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Old 10-22-2008, 07:54 PM   #1
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Hunter's Special! -my 56' find

I was using the jaxed.com to search the state of FL for my next project and came across my new addition to the family! I saw it Tuesday night, then after talking with the man, was en route the 50 miles to Lakeland Wed. at noon to go get it. He said the panels were perfect and the interior was gutted. But what really got me was that he said his phone had not stopped ringing over it and "Airstream" was sending someone over to get it back. I got there and it was the perfect Airstream hunter's dream- side of the road used car lot, 1956 13 panel Airstream sitting in the corner, guy had scrawled "Hunter's special- $1750" on the side (my wife remarking that by him putting "game" hunter's special, he was really unknowingly referring to my Airstream Hunter's obsession!). Got out and started feeling how smooth the body is and how good the frame is, I knew it was coming home with me. He wouldn't bargain though but the price was right and he had a title!
I drove it home and took it to the scales first off and it weighed in at 1960 pounds! (with the concrete block prop). I love it and cant wait to tear into it. But have to finish the other one first.

My question for you out there is- can I figure out what model this is??? It is 22' long and completely stripped on the inside except for some light fixtures and the newer sink in the front. There is a water hookup on the driver's side front corner. How do you tell different models in the 50's.
It is also missing the rear window- know where I can get one?
Cheers, John.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:05 PM   #2
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man, thats a great deal on a nice AS.. have fun restoring that one... I'm jealous... Theres a guy in Paonia CO that has 4 in his yard.. I may stop by on Fri. since my daughter has a soccer game out there, and ask him about them.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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Looks like it might be a 22' Custom...do you have a VIN number? It would help confirm it ~ it would be on the little plate by the door.

Check here: Vintage Airstream - '56 Custom

The window configuration looks like the fist one shown there.

Shari
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrauk View Post
I was using the jaxed.com to search the state of FL for my next project and came across my new addition to the family! I saw it Tuesday night, then after talking with the man, was en route the 50 miles to Lakeland Wed. at noon to go get it. He said the panels were perfect and the interior was gutted. But what really got me was that he said his phone had not stopped ringing over it and "Airstream" was sending someone over to get it back. I got there and it was the perfect Airstream hunter's dream- side of the road used car lot, 1956 13 panel Airstream sitting in the corner, guy had scrawled "Hunter's special- $1750" on the side (my wife remarking that by him putting "game" hunter's special, he was really unknowingly referring to my Airstream Hunter's obsession!). Got out and started feeling how smooth the body is and how good the frame is, I knew it was coming home with me. He wouldn't bargain though but the price was right and he had a title!
I drove it home and took it to the scales first off and it weighed in at 1960 pounds! (with the concrete block prop). I love it and cant wait to tear into it. But have to finish the other one first.

My question for you out there is- can I figure out what model this is??? It is 22' long and completely stripped on the inside except for some light fixtures and the newer sink in the front. There is a water hookup on the driver's side front corner. How do you tell different models in the 50's.
It is also missing the rear window- know where I can get one?
Cheers, John.
A 22' Airstream is either a Flying Cloud or Safari. Check out RJ Dial's site Vintage Airstream Home for the photo archives.

How much of the rear window are you missing, it is only flat glass.

Good luck

Bill
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:06 PM   #5
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Shari,

You beat me again.

Bill
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:07 PM   #6
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Wow, congrats! Looks like a few '56s surfacing lately. My guess is a Flying Cloud or Safari. Definitely is a California model by the looks of the rear "whale tail".
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:12 PM   #7
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I don't think it's a Caravaner or a Safari...they both have the large continuous windows on the streetside (Safari has 3 in a row & Caravanner has 3 in a row & one stacked). Nor a Flying Cloud which tends to have various irregular sized/placed windows.

To me, the streetside looks alot like the "Custom". Although, on second look at the first photo (click to make it bigger) it looks like there may be a patch where a window ofr vent may have been...hmmm. Could be a modified FC...VIN # would help ~

Shari
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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The vin# is 7756 which the guy who sold it to me said that meant it was # 77 in 1956. Hah! It also has the wicked looking sculpted back end cap with the whale tail and not the 13 panel rear cap. I think there was an access door below the window as well.
After owning my 78 safari and towing it, this thing is a whole different animal being less than half the weight and very antique looking.
Cheers, John.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:31 PM   #9
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The vin# is 7756 which the guy who sold it to me said that meant it was # 77 in 1956. Hah!
Okay...I was wrong. Looks like it is a Flying Cloud...but a '55, not a '56. Nice story though ~

1955 Flying Cloud 22'

Ohio | O-3245 to O-3293
California | 7NNN (about 7750 to 7975)

Your number falls right in the range for the 1955's...actually pretty early in the series. Often times, the titles will have the year it was sold rather than the model year.

