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Old 09-08-2002, 09:07 PM   #1
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1962 24' Oddball?

I have owned my '62, 24' Airstream (Tradewind?) for nearly twenty years, written
the company, gone to Airstream events, flagged down other owners and have
never found anything about, or seen, another one like mine. Perhaps someone on this forum can assist?

What I have is (registered as) a 1962, twenty-four footer. The blue serial
number plate, next to the door,is about 4" x 9 1/2" with the guy on a
bicycle on the left and the stamped data to the right, laid out like this:

24DS S0706
10 61

The layout is similar to the '62 TradeWind shown, but my head is in the port
quarter. The counter with porcelain sink runs across the back and there's a small
fiberglass tub (gold metal-flake, no less!) occupying the port quarter. The galley is on the port side, with a gaucho across. The settee in the front converts to a double (uh huh) bed. There is no access door on the " back of the outside, as found on later models. But here's what makes mine different:

It has a tandem, Dura-Torque axle (other 24 footer circa 1962 have single axles);

It has Jalousie windows (like the '64), stacked one above the other, just forward of the door. Likewise on the port side.

The real oddity about this trailer is that one exterior panel (at about head-height) is a gold anodized color for the length of the trailer. I have seen Silver Streaks with this feature, but never an Airstream, yet I'm sure it was done at the factory.

Airstream (fifteen years ago) didn't have a clue and suggested it might be (what they called) a "lead" (leed, not led!) trailer, which (they said) would have had
all the options available for that model, that year, and was built to lead one of the
many Wally Byam caravans (and to plug the options to prospective new
buyers).

Might anyone be able to tell me something about my trailer?


Thanks,

Mark
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Old 09-09-2002, 05:35 AM   #2
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lead

Mark...
post some pic..
Lov to see em..
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Old 09-09-2002, 09:24 AM   #3
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Towner7,

Here's a shot of the beast. Please excuse the quality and the glare, but it does show the stripe and extra windows. The "dent" in the front isn't a dent, it's where the original clear coat has come off. Thanks for your interest and (hopefully) input.

Mark
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Old 09-09-2002, 10:58 AM   #4
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Mark ~

I showed your picture & asked Fred Coldwell, the VAC historian your question...the following is his reply:

Quote:
Shari:

Nothing official or confirmed by any company records, so
what follows is pure speculation. The only Airstream
trailers I have ever seen photos of that were gold anodized
were Wally's personal trailers, like the one he took to
Africa (on which the entire outer skin was gold anodized).
I never seen it mentioned in sales any literature, so I
doubt if it was generally available to customers. It may
have been tried on a few trailers, maybe test units that
were used by company officers. Streamline Trailers had gold
anodized stripes, but your photo is of a Tradewind tandem
(it appears).

I have no knowledgeable explanation, but would guess it
belonged to some Airstream higher up at one time. I never
heard of WBCCI officials getting special trailers, but maybe
this one was special ordered by a very good customer or by a
close friend of Wally?

Fred C.
Hopefully this helps to confirm your hunch...

Shari
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Old 09-09-2002, 11:12 AM   #5
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WOW...thank you Sheri, if my old spam-can WAS owned by Wally Byam himself, I am indeed stunned and honored! Even if not, I sometimes feel more at home in the Stream than in my old wood home of thirty years. Thanks again for your input with the unexpected (possible) revelation.

Mark in Modesto, grinning from ear to ear!
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Old 09-09-2002, 01:18 PM   #6
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Mark ~

As far as being owned by Wally himself, I don't believe Fred came out and said that! However, that would be cool....if you could prove it.

I got a follow-up email giving some additional potential identifying factors to look for:

Quote:
Shari:

Other thoughts and possible avenues for information: is
there a faded WBCCI number on this trailer? That might help
ID prior owners (I have only two old WBCCI directories from
1973 & 1974, but they might provide a start).

Can prior ownership be traced through the state dept. of
motor vehicles? Some states keep all old title records on
microfiche and copies can be obtained. Other states toss
them after a certain period (10 years in Colorado).

Fred.
Please let us know if you find any additional documentation...

Shari

P.S. How did you come by this trailer?
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Old 09-09-2002, 04:11 PM   #7
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Hello again, Shari,

The Wally Byam Club number on the front of my trailer reads a faded red
30908. I have a thick manila envelope with all sorts of provenance, not
all the way back, but it does include the original warranties for the
insulation, appliances, and even the "Lifetime Warranty" for (the original
owner of)the trailer itself. In this folder are receipts for several
owners, dating back to the early 1960's.

I bought it locally (Modesto, CA) when I responded to an ad in the paper for a 1953 Morris Minor 4-door Saloon. The trailer was there and the guy said he's sell it too. I bought them both. He is the fellow who was assigned the club numbers (30908). I've owned it since 1981.

Thanks again for your help and your interest. I'm eager to learn more.

