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Old 07-28-2017, 05:06 PM   #1
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Production for 1966

Does anyone know the total unit production for 1966 Caravels?

thanks!
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #2
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Who knows?

Unless there is a person who was intimately associated with AS in 1966, the number of Caravels built may be unknowable. It's a cinch the serial number doesn't help because it may be just an over all count of units produced with double or twin beds.
JO66XX: Jackson Center-Overlander-1966 4th position 6 is double bed? small trailer? half of Route 66? Do any 1966 Caravels have a 5 in the 4th position? Below 500 is twin bed, above 500 is double bed according to one source.

My hunch is that not many Caravels were built in any year. By that, I would guess fewer than 50.
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:20 PM   #3
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I read somewhere that they only produced the small trailers once a year
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Old 10-26-2019, 10:18 AM   #4
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Argonaut - hi. Doing Caravel research and came upon this thread. My 1966 Caravel '17 has a "5" in the fourth position after the "JO17". It has a streetside that pulls out to a double and a front gaucho that pulls to what I would describe as a 3/4. It also has the brackets for the hanging bunkbed. I would love to find one of those!
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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Maybe the 5 is for the bunk brackets??? Otherwise, the layout on mine was pretty much street side and front gauchos as described above and the fourth numeral is a 6.

Made a dinette in the front to replace the front gaucho and didn't lose sleeping area or storage.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:46 PM   #6
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California built at least 95 Caravels for the 1966 model year, maybe one or two more. No records exist for Ohio, but that plant was larger and likely built a few more than California - that was the general trend with the 1961 thru 1963 Bambi's.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lakemaiden View Post
Argonaut - hi. Doing Caravel research and came upon this thread. My 1966 Caravel '17 has a "5" in the fourth position after the "JO17". It has a streetside that pulls out to a double and a front gaucho that pulls to what I would describe as a 3/4. It also has the brackets for the hanging bunkbed. I would love to find one of those!
"JO175xxx" means you actually have a 1965 Caravel. The "5" in the 5th position is the model year - 1965. 1966 Caravels have a "6" in the 5th position.

It is not unusual to see Airstreams registered as a year different than what they were originally built as.

I am currently doing reasearch to create the most accurate Airstream Serial Number decoder yet published for the years up thru 1970. Probably months away from completing it.
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Old 10-27-2019, 10:54 PM   #8
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Way more than I thought! Any clue about the '5' vs '6' in the fourth position?
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Argonaut20 View Post
Unless there is a person who was intimately associated with AS in 1966, the number of Caravels built may be unknowable. It's a cinch the serial number doesn't help because it may be just an over all count of units produced with double or twin beds.
JO66XX: Jackson Center-Overlander-1966 4th position 6 is double bed? small trailer? half of Route 66? Do any 1966 Caravels have a 5 in the 4th position? Below 500 is twin bed, above 500 is double bed according to one source.

My hunch is that not many Caravels were built in any year. By that, I would guess fewer than 50.
The serial number on your 1966 Jackson Center Caravel should be in the format "JO176xxx":
J = Jackson Center plant
O = Land Yacht trim level
17 = 17' Caravel
6 = 1966 Model Year
xxx = production sequence number

You are correct that the 6th postion is used to differentiate twin bed models from double bed models for 20' and larger lengths for some model years, but this did not apply to the 17' Caravels which started at "101" and counted up.

For the model years 1965 thru 1969 on models 20' and larger, a number less than "5" in the 6th position (e.g. "1xx, "2xx, etc.) indicates twin beds, while a "5" or larger indicates a double bed model (e.g. "5xx", "6xx", etc.).
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:20 PM   #10
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Way more than I thought! Any clue about the '5' vs '6' in the fourth position?
See my other reply to you. What you are reporting does not agree with the normal 1966 serial number sequence. In some years Airstream stamped additional numbers into the Serial Number plate that we do not always have the ability to decode at this time. Perhaps that is what you are seeing. It would be best to post (or privately email me) a clear photo of your serial number plate so I can see what you are talking about.
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Old 10-27-2019, 11:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 66Overlander View Post
California built at least 95 Caravels for the 1966 model year, maybe one or two more. No records exist for Ohio, but that plant was larger and likely built a few more than California - that was the general trend with the 1961 thru 1963 Bambi's.
1966 seems to be the about the low point for California Caravel production:
1965 = 118 (17')
1966 = 95+ (17')
1967 = 147 (17')
1968 = 135 (17')
1969 = 95 (18')
1970 = 139 (18')
1971 = Unknown (18')
1972 = 0 (model discontinued)

Ohio Caravel production totals for these years are unknown, but should generally be a little higher (but no guarantee for any given year as there were plant to plant fluctuations).

