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Simplyspent 09-19-2002 11:00 AM

Tracing a Wally Byam Club Member Number
My father in law has had an old Airstream for almost twenty years. It is a tandem axle 26' possible Overlander ( however the floor plans don't appear to match.) The trailer is a 1959-60 however the colors and feel are very similar to my 1961 Flying Cloud. The trailer is flawless with exception of needing a polish, and what is most interesting is it has a large faded "50" for the old caravan number of the previous owner.
I am told that the owner passed away and my Father-in-law bought the trailer from the widow.

The trailer is over 300 miles away on some property and rarely moves so I do not have the serial number available.

Is there reference database to determine who member "50" was back in 1960?

Thank you!

hex 09-19-2002 10:57 PM

Wallyites outa the Woodwork
You know I have often wondered about those Wally-Numbers.
Especially when I see one up in the 28xxx (twenty-eight thousands).
Surely there are not that many Wallyites...are there. I gotta believe their calculator stutters.

You know something else I am confused about is the Model Numbers and years and Names.

According to a chart I found at Don Reasons website

there is no FlyingCloud in the 60's.

The only 22' Airstream from 1960-1968 is the Safari.

In the 50's(and 40's) the only 26 footer shown is the Overlander, and the FlyingCloud is shown only as a 21' Airstream.
Don attributes the chart to Bud Cooper who is the founder of the Vintage club and I believe the official historian for Airstream.

Go figure??:confused: :confused: ;)

Of course Airstream built customs so I guess the floor plans were flexible, maybe they'd name one of those anything the buyer wanted?

InsideOut 09-20-2002 01:20 AM

Correction: Fred Coldwell is the current VAC historian, not Bud Cooper...


74Argosy24MH 09-20-2002 06:17 AM

I think that site is ok, but not 100% accurate. It says the first year for the Argosy motorhome is 1975, mine is titled as a 1974. The chassis was made in 1974, it was lineup #217 at Airstream. I have seen other 74's, so I know that is not right.


airstreamcaravel 09-20-2002 07:07 AM

Site to help has my favorite listing of A/S's by years with pictures.

It may help with your identification of the trailer.

Simplyspent 09-20-2002 08:01 AM

The Flying Cloud mystery...
The link I used to determine my Airstream is as follows:

My Airstream is in fact a 1961 Flying Cloud. The Model Airstream that Pottery Barn stores is offering via catalog and their retail outlets is a 1962 Flying Cloud modeled after an actual Airstream owned by the author of Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht -- Bryan Burkhart or David Hunt.

Check it out I bought two of the damned things.

I see these things pop up on ebay for $200.00 a pop when you can buy them from pottery barn for $50.00.

I looked over Don Reasons site and found several errors. I think the next opportunity I get I will write down the serial number of the old trailer and call up Andy at Inland RV. If he doesn't know it likely can't be known!

hex 09-20-2002 09:03 AM

I'm With You
Hey SimplySpent don't shoot the messenger!:) I'm on your side, I hope they're both FlyingClouds. That's a pretty cool moniker.
I'm gonna try to forward this whole thread to Mr.Reasons. Lord knows we need no extra confusion on the web for me to stumble over.:D My apologies to Mr Coldwell, Shari.

As for you spending those 50skins twice...That could've been money you'll need for a couple of tail-lite lenses, oven-knobs, or curtain-hooks, hey even 45min. of RV-labor!;)
My wife is now looking for Airstream salt & peppers (what have I started? was there a model called Pandora's Box??):D should have been!

Now about those Wally-Numbers, # 50 had to be one of the 55 Charter Members. I wonder if Wally was given # 1?

Please advise on this thread when mystery is finally solved.


Simplyspent 09-20-2002 09:26 AM

No problem Hex. Actually one of those trailers was a gift form my wife and the other goes to my father-in-law for Xmas.

If there is one thing about Airstreams that I have learned is you can never be sure of anything!

I have yet to find a floor plan that matches my Father in laws 26 footer. It is a real gem though... I walked around the thing and I guarantee there is not a single ding on that trailer! It is gorgeous and with a shine it would be a real winner.

I abandoned my polishing job after five hours and 10 square feet of shine. I need to finish my summer projects ( new roof on the garage ) before the first rains come. Fortunately there are many overcast but rainless days here in California during even the peak of winter... prime weather for polishing aluminum. The last few hours of polishing was done in 90 degree heat. Yuck!


If you need a tip on tailights let me know I got two whole units, seals and all for twenty duckets!

airstreamcaravel 09-20-2002 09:30 AM

Did some say Taillights?
I could use a tip on taillights! Are we talking bargmen 99's

"wedding Cake"?

Simplyspent 09-20-2002 09:42 AM

Actually, they are not the wedding cakes. I was following a school bus a few weeks back and thought to myself that the red stop lights look identical to the size of my originals. I found a school bus parts supplier and for a trivial $24 including shipping I received two complete sealed units with gaskets and I'll be damned if they won't make nice replacements.

I have yet to install them and they will need a bit of wiring modification but they are bright red and new and reasonable in price.

airstreamcaravel 09-20-2002 09:44 AM

Thanks Anyway!
Thanks anyway! Good Luck!!