Mark in Modesto
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Old 12-23-2002, 06:02 PM   #8
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Is MarK out there?

Mark, just thinking back on your thread. I read the "Airstream" book, saw some pictures that looked familiar. Did you find out anything more? Very curious about a potientally "famous" trailer in our midst.
Mar(c)
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Old 12-23-2002, 09:41 PM   #9
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Hello Marc with a C,

Thanks for remembereing me and my odd trailer. I'm sorry to say I'm just as in the dark now as I was before, but the trailer doesn't seem to mind much. Did you see any other 'Streams in your book with gold stripes? Again, thanks for asking and happy holidays to you and yours.

Mark in Modesto
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Old 12-23-2002, 11:21 PM   #10
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A/S gem...

Evening Mark; I am new to Airstreams... and this forum stuff. we would all love to see more views of your Airstream... Silverhawk aka Bob;
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Old 12-24-2002, 12:23 AM   #11
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Actually, yes!

I didn't buy the book, just glanced through - hoping Santa will bring me one! - but I think I saw a picture of a trailer like yours being used by Wally himself, in Africa I believe. That is what made me remember your trailer. If I don't get the book at XMas (maybe coal instead?), I'll be getting the book and let you know. I remember you said you have some of the orgininal paperwork. Maybe the factory could help via e-mail? Is there a name on the orginal paperwork? Glad your still out there.
Marc
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #12
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Mark,
Your Craigslist ad about this trailer has stirred up another thread about your trailer:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f492...els-96427.html

I followed a link that was posted in that thread to find this one and then saw this comment you made:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark in Modesto View Post
I have a thick manila envelope with all sorts of provenance, not all the way back, but it does include the original warranties for the insulation, appliances, and even the "Lifetime Warranty" for (the original owner of)the trailer itself. In this folder are receipts for several owners, dating back to the early 1960's.
Perhaps we could tell you more if you shared the original owners name that should be on the Warranty Certificate and any other names on receipts over the years. We may be able to determine if any of those people were Airstream Company or WBCCI officials.

Also, are there any ghost outlines of older WBCCI numbers under the 30908?
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Hello fellow Airstream fans,

Thank you for your renewed interest in my oddball Airstream. As mentioned, I don't have a lot of time to devote to taking extra pictures right now, but I will work on it as best I can. It's full of model trains, antique Cuckoo clocks, and who knows what else, and I'll have to clear it out to take proper pictures.

I hope I didn't ignore anybody back when I originally posted to this group. I have a lot of irons in the fire...none of which make any money, but all of which make me smile, and I'm scrambling to get machinery out of the upcoming rainy season.

I just read everything up to this point, and I can say for certain that I did indeed buy the trailer from Mr. Huggins, and I'll dig out the manila folder with the other information in the very near future.

I'm hoping this site will notify me if another post comes in. Do I need to click anything to make that happen?

Thank you for your interest and input.



: J)

Mark Spencer
Modesto, CA
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
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Mark,
Thank you for the additional photos you emailed to me of the WBCCI numbers on your special Airstream. From them, I beleive I see a 100 and a 7328 under the 30908. From the photos, it's hard to say which came first, the 100 or the 7328, but I am going to guess the 100 came first with the 7238 later. You will see why in a moment.


#100 is VERY Interesting! This number was assigned to Airstream President Art Costello and his wife Caroline in 1962! #100 had been theirs since the 1957 Membership Directory. This number remained assigned to the Costellos thru 2001 (when I assume Caroline passed away). Art was last listed in the 1972 Membership Directory. Whether or not this Airstream may have been originally designed and built for Wally Byam or for Art Costello, we may never know, but I will bet the first people to use it were the Costellos. BTW, the Costellos lead Caravan #29 - Eastern Mexico Winter 1962. It seems extremely likely that they used your Airstream to lead that caravan, since it was built in October 1961, although I have no proof.

One can only guess how long the Costellos used the trailer, but I would guess that it was eventually sold to someone with the number 7238, which by the way was first assigned in 1962 to R.H. and Bernice Colson of Houston, TX. The Colsons are last listed in the 1975 Directory, which could make sense if they sold the Airstream to the Huggins about that time, with the Huggins getting assigned #30908 in 1976, as already noted.

Thus, my guess is that this trailer was first used by Airstream President Art Costello and was later sold to the Colsons, then to the Huggins, and then to you. The Costellos may have never actually owned it and may have used it while it was owned by Airstream. Or maybe they did own it. There is no telling when the Colsons acquired it. That could have been later 1962 after the Costellos used it for the Mexico Caravan, or perhaps years later.

That's all I have for now. We are getting a little closer to the solving the mystery.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:15 AM   #15
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I received another email from Mark in Modesto stating that he found the following papers and receipts inside the Tradewind:
Quote:
I've been digging through the papers which came with the trailer, and I found some receipts with names on them.

One is from the WBCCI to James W. and Barbara Huggins (which we already knew), and verifies their WBCCI Membership as #30908.


