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Old 03-21-2015, 03:30 PM   #1
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1956 Bubble - Semi Barn-Find, Value?

Hi All - New to this forum because I have about 12hrs to pull the trigger on a 1956 Bubble and have a question or three, LOL .... Long story short, Buddy inherited it, lived in it for a year and then stored it in a barn 7 years ago. Buddy had stroke, buddy died. Also know person storing it, who ALSO recently died. Family said I can pull it out in the AM for $500 cash .... That's the front end.

Other than THAT, I remember back when my buddy was staying in it, everything original was there but I believe the stove and accessories didn't work (although IF I remember right the heater did) ... I do know it had no leaks or damage (although it was in desperate need of a polish, even then) ... My question is, at $500 I can't really lose, right? I would assume given the restored value of these, even if I part it out the thing HAS to be worth $500 or am I really just being a naeive "Newb" to the Airstream world?

Any pointers and advice would be appreciated, if it turns out to be worth doing and it's still clean enough to restore I wouldn't mind hanging onto it as a project for next winter, if not I'd likely part it out or flip it - ANY advice would be appreciated, Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2015, 03:37 PM   #2
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7 yrs in a barn...Unless it's crawling with barn critters or mold coming out everywhere I bet most will say $500 for a 56 Bubble is well worth it. Then they'll offer to go pull it out if you're gonna pass on it.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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Welcome and hope you do not shoot yourself in the foot when you "pull the trigger".
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:16 PM   #4
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I bought a Bubble and had to put in over 30,000 to make it like I wanted it. You can easily loose that foot, as many have.
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:00 PM   #7
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If it can make the trip “home”, that is, wheels, brakes, lights, etc. work, you could easily turn around and sell it for twice what you bought it for and that’s a conservative estimate. Initially, you may have to grease the bearings and replace the tires... actually, DO replace the tires... before taking it any long distance.

You may easily put anywhere from $5K to 20K in to refurbish, restore or renovate but after you do that, what a thing of beauty you’ll have and chances are, you’ll be able to recoup most of it if you decide to sell...

Pop the cork on that silver Bubble!
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:03 PM   #8
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It's a good deal

Worse case scenario,you could part it out, or sell it for a little bit more.

BUT…If you plan to use it…You are definitely gonna need tires, bearings, battery, maybe brakes and axle. $500- $2000? You will also spend about $500 to outfit your tow vehicle. Also some elbow grease!!!!

IF you want to restore it and make it nice, you could spend up to $25,000( like I did ) Any original appliances will be on their last leg, or obsolete.

Even newer RVs eat up time and money. If you buy it, count on spending all of your spare time for a month or two, being on this forum
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:06 PM   #9
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I disagree with Jaxon a little bit

If you do nothing to it, you will make a little money.

If you do a full restore, you could easily lose 5 or 10 thousand on resale
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:02 PM   #10
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Well thanks, and here's the scoop .... Turned out the family wasn't too hip on paying accurate attention to what and who had stuff in the Pole Barn, LOL. The '56 was long gone, but a 1961 Bambi was still there (evidently they had gotten them confused) and after going through it and realizing that it was in pretty darn good shape considering it sat indoors since 1991 I talked to the brother (who also had very little clue) and pulled it home this AM. NOW I just need to find a value and decide whether to clean it up and use it or flip it. The frame and floor, shell, etc are all straight and solid, water tank, shower, toilet, plumbing, electrical, furnace, LP system, all there and in good shape, no signs of any kind of leaks, no cracks anywhere in the inner shell, tires are dried out and luckily made the drive home without event (actually tows very well) and the original stove is gone along with the front part of the bed/couch frame, needs 2 pieces of window glass ... All in all I spent a LOT more than I was hoping to for the Bubble, but this one is in FAR better shape than I remember the Bubble being in (actually could be cleaned up and used as it sits if one wasn't too picky) - so all is good other than having to find somewhere to store it as literally on the way home my Realtor called and we have an offer on my other home (which is where I was heading with it). Anyone want to share a decent resource or two as to the value if I were to flip this thing? I have a Camper Dealer coming over in a bit to see what he can help me with,but I'd rather get a few objective opinions before I decide what to do with it. The serial is 161T3XX and I'll try and get a few pics uploaded ASAP, thanks for the help, Guys!

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Old 03-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #11
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Your Bambi has me scratching my head a little bit because it seems to have some extra windows in the back which mine did not have.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #12
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Boy! Does Mandolin Dave have it right. The minute you "touch" it the value essentially goes to zero until you finish. By touch I also mean that "Polish up a spot" to show that it can be polished completely. Touch also means pull out all the insides to the point that you realize your in WAY, over your head.
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:17 PM   #13
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I wouldn't say the value goes to zero. There are always folks willing to pay money for those gutted projects and try their hand at them.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:40 PM   #14
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Inside front has been altered, patches over wheel wells, patched at water heater, windows added in kitchen area and bathroom, but still I would ask $4000.
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