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Old 03-26-2003, 09:44 PM   #1
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Ted and Mary Abel's 1957?

Hot dog! Just bought a 1957 Overlander. Believe it or not, we're the second owners (and my wife doesn't even know it yet, since it's a birthday gift!). How to keep my trap shut for three more weeks!?!

The first owners, who I sadly have not met (but feel an odd kinship with already) were Ted and Mary Abel. Anybody know them? They were at it for a good 40 some years, before Ted passed away four (?) years ago. Apparently, they put over 400,000 miles on it. Incredible.

The trailer is in excellent shape. The only immediate desire is for an original refrigerator (propane powered), which I'm guessing is as rare as hen's teeth. That and new rubber stripping for around the windows. Any advice?

I'll post pictures soon. Bug me about this if you want to see photos and I forget or get distracted working on it!

David (and an unwitting Rebecca)
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Old 03-26-2003, 10:26 PM   #2
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1955 30' Liner Commodore Vanderbilt
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Congratulations!

Congratulations on your new find! Did you happen to buy the trailer from Turner Rv? If so, you got a real nice looking unit! We seriously considered buying it last summer, but got cold feet --partially because it was a six hour drive from us. The stories your trailer could tell, eh?

I really admired the table in it, though I only saw pictures. If you wouldn't mind, is there any way that you could post pictures of the table? We eventually found our '55 much closer to home and I would like to attempt to build a table for it like yours.

Again congratulations, happy trailering!
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:59 AM   #3
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'57 Table

Here's the best photo that I can offer of the table. Once I get the trailer, I'll try to take a few better pictures for you. Bug me if I forget.

And yes, I did buy this from Turner's Airstream in Jeannerstown. Jim Turner was great (and pretty floored when I told him I would take it - without haggling - after about 15 minutes of poking around!).

He paid $5K for it, knew the previous owners well, and wanted $6K for it. Seemed very fair since he had done a bit of work to make everything hunky dory. I loved the fact that it was owned by one couple for so long, who traveled over hill and dale for 40 some years. The little nicks and scrapes all tell a tale, and I find myself comtemplating these and the travel stickers on the door. Not too much has been remuddled, but I'd love to find an original refrigerator.

As for the table, it would require some ingenuity to duplicate, since the support was made of bent plywood made into an oval. Maybe easiest to make a rectangular component, unless you're a woodworking maven, or a die-hard restorationist!

Just looked at your photos. What a beauty! I love these olders Airstreams. Do you have the fiberglass flake lights and kitchen panels? Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Dave
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:14 PM   #4
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Good Deal!

I think you got a good deal on your rig. Turner seemed very upfront when I talked to them over the phone, like I said we almost beat you to it!

Our's has the fiberglass lights, but has pegboard doors painted with the Zolatone paint like the rest of the interior. I'd be glad to share notes with you on the details of our two rigs.

I'll probably bug you about the table. We like yours better than ours. We have the original, it folds down to a lower height (like a coffee table), but won't stow out of the way like yours does. Yours allows for a more open feel. Replicating it would be half the fun! I'll keep in touch and thanks for responding!
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Old 03-28-2003, 12:47 PM   #5
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Congratulations, David! Looks like you found a beauty.


Replacement window glazing bead is available through Airstream dreams: www.airstreamdreams.com

They specify their glazing by year, and the oldest is '58-60, but it might work for your '57, as well. Worth asking anyway.

Various glazing, beads and seals are also available through Inland RV: www.inlandrv.com

The refridge will be more difficult, but not impossible, to find. Keep a look out at his forum, on e-bay, and the classified section of the Vintage Airstream Club: www.airstream.net

Let us all know how the big surprise works out with your wife. Everytime I surprise my wife with a new fly rod or set of mens golf clubs as an anniversary present, she reacts a little differently than anticipated. looking forward to hearing of your experience (Hey--at least you'll have a place to stay!) Good Luck!

Tom
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Old 03-28-2003, 02:04 PM   #6
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Congrats Dave. Nice catch. When I first heard '57, I had the old looking interior thought in my mind, but that is very, very, very nice. Not what I expected at all. I can see why you are so excited. I can't wait to see the rest.

The wife is going to be quite please!

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-31-2003, 01:28 PM   #7
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Heater vent?

While cleaning, I discovered an intentional vent hole in the floor beneath the heater. Is this stock, or was it placed there for a fresh air intake, to reduce the usage of moisture in the combustion process? Any guesses?

Thanks for the good input on sources for window trim, seals, etc.

As you can tell from the above photo, the fabrics were all redone circa "Name Your Favorite Year for Bell-Bottoms and the colors Brown and Orange". Fabrics will be among the early tasks, along with replacing the carpeting and the still-in-use foam mattresses which are degrading considerably after 46 years.

Also, the previous Owners installed plywood over the (asbestos containing) vinyl tile, which I assume was throughout. This is good, since you really don't want to fuss with this tile.

Lucky for me, the carpet, installed in all main areas, has foam rubber backing that is glued down for keeps throughout It only took me about three hours to remove about 10 square feet of it. Zoiks!

Any notions about places to check for strategic failures of components?

If my wife doesn't like this surprise gift, you're right...at least I'll have a place to sleep that's more comfortable than the sofa!

Dave
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Old 03-31-2003, 02:32 PM   #8
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Intake air

Hi Dave,

I just fired my stove and furnace for the first time yesterday. You are correct in assuming that that is an intake air vent. Mine consists of a series of 1/4" holes through the floor and skin. I made sure I vacuumed everything out well and paid particular attention to make sure it was venting properly (the aux. heater in back has a mud dauber nest I have to dig out, cold be exciting otherwise).

Check the floor at the door sill, I discovered my door doesn't quite seal and has leaked slightly, on the "to do" list for this summer.

I've got to get a digital camera...
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