Ken J 09-20-2002 10:11 AM

I have an old book that I looked up that number last night, I did not bring it with me this morning, but the folks that had that number sound like they were very active and that trailer may have been all over the world.....I will try to remember to post the info this evening at home, if not please remind me.

Simplyspent 09-20-2002 11:28 AM

In the Book Airstream: History of the Land Yacht there is a picture of a 13 skin Airstream with the number "50" emblazoned on it. My Father-in-Laws is a 7 skin like my 1961. It clearly had the number 50 on it that has since rubbed away.

I wonder igf it was the same folks who ended up upgrading their trailer?

InsideOut 09-20-2002 09:44 PM


I wonder igf it was the same folks who ended up upgrading their trailer?
That's probably the case as the WBCCI numbers usually transfered with the owner, not the trailer.

With regards to the 28xxx numbers, it's my understanding that they kept issueing new numbers to new members to a point, then started reusing old numbers. I'm not sure when they reverted back to the older numbers, but we thought for sure we would be in the 28xxx's but ended up with an age-appropriate #1824 when we signed-up in January 2002.

We've also know folks that have "special requested" certain numbers from WBCCI (like their address or b-day) and as long as they aren't already being used, they have been granted. Even a couple with "-" in them like #1-1965 & #1-1974, both of whom were in attendance at the Rocky Mountain VAC Rally.

Shari :)

CallDon 09-21-2002 01:49 AM

Re: The Flying Cloud mystery...

Originally posted by Simplyspent
I looked over Don Reasons site and found several errors.

Hey Children...not let's not get snippy here! What are the errors? Can you document your corrections?

My Airstream site was the outgrowth of information I received when I simply wanted answers to my questions about the company. I posted questions on the two RV newsgroups. People responded with TONS of information. After a few months, I compiled the information and posted it again to those two newsgroups as an "Airstream History." Usually, I would post it each month and people would write with additions and corrections.

IF you will go back and READ my Airstream history, you will notice several things.

1) I had to go on-line to do all of my research since Airstream provided almost no real information regarding the history of the Airstream company or of Airstream trailers.

2) Many Airstreamers contributed to this information over an initial two-year period, and several more since then.

3) NOWHERE DO I CLAIM that the list of monikers is complete. In fact, even Airstream doesn't have complete records regarding monikers and lengths. The monikers changed often. The lengths changed often, sometimes even within the year. I am also aware that not all monikers are listed. Don't shoot me!

4) At the end, I post several questions and ask the reader to send in new information. You can, too.

And some personal comments:

1) Owning an Airstream does NOT make one an expert.
2) There is NO official Airstream historian.
3) Airstreamers are like Baptists...if you have five of them in a room, you will get seven opinions!

However, Bud Cooper is a wealth of information. But he is not the final answer for anything. Neither is anyone else!

Typical for any project of this type, I have found multiple stories regarding several points in the history of the company, the history of the trailers and even TWO CONFLICTING STORIES regarding the formation of the WBCCI.

If you have found ERRORS in my site, please stop whining about it. Simply write me and give me your information. If you think there are errors, I would LOVE to have the correction. THAT is what I have been searching for. I promise that I probably have another version of the same story besides yours. I just keep asking and keep asking and folks keep filling-in some of the gaps.

Several months ago, I began working on a complete revision of the Airstream History. But...I have a real life also. I simply have not had the time to complete it and upload it. But it will be fun when you see some of the things added.

Folks, we are all Airstreamers because we all are a little odd, a little "distinct" from all others. So help me out here!

Gee...if Wally could just send us a message from the great beyond and tell us "the truth!":rolleyes:


CallDon 09-21-2002 01:51 AM


Originally posted by InsideOut
Correction: Fred Coldwell is the current VAC historian, not Bud Cooper...


The VAC is a NEW group. Bud Cooper was the founder. I don't know Fred but...if he holds an official designation as "historian," I am sure it is a group effort.


53flyingcloud 09-21-2002 03:38 AM

Low Numbers
Some excellent points you've raised..
The only thing I know for certain about the low numbers sequence is this: The 'unofficial' word I was told by a member of the board of officer of WBCCI is,"The lower numbers are given out to exective board members only." Where that sequence starts, I haven't a clue. (The exective board member that I talking to had a 3 digit number on their MH)

Did Wally have #1???
I'd would like to know the ans to that, one as well.~!~
For some reason, I have this feeling that Wally, might've been the sort of individual who, might not have cared~!

I'd like to 'Welcome Don, to the website~!
I can still remember several years ago, when I was researching A/S, his website was one of the few that existed with information abt A/S~!!
Look forward to seeing/reading your post Don.

Ken J 09-21-2002 07:37 AM

At least back in 1962 # 50 was registered to Louis and Mildred Mousley Box 3131 San Bernardino, Ca. They went to Canada, Europe, Cuba, Mexico, Kentucky, Africa rallies. Sounds like they were active folks.........hope that helps

Ken J 09-21-2002 07:40 AM

#1 was issued to Wally Byam

53flyingcloud 09-21-2002 10:09 AM

Old Book?
Hi Ken,
Nice to see you on-board . What is the name of "the old book"???? Thanks for sharing these valuable info to the rest of us!@! So Wally DID take number 1 after all....I guess you'd have to expect it..WHO wouldn'
Nice country out your way..

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