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Old 06-25-2010, 08:31 AM   #1
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Airstream Title - 1958

I was given an 58 Flying Cloud about 10 years ago, and I have had it sitting on my hunting property since then. I brought it home about a year ago and fixed it up. I got everything working and repaired all major problems and am ready to try it out. My problem is I don't have a title for it and the old man died about ten years ago. I never planned to use it anywhere except my hunting property but it was to nice to let die.

Can anyone tell me where the vin number is? I have numbers on the hitch and the plate on the side of it. I will have to apply for a title and was wondering what was the easiest way to do that. (Lost Title etc.)

Ron in Colorado
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:42 AM   #2
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I can't say what is permitted in Colorado, but I can tell you how it is done here in AZ. I bought a non-titled Honda CB350 motorcycle at auction for $80. I called the DMV and they provided me the name and address of the most recent owner. I had to send a return receipt signed letter to him asking him to release the title. It came back as undeliverable, so they went ahead and let me get a new title. Maybe because it was only a small motorcycle and it was only $80.

The Airstream plate by the entry door has your serial number and it should, depending on factory, be:

Ohio | ~O-3500 to O-3544
(I prefix for Int'l options)

California | 8350+, also 22-85NN late
(same as Safari & Customs)

Nice trailer you got there. Hope this helps.

Brad
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:43 AM   #3
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Hi Ron. See Vintage Airstream Photo Archives

From all the streetside windows, are you sure you don't have a Caravanner? Compare that to the '58 FC pics. Your wheel wells are Ohio type and not from the California plant. In the top left of each of those pages are VIN samples.

So for a '58 FC your VIN would look like:
Quote:
Ohio | ~O-3500 to O-3544
(I prefix for Int'l options)
For a '58 Caravanner your VIN would look like
Quote:
Ohio | ~O-9300 to ~O-9399
(I prefix for Int'l options)
The sequential production number would be 3500-3544 for a FC and 9300 to 9399 for a Caravanner. So which is it?

At each of those pages, there are other models to view; eg, 1958CalFlyingCloud2, 1958Caravanner2, etc. That will get you a broader sampling for each aspect of the window layout.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:50 AM   #4
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Sorry ... yes, the plate by the door is the number you would use.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
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I'm with BobStream. Looks like a Caravanner. Good luck with the DMV! I had a tiny bit of difficulty convincing them that my VIN number was only four digits. I had the trailer in the parking lot and said, "Wanna come take a look?" Apparently that would have required getting up. The agent just took my word for it and processed the papers.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:18 AM   #6
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I'm also with BobStream. Unique Caravanner windows.

Brad
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Hi Guys,
Thanks for your help! By the door is says Flying Cloud and O-3514. Someone told me that it had the caravanner option. It has a different layout inside, with two gocches. It is a nice old camper and I have tons of work to do on it. It is perfect for hunting and I do alot of that. Thanks Again.

Ron
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:51 PM   #8
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Well... your VIN sure falls within the Flying Cloud range as noted on R.J.Dial's Vintage Airstream Photo Archives. He has done his research very well but still gives the ~ 'approximate' symbol about ranges of VINs. 'Approximate' within the range of human error. VIN 3514 is early to middle in the '58 production sequence.

They're all 22' models. The Caravanner began in 1957. I have no reason to say this, but I suspect the factory may not have had it clear whether they had separate Falcons, Flying Clouds, Customs, World Travelers or Caravanners. Differences with the Santa Fe Springs, CA, factory didn't make it any easier. Or plain just got this one wrong.

I think you can feel comfortable calling it a Caravanner from here on. Two gauchos. Fold away when you have a crowd over. Party Airstream!! That's the high sign for Caravanner all the way IMO...
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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You could visit the Pueblo County clerk and ask the license plate person what to do. They may not know. There's a person at DMV headquarters, now in Lakewood I believe, who handles title questions. The one I spoke to in 1996 when I had to get a Colorado title for a Florida car knew how to do things, but the person at the Jefferson Co. clerk's office didn't have a clue. You'd think that title question would be simple, but who knows how these people are "trained"?

To arm yourself with answers, you could visit the library and check the Colorado Revised Statutes. The Vehicle and Traffic Code will have answers about this sort of question somewhere. Since my copy is 4,000 miles from where I am, I can't check it now. The Statutes are online too.

Gene
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:42 AM   #10
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1958 22' Caravanner
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Thank for all the help!
Bob Stream, you are right, it is definatley a Caravanner. comparing the pics, it has all the same stuff. It just has a Flying Cloud plate on it. The old man who ordered this unit wanted a flying Cloud and they just put the plate on it.

Thanks again

Ron
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:49 AM   #11
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I did the same thing recently. I got a bonded title. The local courthouse did a title search, there was none, the local DMV did a VIN search for registration, there was none. I had to have an insurance company issue a bond then submit that issued bond to the local subcourt house that deals with titles. The title will say Bonded which last for 3 years then drops off. I was issued plates and am good to go.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Banks View Post
The old man who ordered this unit wanted a flying Cloud and they just put the plate on it.
Yeah, and gave it a FC VIN too. They'd been producing Caravanners for a couple years by this time. Either it was deliberate to match up with his order or human error. Wouldn't matter either way I guess.

