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Old 12-02-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Vintage Kin Owner
Orange , California
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New 1960 Avion T20 owners

Hello All,

We actually joined AirForums back in Feb 2012 during our search, but didn't want to post anything here until we had a trailer.

So after over a year of searching for "the perfect vintage trailer", Jana has finally got hers - a restored 1960 Avion T20 which she found online in Albuquerque (ABQ). It was rescued by a very nice couple in ABQ who gave it some TLC between about 07-09, & who enjoyed it up until this year.

We were looking for an already restored trailer, as hubby Tom (me) already has his hands full with the care & resto of 3 classic cars (`73 Porsche 914-2.0, `85 BMW 325e E30, `88 VW Vanagon CamperGL "Westfalia"), & our 1921 Craftsman home - and didn't need another project (although this Avion will need some upkeep/TLC too). And we're not getting any younger, now both in our 60's!

I suppose you'd call it a Resto-Mod, since the prior owners (PO) changed some things from the original in the galley & systems, along with new countertops, drapes, upholstery & flooring - but most are vintage look, except the SS appliances. The PO's did some work themselves & some by Larry Hill of his former Retro Restorations in ABQ.

In that `07-09+/- resto, most everything was well addressed, including:

> all of the electrical & wiring & outlets/switches, Optima battery, roof AV w/ heat strip, power vent;

> 2 larger 30 gal propane tanks, valves & lines, 3-way water heater, etc.;

> plumbing & clean-outs, larger custom TPP water & black water tanks, etc. were all redone with new & the non-functioning original stove & wall heater were removed.

> the countertops & flooring (12" tiles cut-down to retro 9" square size), exterior skin reseal & replaced lights & details as needed (&/or by PO), & a new awning canopy were done by Larry,

> while the PO refinished all the wood cabinetry, did the curtains/rods & new cushions/upholstery, & resealed the windows. A prior owner to them had started the resto, and had repainted the interior walls/ceiling with Zolotone.

> the body skin also appears to have been polished before in that resto, but not recently redone.

We don't know yet if we'll try to repolish it again for the vintage trailer event season next summer/fall 2013, or just leave it with the current patina. However, I will have to clean-up & repaint the wheels, bumper, step & A-frame, as well as giving the belly pans some TLC & re-riveting.

It still has the stock leaf springs & steel drop-axle intact (these weren't originally torsion axles), with the original 6 Lug steel wheels with the clips for the full wheel covers/hubcaps - which are MIA. We'll get some replacement chrome conical or baby moon hub caps & trim rings, until & unless we can find a pair of original Avion ones to restore. A rear bumper tray/rack, bike rack &/or spare tire continental set-up may also be in the offing, but we'll keep the stock suspension, since the PO had Camping World to an axle & brake update kit in `07.

We may eventually look into retro-restoring the galley with a correct vintage Princess stove & hood, porcelain sink if we can find them, and if we can secure some more matching Virr-Varr White Formica or an appropriate alternative (latter would require all countertops & tables to be redone).

We plan to use it to go to a few (2-4+) vintage trailer &/or classic car events a year, and the rest of the time it will be parked in our back yard for Jana's use as her "Gal Cave," guest quarters & for us if any work on the house forces us out. So we have some work to do to prep a proper parking area in the back yard, but for now she rests in our driveway, unfortunately blocking our detached garage.

You'll note above that we don't own a viable TV, so at this point we'll just rent or borrow a pick-up or SUV (as I did to transport it from ABQ in July), & not have the added expense/space for a 4th vehicle used infrequently. We may later decide to get a TV capable car or mid-sized SUV which can double as a back-up daily driver, but not for now. Jana doesn't want to drive & park a full sized pick-up/SUV - nor do I, so we prefer NOT to go that route at all, except as rental TVs.

We have a Tekonsha Prodigy wireless brake controller to install on the A-frame, which will allow us to switch to various TVs - the cab relay unit plugs into the cigarette light/DC outlet in any TV, & the controller is on the trailer & in-line with the 7-pin (rather than under dash), and is essentially the same as their non-wireless units).

We also plan to get a Hensley Hitch Arrow Cub sway control system to install, which will make towing easier & safer with any TV, as we'd prefer to use a car or smaller SUV to tow this braked 2685 lb. dry TW trailer - which should weigh in at 3000# or less even fully loaded, and well within many auto/SUV towing capacities of +/- 3500# when properly equipped.

Prior to our purchase, in addition to our driving the sellers crazy with photo & info requests and our traveling to ABQ to see the T20 in person ourselves, we had Uwe S. of Area 63 Productions (Airstream/etc. restorations near us here in Orange CA) to a PPI for us in June, when he was there for the big vintage trailer rally in ABQ. For those fellow Newbies out there, I highly recommend this sort of careful & deliberate process, as well as calling in an expert for a PPI when you settle on one, in order to find the things you wouldn't know to look for.