Ohio also built one custom 16' Bubble that was badged as a Caravel in 1956 and 26 18' Caravels in 1961.
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Old 11-23-2019, 08:47 AM   #12
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Not the year you are looking for, but my 68s serial number is 0178-S192-2760. From the above posts I take it is the 191st one from the Ohio plant.
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:46 PM   #13
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Sorry I meant 91st if they start at 101
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Old 11-23-2019, 06:55 PM   #14
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Sorry I meant 91st if they start at 101
I do believe they started at 101, which would make 192 the 92nd one off the line.
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:19 PM   #15
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Name Plate Decode

So Overlander you appear to know a lot about the serial numbers on our 66 model trailers. I have a 66 Caravelle and was trying to figure out what all of the numbers mean on the plate by the door. I have attached it and hopefully you can see it. The numbers were laid out on all four corners of the plate. Thoughts?
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:42 PM   #16
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So Overlander you appear to know a lot about the serial numbers on our 66 model trailers. I have a 66 Caravelle and was trying to figure out what all of the numbers mean on the plate by the door. I have attached it and hopefully you can see it. The numbers were laid out on all four corners of the plate. Thoughts?
The actual serial number is S017S6032 at the bottom which decodes as follows:
S= Santa Fe Springs Plant Location
0 = Land Yacht Trim Level (as were all Caravels)
17 = 17' Caravel
S = ??? (an "S" in this location is not expected and does not match Airstream production records)
6 = 1966
032 = sequence number (i.e. the 32nd one built)

The other numbers in the upper corners have never been explained. Were I to guess, "1223" might be the production date of December 23, 1965, which seems possibly appropriate for the 32rd unit built, but it could be something totally different, and "66" might be redundant for 1966 model year. We really don't know. Together they DO NOT mean 12/23/66 as Airstream would have been well into 1967 model year production by then.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:33 PM   #17
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Thanks I appreciate your response.
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Old 04-16-2020, 06:57 PM   #18
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Doesn't the S stand for Santa Fe? mine is a '68 with S220 for the serial number. I've got a D 79 in the upper left corner, so I was wondering if that might be option codes. FH in the upper right hand corner.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:47 PM   #19
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Doesn't the S stand for Santa Fe? mine is a '68 with S220 for the serial number. I've got a D 79 in the upper left corner, so I was wondering if that might be option codes. FH in the upper right hand corner.
In 1966 the "S" or "J" (for Jackson Center was in the first position. Starting in 1967 the "S" or "J" moved to after the model year digit and just before the 3-digit sequence number. In this case the mystery "S" is before the model year digit, so the mystery "S" is not even in the correct 1967 position.

FYI, Airstream serial number formats changed frequently during the 1950s and 1960s, so you can't really compare one year to a different year. Sometimes they even changed in the middle of a model year. It is tough to decide.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:48 PM   #20
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I pur, 1966 17 ft Caravel new in 1966 from R.I. Crist airstream dealer in Chgo Il. also had dealership in Phoenix Arizona in 1966. My knowledge is 1965 was called Bambi then changed to 17ft. in 1966 then called caravel also I believe all were pull out side double beds with dinette across front convert to single bed, stove and reefer across aisle. I don't have any idea how could have twin beds as bath was in rear w/stand up shower and toilet in rear. I owned 1 summer then traded for 1976 31ft L lounge and twin beds w/delivery April 1967 The reason of short ownership was heavy leaks plus son born day after xmas 1966. The 76 31ft was pur Rocket trailer sale Rock Falls Il. both dealers now out of bus. I did not take any pics or save any paper work of Caravel also no finance papers as always pd. cash for 5 AS 1 Argosy 2 sob all were new except first AS 1962 pur. in 1963. All AS I owned were made in JC, last is 1976 31ft double still use and keeping original. My ownership of AS 57 yrs continual. I will be 86 yrs. old in 14 days & very active and I believe I'm oldest continual owner but I do no of 90 yr old man pur. first AS last summer. I asked dealer who was helping him, answer no body and going to California by himself. If some one has longer record of ownership and doing all by self w/out help and still going please post. My WBBCI # at that time was 14976 all #s in seq. when joining no random numbering with first 100 to wbbci international execs present and past that era of time, no reissue of #s, that would make me 14976 member of wbbci at that time and my father was 10768.
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