Ron, I changed you to '58 Caravanner in your profile if you don't mind.

Regarding the 'O' or 'I' (International) prefix in these 1950s VINs -- the 'O' was just a placeholder and had no significance. It would be changed to 'I' with the Int'l package which gave more mobility -- 12v coach power, onboard water and some other traveling amenities IIRC.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:40 AM   #13
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Read Colorado DMV's requirements . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Banks View Post
I was given an 58 Flying Cloud about 10 years ago, and I have had it sitting on my hunting property since then. I brought it home about a year ago and fixed it up. I got everything working and repaired all major problems and am ready to try it out. My problem is I don't have a title for it and the old man died about ten years ago. I never planned to use it anywhere except my hunting property but it was to nice to let die.

Can anyone tell me where the vin number is? I have numbers on the hitch and the plate on the side of it. I will have to apply for a title and was wondering what was the easiest way to do that. (Lost Title etc.). Ron in Colorado
Hi Ron:

Go to:


Department of Revenue - Division of Motor Vehicles:

and read the state's requirements for obtaining a title.

Then go to:

http://adm.elpasoco.com/NR/rdonlyres...dingpacket.pdf

and download the bonding packet.

Generally, you have to complete and file an application for a title. You may have to obtain a bond or provide other security (bank account, etc.) for obtaining a title. Bonding is not generally required for "vehicles" (which includes travel trailers) 25 years old or older, like yours. See C.R.S. 42-6-115(b). But that exception depends on your giving the state a notarized bill of sale within 2 years of the vehicle transfer, which has long since passed. But given the age and low value of the '58 Airstream, the DMV in its discretion might waive the bond requirement.

Download the applicable forms, fill them out, gather all the necessary papers (including a VIN inspection of your Airstream) and take them to the DMV. Discuss your situation with them with all papers in hand.

The applicable statutes can be found by copying and pasting each of these separately in Google:

C.R.S. 42-6-115
C.R.S. 42-6-116

Good luck!
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #14
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That's a beautiful '58 you got there. Welcome to the club. One of the first things I would do would get rid of the diamond plates on the front.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:40 AM   #15
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It's a 1958 Flying Cloud . . .

Hi All:

For those who believe the Ohio factory misidentified Ron's 1958 trailer by (i) giving it a serial number from the mid-range of 1958 Ohio-built Flying Cloud serial numbers and (ii) by riveting a Flying Cloud name plate on it, here's more evidence of their carelessness. A shown below, they also misprinted their own sales literature!

It's obvious the Ohio factory could not distinguish a Flying Cloud from a Caravanner even as it built them. What did the factory know back then? Nothing! It's also amazing how wide spread and consistent that lack of knowledge was, covering both production and sales.

Unlike the Ohio factory that actually built this trailer back in the dark ages of 1958, we are blessed with 52 years of hindsight that allows us to see their mistakes for what they are. All this just goes to show one cannot rely on an original VIN plate, on an original riveted name plate, or even on contemporary sales literature to properly identify vintage Airstreams. They are nothing but a string of errors . . .

Thankfully we have the internet to provide all the right answers, so we can disregard what is right before our eyes. The GPS also provides this benefit, so we no longer have to pay attention to the deteriorating condition or wrong direction of the roads we travel. Its such a relief that all the answers are in the air and not directly in front of us!

And if you believe that, I have a virtual bridge I just listed on ePay . . .

As hard as we try to ignore reality, sometimes the right answer is plain in front is us. Partial knowledge can be a dangerous thing. I'll give the Ohio factory the benefit of the doubt on Ron's trailer and say it they correctly serial numbered and named it a Flying Cloud.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #16
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And we Caravanner types don't have a hatch in the rear--ours is on the side under our side mounted berth.

Thanks, Fred!

cheers,
steve
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Regarding the 'O' or 'I' (International) prefix in these 1950s VINs -- the 'O' was just a placeholder and had no significance. It would be changed to 'I' with the Int'l package which gave more mobility -- 12v coach power, onboard water and some other traveling amenities IIRC.
I had half a correct (but ultimately incorrect) idea running... and thank you to Fred Coldwell for his gentlemanly message. If I may correct the record:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 47WeeWind
The California factory began using 4 digit serial numbers in 1947. When the Ohio factory opened in 1953, it initially used California factory serial number plates because its own had not yet been printed. To distinguish the 4 digit Ohio seral numbers from the 4 digit California serial numbers, all Ohio serial numbers from 1953 to ~1958 were given a "O" prefix denoting "Ohio".

This convention was dropped in later 1958 when the factories began using longer serial numbers with different arrangements for each factory. The "O" was a place holder in the 60's but had independent significance in the 50s.
Ahh! The benefits of peaceful existence between WBCCI, VAC & AIR.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #18
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My airstream can without a title. After much work and time with the State of Florida I gave up. Broadway Title, check it out on the internet, from Alabama I think. Within 10 days I have a title in hand and with in a few hours I had a new Florida title.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:48 PM   #19
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Used Broadway title here, guy was great, worked flawlessly, was about $300 but no headaches, no waiting periods, no bonds or red tape...
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