Then in late July I then had the trailer safety inspected, new seals & bearings repacked, brakes & lights checked by J&B Trailers in ABQ, & new Maxxis tires installed by AB Tires (both good folks) - prior to my 800+ mile "tow job" to SoCal. I did this to be extra sure & safe, while crossing the desert southwest in the peak of summer heat in late July `12. As Uwe said, new tires are cheaper insurance than replacing a bunch of belly pans!

Travel/towing went well - except for a 7-pin connector which wasn't adequately secured to the TV, ergo the stop at the Gallup NM Wally-mart to pick-up some magnetic trailer lights & extension wires & 4-to-7 pin converter. From there it was brakeless on the trailer, but the Ford F150 $x$ which I was using for that trip was well up to the task. Heck - a year ago I couldn't have quoted most of this trailering stuff!

There are some pix below.

Tom & Jana
1960 Avion T20
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:51 AM   #2
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Outstanding!

Looks like you are off to a very nice start. And already know something about the care and feeding of vintage vehicles. Look forward to more.

RVP is (soon) to be offering low profile A/C units, BTW.

.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:18 AM   #3
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Very nice old Avion. I think that they are one of the best built aluminum trailers ever made.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:33 PM   #4
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Welcome! Shes beautiful. But I would weigh her before your next trip, the quoted weights always seem way too low.

Love the collection ad well. We have a vintage Alfa and Wagoneer as well as a 1908 house so I understand being busy. Never mind 2 kids under 6.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Response to some replies

Thanx for the replies all!

Rednax - the PO put that one on new in the 2007 resto & said that they picked it due to higher efficiency than the other AC's available then. So we'll probably wait until this one dies then replace it with a low profile Coleman etc. that I've seen at CW etc. online. I think they're all as efficient now, as this big box is.

Then I'd probably paint the white shroud with metallic paint to blend better with the trailer's skin.

I'm not familiar with RPV? ...who are they & their makes?


M2HB - We've heard too that they're superior build & materials quality to Airstreams - even from professional Airstream restorers! maybe that's why they've sent us to the fringes of the AirForums on here! ...minimize the competition!

JeweloJalopy - I plan to get her weighed (the trailer - not Jana ) once Jana has all her stuff in & we're fully loaded for a trip somewhere, then get total, tongue & each wheel weights. the NM title listed it as 2400 lbs, but I'd seen another 60/61 T20 listed as 2465 dry & sans optional equipment.

In the resto the porceline sink, Princess stove & older heavier OE fridge were replaced with newer & lighter modern stuff, & the wall heater removed; while the roof AC was added & the old heavier water heater replaced with a lighter high efficiency 3-way unit; and then the 2 LP tanks went from the basic 20 gal to 30, the OE 20 gal aluminum high pressure fresh water tank & air pressure pump was replaced with an electric pump & larger 27-30+/- gal poly tank, and the under floor/step 10 gal black water tank was replaced with a lighter but larger 17+/- gal poly tank; and all of the plumbing went from heavier copper to PEX & plastic lines, and the new toilet is lighter too.

So I'm guessing that the overall weight is still close to a similarly equipped unit from the factory back in the day - even with the capacity increases. The guy who restores these & Airstreams who did the PPI estimated it's less than 2800 fully loaded, & certainly less than 3000 lbs. We shall see!

Not to burst your bubble, but we had to wait until our 2 kids were grown & out of college & gone, before I got to play with my car restos & Jana get her trailer!


ALL - I know I'd inserted pix in other posts I'd done on here before, but can't figure out how to upload them from my computer directly (I don't upload to other host sites), so I'll add a few more Jana wanted to the attachments below.

Cheers!
Tom
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:42 PM   #6
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Tom, you're not earning any brownie points there. I've dialed back my expectations from major restorations, to "hey, maybe I can squeeze in an hour to replace a light bulb this weekend". So I still get to play occasionally, but nothing like I used to. And certainly nothing that takes the Alfa off the road. Oh well, the girls are more fun most of the time!
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeweloJalopy View Post
Tom, you're not earning any brownie points there. I've dialed back my expectations from major restorations, to "hey, maybe I can squeeze in an hour to replace a light bulb this weekend". So I still get to play occasionally, but nothing like I used to. And certainly nothing that takes the Alfa off the road. Oh well, the girls are more fun most of the time!
Ian - it's far more important to spend the time with your kids now - rather than take on major resto projects, cuz they grow up so fast!

You're also lucky to have a runner in the Alpha!

In my case, my 73 914-2.0 ("914-S") was my DD & only car from 12/75 when I bought it 3 yrs. old (I'm 2nd owner) to 5/85, when it got whacked in as UCLA parking structure while I was in MBA classes all day, & that was after I did a $6500+ driver level rolling resto/full running gear rebuild in `80-83 (think $20k+ in today's dollars).

