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Old 05-09-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
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Goin' On Safari

In discussing our plans for the future, the wife and I decided we'd like to spend way more time Airstreaming in the next few years, hopefully full-timing for several months a year as we work from the road. The GlobeTrotter - wonderful as it is - is a bit tight, so a couple weeks ago we decided to keep our eyes peeled for a project 22-footer that we can customize to suit our needs.

Fast forward a few days... and I was bouncing around Craigslist (a dangerous pastime when afflicted with full-blown Aluminitis...) when I spotted an exciting ad: a '54 Safari in northern Michigan, "needs restoration but body is in great shape" or something to that effect.

It looked great in the pair of tiny photos and was priced attractively, so I emailed as soon as I finished scanning the text, but was disappointed to learn the following morning that I was a few minutes too late; someone else had responded first and quickly snatched it up the following day. I asked the seller to forward my info to the buyer, just in case they got it home and began to break out in a cold sweat at the notion of a full restoration.

Still, I was quite surprised to get a phone call just a couple days later. Indeed, the buyer had second thoughts ("just in case" pays off, folks!) and again we didn't hesitate. That was 3 days ago, and yesterday morning we jumped in the car and headed from Chicago to Cadillac, MI. Stopping at the Indiana Dunes as the sun dipped below Lake Michigan, it occurred to me that we're the 3rd owners in a one week span.

Condition-wise, other than a large patch in the rear streetside quarter panel, the usual cracked and missing exterior light lenses, and a small spot that has corroded through the outer skin, the exterior is in really great shape. The interior is just about all original, with a spongey floor to match.

The Zolatone has been painted at least twice before, and is currently a sunny mild yellow. All kinds of fun little lights, switches, latches and fittings are still in place. This morning we sat over our morning coffee at the dinette, sipping and daydreaming about what we'll do with her. Stay tuned!
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Sa-weet! Love the windows
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:22 AM   #3
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Brad Abridged Going on a Safari

Thanks Janet!
Updated the ole' blog with some better photos and description of our new project, in case anybody's interested.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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Looks like you've got a lot to work with there, Brad.

I happen to like renovations!

cheers,
steve
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:35 AM   #5
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Lucky You!

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In case you get cold feet and want to make it four owners in a week, PM me (just kidding)
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
Lucky You!
In case you get cold feet and want to make it four owners in a week, PM me (just kidding)
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:54 AM   #7
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Wow! What a find. I live in Michigan and didn't see that one. I am partial to Safaris. Have fun with your project.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #8
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So much is awesome about that first picture you posted - the fabulous trailer, what I assume is Indiana Dunes park (love that campground), towing with the HiHy.

Congrats on the trailer - when I saw the GT in the Classifieds, I was curious as to what you had bought to replace it. We've thought about a 50s or 60s Safari ourselves but the siren song of a Serenity calls...

Tom
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Steve & Tim - and yes Tom, the HiHy did work splendidly. No noticeable difference between the weight of the GT and this Safari. In fact, check this out: I couldn't find my pair of clamps that bolt to the tongue (the ones which hold the weight bar chains) so we wound up towing with just the ball all the way home.

It was definitely breezy out on the highway, but we cruised along at 65 or so with no sway and without too much rear end sag on the Toyota. After about 10 miles or so I had as much confidence as if I had the weight bars on.

Of course this would be a non-story with a Tahoe or something with more truck DNA... but despite the more soft suspension and handling of the Highlander, I was pretty darn impressed.
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:01 AM   #10
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Being new to this forum I am placing a reply to gather ideas. Did you finish this project?
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Old 05-03-2014, 02:59 AM   #11
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Very nice. I wish you and your wife many years of enjoyment of your new-to-you Airstream.
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