Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
1961 19' Globetrotter
1959 18' "Footer"
santa cruz , California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 148
demystifying the whale tail - 1954 Flying Cloud

so the whale tail was made only in CA? and only up to 1957? so around half of the FC made during this era had whale tails. i notice adds on craigslist and ebay adds seller advertises the 'tails' rarity and prices usually reflect (way more expensive). but arent the non whale tails in the era just as rare? so the price increase is because of a more desirable panel configuration and not rarity? or were there really less whale tails made? does interior FC layout have a role in value as well? 1 more question. did any of the fc in early 50's have factory installed showers?

thanks !
__________________

__________________
greenrig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
utee94's Avatar
 
1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,636
I'm a big fan of whale tails. I don't know the answers to most of your questions, but I THINK that whale tails were only made in California for a couple of years, maybe 1956 and 1957, so that is why they are relatively rare.

If I'm wrong, I'm quite certain someone will be along to correct me.
__________________

utee94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2009, 09:46 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
TWaugh's Avatar
 
1969 25' Tradewind
1971 18' Caravel
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 423
Images: 8
IMHO any Flying Cloud is a treasure, if its in fair to good condition and if the price is reasonable.

As for the production years for the whale tail check this site for year by year comparisons.
Vintage Airstream Photo Archives
From what I can tell it looks as though they were produced from 54 through 57. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone more informed will correct me.

Tom
__________________
TWaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member
 
SilverPal's Avatar
 
1954 22' Flying Cloud
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Ojai , California
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 245
With all my infinite wisdom (install chuckle here) the Whales Tails were a California anomaly. They began in the 1950s and went up to the early 1957's. I agree! Any whale's tail is a prized possession!
__________________
Lynda
AIR 24539 WBCCI 2705
Founding Member, Greater Los Angeles Airstream Club
Follow us on Facebook and our website:
www.GreaterLosAngelesAirstreamUnit.wbcci.net
SilverPal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
3 Rivet Member
 
1961 19' Globetrotter
1959 18' "Footer"
santa cruz , California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 148
this is all due to the panel configuration? thats it?
__________________
greenrig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 01:52 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
Distantdrummer's Avatar
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
Someone please post a pic of the whale tail configuration.
I have such a pic somewhere but cannot find it. Might make this thread a bit more useful for future (and current) users / readers.
__________________
Distantdrummer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
4 Rivet Member
 
Distantdrummer's Avatar
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
Look here for classic whale tails (as I know them). And why would that thread be closed I wonder?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ail-38720.html

======================================
Now Here is pic of a '49 (reportedly)
Is there a Whale Tail here?

Would the keystone shaped panel above and behind the license plates be considered a whale's tail also?
__________________
__________________________
____ d'drummer ____

...aahh..rumm..pu..tum..tummm...
Distantdrummer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
VIKING's Avatar
 
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Boulder Creek , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,177
Here's your whale tail pic!

Rich
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010084.JPG
Views:	465
Size:	343.3 KB
ID:	79432  
__________________
VIKING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:46 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
VIKING's Avatar
 
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Boulder Creek , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,177
The '49 has a trout tail, or maybe a goldfish tail
__________________
VIKING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:47 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Sugarfoot's Avatar
 
1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,115
Here's a Whale Tail



Here's a shot of Elvis, my 1956 California Sovereign of the Road. The whale tail consist of nine panels on the rear endcap, four on each side and a center panel coming from the roofline and flaring over the window. The "whale tail" is the section over the window.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was done by the California factory as an answer to labor savings. Instead of riveting 13 panels, they only had to rivet nine.
__________________
Traveling With Elvis
life with a 1956 Sovereign of the Road

Aluminocentricity
Sugarfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
4 Rivet Member
 
Distantdrummer's Avatar
 
1975 31' Sovereign
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 494
thanks
and finally is a dutchmans cap the same as a whale's tail?
__________________
Distantdrummer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 02:59 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Sugarfoot's Avatar
 
1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
thanks
and finally is a dutchmans cap the same as a whale's tail?
That's what I've been told.

I'm not convinced they are all that rare, except that I believe California produced fewer trailers than Ohio over those years. But it is hard to deny the cool factor. I love 'em!
__________________
Traveling With Elvis
life with a 1956 Sovereign of the Road

Aluminocentricity
Sugarfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 03:07 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
utee94's Avatar
 
1963 26' Overlander
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot View Post
That's what I've been told.

I'm not convinced they are all that rare, except that I believe California produced fewer trailers than Ohio over those years. But it is hard to deny the cool factor. I love 'em!
Well, I guess that, and also that they produced non-whale-tails both before (13 panels) and after (7 panels) the whale-tail production run, so even the California plant produced fewer whale tails over time, relative to the other endcap configurations.

Here's a shot of an internal whale tail-- these are quite rare I've heard.




-Marcus
utee94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Sugarfoot's Avatar
 
1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by utee94 View Post
. . . Here's a shot of an internal whale tail-- these are quite rare I've heard.


-Marcus
Cool pic! Guess there could be a whole new meaning to being "in the belly of the whale".
__________________

__________________
Traveling With Elvis
life with a 1956 Sovereign of the Road

Aluminocentricity
Sugarfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1954, flying cloud


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.