Since we were getting married in August 85 & planning to start a family, I got orders to replace with a family capable car - ergo our `85 BMW 325e coupe acquired with the insurance $$s; and the 914 went into our garage on blocks for the next 26+ years!

So I couldn't start on it's resto until `09/10 when the kid costs were down, and it's nowhere near done nor even a runner yet. Moreover, the `05/06 repaint/refurb on my 325e, `07 & current refurb/repaint of Jana's `88 Westy, & the `08/09 refurb/repaint of an 88 Honda Civic Hatchback for our kids - not to mention all the 1921 house resto/refurb work & Jana's Avion - all keep getting in the way of progress on the 914!

So you're still better off for now with a drivable classic car, plus two young kids to enjoy while you still can!

Cheers!
Tom
///////
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
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Last year we found some Avion factory documentation on a Silver Beauties CD I got for my wife, that this is actually a 1961 model & the #2 off the line at SN 1413 (1412 beinf 1st)
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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I don't know why quick post won't let me edit my mispelling above "being"?

anyway, to continue the update....

However, since the PO's did a resto-mod, it no longer would be an early production "as it left the factory" example.

We are thinking of putting an as original stove/oven & single bowl china sink back in with the newer Nordic fridge front panel in the color to match the stove, but it has too many other upgrades from original. We prefer the stove/oven & will find another spot for a small microwave. Will post pix later - if/when we do that.

We may also add a Vintage Trailer Supply aftermarket polypropylene gray water tank made to fit between the floor frame rails of the vintage AS's, which will also hopefully fit between our Avion's rails. Again, will post pix later - if/when we do that.

At some point later, I'll post pix of my work so far on it, including:

1.) The A-frame set-up with our Hensley Cub ("Baby Arrow" good for up to 6000# trailers) & Tekonsha's Prodigy RF wireless brake controller - quite a spatial puzzle to get it all to fit that short 30" A-frame!!

We LOVE the Cub - no greasy WD head & bars to remove, no WD chains to pry up, just mount/dismount the towbar/stinger & wind up the tension jacks - & absolutely ZERO sway!!!! I can usually get the stinger in the box 1st try with a TV rear camera, the yellow balls on extenders usually takes a couple of ties.

We're still renting TVs, so the TV rearview camera is hit or miss. However, I think we're getting closer to finding a reasonably priced & well kept used late model Cayenne S (V8) to solve the randon TV thing!

2.) A customized aluminum folding cargo rack with the spare underslung (facing out with rack folded up) & bike racks on top for our beach cruisers we like to take to the vintage trailer events. I still need to add the light kit for it with the taillights setup on hinges to fole facing out in the up or down position of the rack. I customized a Curt RV bumper mount reciever with a 2nd 2" reciever raised 3" on top to help the rear clearance with the rack folded down & the spare underslung - gets me about 24" clear under the spare when I test mounted it. I also want to resolve any wobble & bounce issues with the folding mechanism - perhaps wit 2 struts to attach at the 4" square rear bumper on the T20.

3.) A flat screen TV folding mount at the original factory folding TV stand/platform, with aluminum back bracing where Avion would've had a steel backer plate behind the birch veneer behind the wall heater. The PO's removed the original wall heater & brace - making it a thin closet, so I'll be adding back an Olympian Wave 6 catalytic heater low in that & retain the upper closet space, using the existing floor & roof vents from the wall heater for the catalytic heater's airflow needs & the floor LP hook-up from same.

A few other things to do for our use preferances & to clean-up some vintage stuff, and maybe a polishing when I have the storage canopy/tent/garage dealie up in the back to keep it our of sun & weather.

Otherwise, we've enjoyed it almost daily at home as my wife's gal cave/studio & "guest quarters" when our son is home on leave from the Army so he & his buddies can visit & paly games.

We've gone out on about 3-4 trips a year 2013-14 to vintage trailer events, including Pismo & Newport Dunes, and may do more in the future as time permits - especially when we don't have to hassle the logistics of renting TVs - once we have our own.

A V8 Cayenne S/Toureg (7719# towing rating & 750 HW) or Toyota 4Runner/Land Cruiser (5000-7000# IIRC) seems to fit the bill, what with our narrow streets & driveway to negotiate - which is tough with a full sized pick-up, plus my wife will actuially drive a mid-sized SUV, but not a pick-up or big SUV!

She needs to want to drive it, since the TV will also double as our 3rd car when our `88 VW Vanagon Camper GL Westfalia or `85 BMW 325e are in the shop, and it can tow my `73 Porsche 914-2.0 "914-S" to car shows & PCA concours events whenever it's resto is done!

