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urbanfood 11-04-2006 02:26 PM

Boy Oh Boy! my new '56 Flying Cloud!
8 Attachment(s)
well, i joined the forums over a year ago and i finally bought my first airstream. it's a 22' 1956 flying cloud. i picked it up in prescott, arizona yesterday. it was made in los angeles so in a sense, i brought it back home. it also has the whale tail which is very cool. i don't think i could be happier right now (that could and probably will change sometime soon).

the exterior is in great shape, especially for a 50 year old trailer. i'm going to completely gut the interior and hopefully perform a shell-on restoration if the steel frame is in good shape.

if anyone in the los angeles area would be willing to come to my house and check it out and give me some practical advice, i'd really appreciate and cook you lunch or dinner. i've been perusing the forums for over a year and pouring over them in the last few months, so i have a good general idea on how to proceed, but need some guidance on the nuts and bolts of it.

also, there isn't a category for a 1956 flying cloud in the trailer forum so perhaps a moderator could create a category and move this post there, that would be great.

you'll notice the tight fit in one of the pics below. the driveway was barely 8'-0 wide. it tooks us about 2.5 hours to get it backed in with my tahoe. i'll definately need to get a motorized trailer dolly because it's so tight. there was barely 2 inches clearance on either side when we were backing in, pulling forward, backing in, crank the wheel, pull forward, hold it...wait, pull get the idea, 2.5 hours of that.

look forward to sharing my renovation experience with everyone.

i've posted some pix:

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hitching up in arizona

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super tight fit & new home

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everything comes out

CanoeStream 11-04-2006 02:37 PM

Fabulous find! It sure looks like a honey. Anything original on the interior? Is the cabinetry painted or was it white to begin with?

Mackhopp 11-04-2006 03:44 PM

Wow! Looks absolutely fab! Nice and bright interior.

Makes me think of an Airstream a family friend had in California - late 50s I believe. I loved seeing the pics of his outings to Baja way back then.

All in all you've got a very cool looking vintage trailer.

Have fun!


Foiled Again 11-04-2006 04:44 PM

I really like those slanted California style wheel wells. Looks very nice. Arizona is a great place to find older trailers without as many horrible floor and frame issues as those from wetter areas.

Hope you'll document your redo on the forum. Congrats!


azflycaster 11-04-2006 04:52 PM

You should have stopped by Brad's (flyfshr) house when you went through Phoenix. Then again, that might not have been a good idea. You might still be there!:lol:I think Brad's 59 had alot of paint on the interior. It's all gone now and the natural wood looks great. I am sure he will jump in here soon.

wkerfoot 11-04-2006 06:52 PM


Drop by the Malibu RV Park next Saturday. The El Camino Real Unit is having a rally and there are usually a few Flying Clouds in attendance, if you join you can become a member of the Flying Cloud Squadron.


urbanfood 11-05-2006 12:09 AM

canoe stream - i think much of the interior woodwork is original but it has been painted white and is in pretty poor shape. the stove/oven looks to be original although it's in really good shape for a 50 year old stove so i'm not sure. one thing i can save from the interior are the upper cabinets. i think they are aluminum so i'll take those out and strip them.

wkerfoot - thanks for the tip. not sure i can make though as i need to get an axle, wheels, and tires asap.

cloud55 11-05-2006 01:29 AM

Fullerton Clouds
Welcome David! And congratulations on your new obsession! My DBF, John, and I have a 55 flying cloud. There are some pictures of ours posted on these forums. They disappeared from pics under my id but still show up if you search pictures of flying clouds. Ours is the one with curbside kitchen sink and bed across rear.

We also have a neighbor that recently aquired a 56 cloud with the same layout as yours.

