were replaced in 1975. A modern "bat-wing" antenna replaced the original mast-type antenna on the front panel of the coach -- the bat-wing assumed its preferred location on the roof of the coach.

Interior
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Interior 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Interior 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Interior
In overall configuration, the interior has not been changed from its original floorplan. The second owners essentially ripped out the fiberglass bathroom enclosure when the original china toilet had to be replace -- this left a plywood enclosure in place of the smoothly styled fiberglass enclosure. The second owners had also determined that the original Zolatone paint was ugly so they painted it sour-kraut green. Fortunately, they did not remove the original ceiling pad nor the original comfort pads one the walls alongside the beds. In 2005, the interior was refurbished by Henry and Arlene Fowler (Fowler RV Interiors, Symsonia, Kentucky). This included applying a sponge-painting technique to the ceiling and walls utilizing white, blue, and gray paints to simulate Zolatone. Blue-fade drapes were installed on all windows, and matching bedspreads and pillow shams were also sewn. Henry did a wonderful job recreating the drop-leaf table top in solid oak finished in a rich golden oak stain. The new Dometic 3-way refrigerator was slightly larger (2.5" taller than original) than its predecessor which meant that the cabinet had to be modified by removing the cutlery drawer that had been immediately above the refrigerator door -- this was another of Henry Folwer's excellent wood working projects. A local bathroom fixture refinisher was contracted to refinish the bathroom fixtures in antique pewter that replaced the very tires Avacado Green that was the original fixture color. The front sofa and matching ottoman were reupholstered utilizing the same subtle stripe red-white-blue material for all uphostery.

Customization
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Customization 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Customization 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Customization
This coach was a "custom" order, but unlike most of its peers its only custom feature was the use of one hydraulic braked axle and one electric braked axle -- this was to accommodate the original owners existing 1957 Mercury tow vehicle -- the hydraulic axle would be converted over to electric brakes when the 1957 Mercury was traded in favor of a new 1967 Mercury Monterey coupe that would function as primary tow vehicle.

Systems and Running Gear
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Systems and Running Gear 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Systems and Running Gear 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Systems and Running Gear
This coach received more of a restoration than rennovation. There were no particular non-reversible changes made to either the interior or exterior.

Other Information
In its 45 years on the road, this coach has been parked in at least one campground in every one of the lower 48 states, all of the Canadian provinces, as well as all of the Mexican states. The coach has also made at least one trip to Alaska.

Tow Vehicle
1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Tow Vehicle 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International Tow Vehicle
Tow vehicles for this coach have included:

1957 Mercury Monterey (1964-1967)
1967 Mercury Monterey Coupe (1967-1970)
1970 Mercury Monterey Coupe (1970-1975)
1975 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Coupe (1975-1980) <was a package deal with Overlander when sold in 1980>
1980-1995 Tow vehicles Unknown
1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (1995-1996)
1995 Chevrolet K1500 Z71 Club Cab Pickup (1996-1998)
1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (1998 to Present)
1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (2004 to Present -- periodic tow vehicle).
Comments: 1 / Views: 22273
Old 06-23-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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1964 30' Sovereign
Porum , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 421
Our '64 Sovereign also came from Kolbe's in Detroit. Can't find any info on them now.
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