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Old 06-02-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Considering this Airstream - your thoughts?

Hello Everyone,

This is my first post on your forum (nice to see so many Airstream enthusiasts out there) and I am a soon to be Airstream owner. I found this particular Airstream as part of an estate sale and the thing is in really bad shape. I am curious if anyone can help me identify the year it might be (the people thought it might be a '59, but they have no documentation and it has no plates).

I am looking at this as a possible fixer-upper opportunity and I just wanted to see if some of you could offer me some sort of reality check on what it will take to get this up to a functioning unit. The structure is sound but it needs to be totally renovated inside and out.

My vision for this was to make a mobile studio/office that would enable me to travel around the country and work remotely.

Any early advice and feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!

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Old 06-02-2006, 05:26 PM   #2
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I recognize the pictures - that very trailer was discussed here on the forums not to long ago, but I can't find the thread. I think everyone was in favor of passsing this one up. It will be a BIG project.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:57 PM   #3
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Hold the Phone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatPumpkin
I recognize the pictures - that very trailer was discussed here on the forums not to long ago, but I can't find the thread. I think everyone was in favor of passsing this one up. It will be a BIG project.
Zander, Great Pumpkin is correct, this one did not pass the previous cost, benefit analysis. But that was based on the "then" price, and the "then" prospective buyer's budget. If you can get it for nothing, and you have an unlimited budget, and you never want to recoup your investment, then welcome aboard!

Get the numbers off the data plate, and run 'em by Fred Caldwell on this forum. Better yet, take a digital picture of the data plate. Let him tell you what you've found and whether or not it's worth dragging home.

Speaking of home, your wife is an heiress, right? You have lots of room and a big warehouse for your restoration, right? I just want to make sure you are not like the couple from San Franciso who had purchased five old Airstreams before they realized they didn't own a tow vehicle and didn't even have off street parking for their Volkswagon Jetta...
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Old 06-02-2006, 06:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick feedback...

Total cost is a big concern with this project and I appreciate your honest feedback. As fun as a full restoration would be for a trailer like this, i'm sure it would not be cheap.

Ideally I am looking for something of this size that I can get going for as little $ as possible (although I don't mind doing some restoration to get it going). Could anyone give me a ballpark price range on what I can expect to pay for a good deal like that? What about for one of the larger Airstreams like the 30 footers? Any more advice would be great.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2006, 06:23 PM   #5
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Thoughts???? You asked

Lots of work....... (LOTS)
Lots of time.......
Lots of money...... (LOTS)
Lots of love.......
Lots of patience........ (LOTS)
Lots of room.......

You will need the 1st 4 of these but they can be moderate amounts of each, the last 2 are a required. If you can do it then go for it, you will never recoop all your money but hey - "it's only money".

Don't come looking for me if it doesn't work out, I have my own project.

Good Luck
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zander213
Could anyone give me a ballpark price range on what I can expect to pay for a good deal like that? What about for one of the larger Airstreams like the 30 footers? Any more advice would be great.

Thanks again!
There is a great table of ballpark pricing for most of the parts needed during a restoration project at the bottom of the Price vs Condition website. Also, lots of info to help you determine a fair price for the trailer if you decide to go for it. From the tag by the door, it's clearly an Overlander...from the older Airstream signage on the back, I would also say the '59 date is accurate as the new style plates were used on the '61s. You may want to check out the Vintage Archives as well to determine if one of those there resembles what this one may have looked like in the beginning of it's life.

If you can get the VIN or Serial number off the plate below the Overlander one, the year could be confirmed.

Almost all vintage trailers are redeemable to some degree...you just need to determine how much elbow grease, time & money you can contribute to make it meet your expectation. Clearly, this one is most suited for a gut and customization rather than a true to form restoration. Sounds like that's in line with your plan...a mobile office, studio would be great.

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Old 06-02-2006, 07:29 PM   #7
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It had better be reallllly cheap, that's my only thought on it (and by cheap I mean free - they would have to pay someone to haul that away). Because that's going to be a LOT of work.

Just the thought of bringing home a project that's been sitting out in a field with it's windows busted out - ah the mold and the mice and the rotten floors. You have to really want to roll up your sleeves because you're going to be into that one from the ground up.
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:30 PM   #8
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Yeah - it looks like a huge endeavor...

Thanks for showing me that great cost matrix - it really brings the whole project down to earth. Is that cost of $110 per linear foot (for polishing) a realistic figure?

What would it cost to just gut the whole thing and install a new floor (without any interior I mean - just a clean slate)?

Also, is the structure on these sound enough for cutting larger (panaramic style) windows? Since the windows need to be replaced that's a thought that comes to mind...
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:37 PM   #9
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Yep. $110/foot is actually quite reasonable. I'd guess that this one is a candidate for a frame-off full resto job. If you've got the resources, tools, and knowledge to do it yourself, you'll probably get off with about $20k in parts and materials not counting labor to make it as nice as a new one. If you use used parts, scrimp and save at every turn, and don't get wild with the furnishings, you might be able to do it for $12k (again, not counting labor). And when you're all done, you'll have a $6,000 '59 Overlander.

Happy hunting!

Roger
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:41 PM   #10
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Good point Roger! I'm glad I found all of you to help advise me on this
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:59 PM   #11
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Yup - it's a '59 alright. CA built too. The vintage nameplates below the end windows as well as the recessed ceiling lights are a dead giveaway. I know this trailer. it's in San Luis Obispo and I have been in contact with the seller about it being a parts trailer. Two others have passed on it after seeing it in person.

If anything develops, I'll let you all know. I need a few parts to finish mine.


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Old 06-02-2006, 08:02 PM   #12
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I found it!

Here on Craigslist for $100
http://slo.craigslist.org/for/155494519.html

and the discussion was here:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...ght=Overlander

If you only paid $100 for it, there's a good chance to get your money back out of it by parting it out in the above thread. I know some don't like to hear the words "parting out" and "Airstream" in the same sentence, but that's probalby the best choice for this one. Good Luck.
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