Happy to answer any questions if we can. Our shell is off and we are waiting for the new axle to come in. We have learned a lot from taking it apart and the great people and info on these forums.


flyfshr 11-05-2006 08:23 AM

David ~

Did you drive through Phoenix on I-17 and not even let me know? Now that's disappointing. I'm four blocks off the freeway. I've completely gotten over passing on this trailer :) and would liked to have seen it in person. Richard's right, when I get to speaking vintage Airstreams, it turns in to a long discussion.

It is true, my interior had numerous coats of paint; the wood as well as the inner skins. We stripped it down to bare aluminum and painted it an off-white washable enamel.

Seems to me, in speaking with the PO, the bed in the back converts to a booth? He seemed to think it was original. An evidence of it being original?


yukionna 11-05-2006 09:21 AM


Originally Posted by urbanfood
well, i joined the forums over a year ago and i finally bought my first airstream. it's a 22' 1956 flying cloud.

Nice find! I have a '54 FC and my floorplan is completely different -- mine is more like a Safari layout with front galley and side dinette.

urbanfood 11-05-2006 09:54 AM

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lynn - thanks for the info. the layout you have is similar to the layout i want to do, with the bed across the rear, kitchen curbside and dinette up front. what did you end up doing for your axle? did you keep the leaf springs? i leaning towards a henschen axle because it will make life a little easier. also, what are you doing about tires? i've been researching and there's not much room in the wheel well for the 225/75/r15 so i'm thinking of sticking with the 7.00 15 size. also, have you decided on your black, grey, and fresh water locations? i''d love to come out and see what you guys are up to and talk further.

brad - i thought about you as soon as we crossed the border into arizona on I-10 but we took the 60 northeast soon after so we didn't even get as far as phoenix. there is a booth kind of thing back there, it's mainly two bases though. it may be original. i've taken some pics. obviously someone has attached drawer pulls. what do you think?

the pics are of the "booth", the original woodwork beneath the paint (it looks to be an orange stained red oak and the original zolotone paint in the closet (sort of a pale green color with white speckling).

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cloud55 11-05-2006 11:13 AM

Hi David,

I really need to start a thread with what we have done so far...instead I have been adding to other threads here and there.

We ordered a new torsion axle from Dexter. Uwe helped us do this as we didn't know how to measure for it. Even with his expertise measuring...the manufacturer made it the wrong size and we are now waiting for it to come back in. Our axle didn't look bad and we could have stuck with new leaf springs but it just seemed that if we were ever going to modify it that now was the time while we had a bare frame to work with. Putting the torsion on involves welding the bracket on our older AS's. We needed to do some welding to put in tanks anyway. We will also be beefing up the frame a bit but it turned out to be in really good shape with little rust and no real compromise.

Bought tires before we picked ours up. We didn't have a clue and needed to take them with us so we went with the original size 7.00-15LT Goodyear Workhorse.

I posted what we are doing about our tanks on NorcalBambi's thread..."55FC the Whole ball of wax" posts 68 - 70. Sorry I don't know how to add a link to this. If you have trouble finding it just look at my profile and you will find my previous posts.

You are welcome to stop by anytime. There isn't a lot to look at right now. Just a shell in the air and a frame. I will pm you with our phone #. is your floor? Are you going to be replacing any plywood?


urbanfood 11-05-2006 12:53 PM

hi lynn-

i'm going to take out the whole floor. one of the PO's put down 3/4 ply on top of the existing subfloor. i'll cut all of that out so i can get a good look at the frame. because it seems to have lived much of it's life in the southwest, i'm hoping some sanding and POR15 will take care of it. i do need to figure out where to put my tanks and see if i need to add/remove any crossbars. i'll check your thread out. maybe i'll come out when you guys are installing your tanks.

InsideOut 11-05-2006 01:45 PM


Originally Posted by urbanfood
also, there isn't a category for a 1956 flying cloud in the trailer forum so perhaps a moderator could create a category and move this post there, that would be great.

'tis done ~

Congratulations on your new trailer! Looks like a keeper ~

Shari :flowers:

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