Selling after it is redone? You'd want to do a major resto because you have a passion for it and want to use something like this. One would likely lose money after restoring properly. Condition of the frame due to it collapsing into the ground is questionable. The leaf springs certainly are going to take a long look.
A 'shell off' restoration means that you have to remove everything from the inside so that you can lift the shell from the frame [an unknown - do any frame repair?], work on suspension/running gear, most likely replace the plywood floor, reinstall the same inner skins and original cabinetry (refinished). You'd have to have a place to do it -- removed shells can tumble in a wind. Your purchase, necessary materials & even a modest tool investment may chew up most of any resale price -- which might be in the upper teens range if done exquisitely. Done yourself, you'd be glad if this took a year of spare time -- and you'll begin to feel like you're working for 10¢ an hour and it's likely not to be even that much. Therefore do it for your passion. It would be nice for you if this was in condition to polish and make look very nice.
Hiring a restoration tends to cost toward the range of a brand new Airstream. Whether homespun or hired out, equivalent quality restorations still have similar values.
Originally Posted by 62overlander
It might be the camera angle and it might be the slope of the wheel cut out, but to my eye, I see a curve to the roof from the AC back. I hope it is just an optical illusion.
I see that. A broken frame would mess up a lot more than the frame.
There are many $2K Airstreams out there that are fair values and may take a lot less work than this one. But it's hard not to require a shell-off to do it right. Peeps who know the value of such a classic (as this nearly was once) will be wary of a "polished turd" as it's called -- prettying up, polishing, putting hardwood laminate flooring that hopefully a buyer won't step in the wrong places, etc. I bought a '74 once and never got it done to my satisfaction -- it would have been a huge money loser if I'd have continued. Even a 70s or 80s Airstream has a classic look and will get you on the road quicker -- and still might require a shell-off. <sigh> Axles too. Imagine how much a '57 Buick squatting on its rims in a field would take to bring back.
Larger and more pics is gooder...