Check out this: 55FC

Shari
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:41 PM   #10
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Wow, that is so cool about this forum. An id within minutes!! Do the rear end cap panels indicate the year? The title I have does say '56 and it notes the previous title was from New York. I had checked out vintageairstream.com but had not matched it perfectly. No name plates on these models, huh?
This thing has been patched over nicely to be fully sealed and with no protrusions. Will have to start the rebuilding process and do my hunting as to how it was originally set up. Any sites that list floorplans for this year?
Thanks all.
John.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:46 PM   #11
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Do the rear end cap panels indicate the year?
Yes, the whale tails were only made in '55 & '56 in CA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrauk View Post
I had checked out vintageairstream.com but had not matched it perfectly.
They were pretty much custom in the 50's...they would make mods based on materials on-hand or customer requests all the time.
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No name plates on these models, huh?
You have a plate by the door right under the window...I can see it in the third picture of your first post. That has the VIN # on it. There is sometimes another plate nearby that says the model...but I can't tell if yours has one from that picture. Looks kinda like there might be a patch there with a key/lock(?) where it used to be right below the VIN plate.

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Any sites that list floorplans for this year
Did you see this or this or this or this? All were plans for the mid-50's 22-footers - good for some ideas ~

Shari
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:46 PM   #12
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If it's striped out why not make the floor plan how you would like it.... What suits your needs...
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:44 AM   #13
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Now I get it- whale tail is the look of the rear upper middle panel- of coarse! I kept thinking it was the look of how the rear lower panels come and flair out to where they hit the bumper. My 78's tuck back in towards the body. The vin # tells the story; about the 6th one built in 1955. I can correctly tell everyone what year it is now.
Thanks, John.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:18 AM   #14
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That's looking really cool already, I'm especially liking the white wall tires. (obviously I watched too much Duke's of Hazard as a child but it's going on my list of finishing touches for sure).
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:45 AM   #15
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It looks longer than a 22' to me

Did you measure from the tongue to the bumper, or did you measure JUST the cabin ??
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:58 AM   #16
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That's looking really cool already, I'm especially liking the white wall tires. (obviously I watched too much Duke's of Hazard as a child but it's going on my list of finishing touches for sure).
I too love the white letter tires. I was considering wide white walls, maybe I'll get white letters instead. sporty!!!
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Old 10-23-2008, 07:05 PM   #17
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I did measure bumper to ball and it is about at 22'. The guy who sold it claimed it was a 17' since that is what the inside is about.
Hoosier Radials!!! Raised white letters! This really could pass as a huntin' trailer. It has a sink rigged directly to the exterior hook up and that drained straight down and out, and a cooktop rigged directly to the blue rhino tank out front. The guy selling it was a true used car salesman though- he had those Hoosier radials so shiny with tire shine that you could see all of the dryrot cracks easily. I could just put some baby moons on it and call it a day, but it has a shimmy at 55 and I am always serious about fresh running gear.
I could see this trailer behind the General Lee in an episode tearin' through the country. Maybe that is the theme I will go with and put an 01 on the door!
Luke Duke.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:36 PM   #18
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Yes, the whale tails were only made in '55 & '56 in CA.
Actually, "whale tails" were built, at the California plant only, in 1954 (probably starting with the sloped rear end early in the year), '55, '56, and (I think) '57 until the changeover to 7-panels early in the model year. They are interesting, but my eye prefers the 13-panel rear end of the Ohio built trailers in this era (not that I'd turn down a whale tail if one came my way, however).
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:11 PM   #19
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love the look of those. Do you have interior photos?
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:25 AM   #20
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There is not much to my Silver Cloud's interior, but for me that is good cause most of it would have ended up in the trash anyway. It is really set up as a hunter's cabin with just the basics- water, stove, then go outside to pee.
I am pondering just leaving off the rear window and getting a new piece of aluminum to cover up the whole back. The trend nowdays seems to be fewer windows and more of a concealed look, so maybe.
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