The other two receipts of interest were to:


12/13/65

Eugene Gwaltney

Hillcrest Mobile Home Park lot 401

Clearwater, Florida

(Sani-Ware receipt for 1 support tube)

and;


5/20/66
Eugene Gwaltney
1036 Magnolia

L.A. California

(Norcold receipt for 1 burner)


And one oddity I have no explaination for:


A blank bank deposit slip for:


Arthur A. or Grace Bilyeu

Bank of the Pacific

Ocean Park Branch

Ocean Park, Washington


It's probably meaningless but, in the interest of thoroughness...


The majority of the rest of the papers are warranties, appliance pamphlets, owner operating sheets, etc. much of it from Airstream, including towing and camping tips and caveats, systems layouts (plumbing, electrical, gas, etc) and accessory brochures.


One really neat piece of paper is the Airstream Lifetime Warranty, with the serial number, and load rating per axle (4500lbs), signed by Virg (?) Sciutto (hard to read the signature).
This lead me to double check the photos and find that I made a error in my last post. The second prior number in the photos is 7328, not 7238 as I previously researched.

7328 was also first assigned in 1962 to Eugene and Athione Gwaltney of Los Angeles, CA. The Gwaltney's are last listed in the 1970 Directory, still in Los Angeles, and they are listed as having participated on caravans 34 - Western Canada Summer 1963, and 42 - Mexico Winter 1965. This makes it seem likely that the Gwatneys most likely took your Tradewind on those two caravans in addition to the one Art Costello lead. While I believe the Gwaltneys owned your Tradewind from 1962 to at least 1970 (maybe as late as 1975) we can only be sure they owned it in 1965 and 1966 from the receipts.

In the 1971 Directory, #7328 is assigned to Mrs. Eleanor Seller and Mrs. Jerry Forrest (Daughter) of Mobile, Alabama. In 1972 and 1973, #7328 is only Eleanor Sellers, still in Mobile, AL, no caravans. Typically when a member does not renew, they hold the number for a couple of years before reassigning it. When it is reassigned the next year I it means the seller told HQ that they would not be renewing. Sometimes this could be a case of them selling their Airstream to the new assignees. But in this case, since the trailer seems to have been back in California by 1976, I doubt this happened. I doubt that Mrs. Sellers ever owned your 1962 Tradewind.

I am missing the 1974 Membership Directory, but in 1975, #7328 is assigned to Glenn and Maxine Harrell of Pensacola, FL. The Harrells still had #7328 in 1980 and I didn't check any further. I also believe that the Harrells never ownerd your Tradewind.

I also checked the 1966 to 1975 Directories for anyone named Bilyea and found no one with that last name as a member, so if they possibly owned your Tradewind, possibly between 1970 and 1976 (but possibly as early as 1966) they never joined the club.

And lastly, regarding Virg Sciutto, that is a mystery. The Warranty certificates that I have seen from the early 1960's have been signed by either Art Costello (for California built Airstreams) or Andy Charles (for Ohio built Airstreams). Perhaps if the Costellos owned your Tradewind, company policy did not allow Art to sign his own Warranty Certificate. But this is just a guess. The original owners name is also on the Warranty Policies that I have seen. Is that area blank on yours?

Thus my revised guess is that this trailer was first used by Airstream President Art Costello (#100) and was later sold to the Gwaltneys (confirmed, #7328) probably in later 1962, then possibly to the Bilyeas (maybe, not club members) probably between 1970 and 1976, then to the Huggins (confirmed, #30908) probably between 1970 and 1976 but maybe nearer 1976, and then to you in 1981 (confirmed).

That's all I got.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:53 AM   #16
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What Awesome provenance! Please post pictures here.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:17 AM   #17
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Where's PeeWee??? Maybe he could add some insight to this.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #18
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The more I think about it, since the Bilyeus were not from California, I doubt they owned your 24' Tradewind. I will thus revise my hypothesis on owner history as follows:

Your 1962 24' Tradewind was probably first used by Airstream President Art Costello (#100) to lead Caravan #29 to Mexico and was then sold to the Gwaltneys (confirmed, #7328) probably in later 1962, then to the Huggins (confirmed, #30908) probably between 1970 and 1976, and then to you in 1981 (confirmed).
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snedwid View Post
Where's PeeWee??? Maybe he could add some insight to this.

Been chatting with Dale "Pee Wee" - he confirmed that a trailer bearing the number 100 would have been Art Costello.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ganglin View Post
Been chatting with Dale "Pee Wee" - he confirmed that a trailer bearing the number 100 would have been Art Costello.
I had been planning to ask PeeWee about this trailer next time he and I talk, but hadn't gotten to it yet. The real question is does PeeWee remember a trailer with a gold anodized band around it? I think PeeWee was possibly working for Airstream around the time this trailer was built. If so, he might remember it.
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