That's all for now!

Cheers!
Tom
(Janabanana's other half & hone-doer!)
///////
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:31 AM   #10
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Hello! Would you have a picture of the bike rack set-up?

Very nice trailer! Lovely inside!
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:10 AM   #11
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I think the bike rack, etc refers to an Avion.? May not be appropriate to an AS. I could be wrong. Jim
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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Liz & Brian - I'll post some pix on that other thread I did under my membership on the more techies stuff when I get it done.

Avionstream - this is an aftermarket & currently available Curt aluminum folding cargo rack which fits into a 2" receiver, with a cargo rack bike adapter, spare tire "U" bolt attachment & some vintage repro lights - but I originally got a standard light trailer light kit form eTrailer before I decided to make the rack look retro.

In our case I'm using a modified Curt 4" RV bumper mounted/bolt-on 2" hitch receiver - to which for our case & added a 2nd 2" receiver above that to aid rear clearance at driveways etc. with the rack down & the spare tire underslung - since our Avion has its original dropped axles & reides very low for good aerodynamics.

This set-up would be apropos for ANY TT or RV rig for an appropriate weight to be carried.

In fact, I plan to also use it on our `88 VW Westfalia to haul cargo &/or bikes (without the trailer's spare of course), although for just bikes our Yakima "Swing-Daddy" swing-away bike rack is easier & more convenient since it swings out of the way & over the curb-side with the bikes on it, in order to open the Westy's rear hatch.

Anyone could get a 2" receiver for the rear of their TV (when unhitched or as a higher 2nd receiver or at front), TT or RV (either bolt-on or welded) - & assemble/build one of these racks in either the lighter aluminum or heavier/stronger steel construction + the bike racks, U-bolts, trailer light kit & reflectors, etc.!

In fact, it was my decision to try to just do this set-up with readily available parts & kits - rather than several of the custom build options which I'd drawn up!

I chose the aluminum rack to keep it's weight down both on the TT & when I'm hoisting it on or off. I chose a folding rack so I can keep the rack on most of the time, but fold it up when parked at home or in campgrounds, as well as when we're not carrying the bikes. I also chose to under-sling the spare to both maximize usable space on the rack surface, so that it was exposed & readily available & exposed with the rack folded up & traveling, & to avoid an odd side-load on one side of the rack if I mounted it vertically on the curbside of the rack (back mount prevents folding & blocks some bikes' fitting in the rack).

I reinforced the aluminum rack with 2" square aluminum tube sections where the bike rack loops would mount because the aluminum mesh floor wouldn't be strong enough alone, & it gives side points on which the spare tire can rest when mounted. This may or may not be necessary on the steel racks, tbd by the person building & using it.

I've had it all mounted to test fit, but was concerned with the L to R rocking play at the folding hinge at the center mount - especially when the trailer is on the road & there is a lot of movement. So my next step is to make some foldable or removeable "outrigger" supports at the added L & R 2" tubes under the cargo rack to attach to the TT's 4" rear bumper & hold the whole rack stable.

Once that's done & I'm satisfied it will be stable, then I'll install the retro lights & reflectors for added safety & visibility. I've got a hinged set-up for the taillights worked out, so that they'll face out with the rack either folded in the down or up positions. I also need to wire a 4-pin power supply connector off the back of the TT to power these lights, or the 2" receiver "3rd light"/receiver cover when not mounted.

Lights on the cargo rack aren't required by law - unless they block your TT or vehicle's taillights & license, but add some safety & visibility - so at least some reflectors at the rear & sides should be added - since this rack is at the end of & extending the length of a long rig.

So - yes Virginia .... errr .... Liz & Brian & others - it would work on an AS & any other TT!

Cheers!
Tom (Jana's hubby)
///////
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:13 AM   #13
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That should work well with the Avion, I wouldn't do it to a AS. My Avion has a full rear trunk with a full sized spare with two hydraulic jacks etc. so a set up like you have should be fine. Watch the tongue weight though with a short Avion. Don't want too much weight too far back. You should be okay. Jim
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:36 AM   #14
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Avionstream -

The trick we use is to leave the Gaucho Sofa out in bed mode, then I can store the jack, hook-ups gear, & bulky stuff like chairs & tables, etc. in that now cavernous space - most of which comes out when we're at the vintage rally events or camping parks anyway.

I think that anyone with an AS & any other TT with a rear 2" receiver on it (or can put one on) can use it too - new or vintage - if the wt. & balance is watched, as you say.

Our tongue wt. was 340-345# when I checked it on the Sherline, in part thanx to the Hensley Cub's wt., but that also obviates the worries for rear wt. in parts since it can torsion wt. onto the TT axle & TV front axle, & the T20 is only +/- 3000-3500# max. wet & loaded.

I've calculateded the individual known wts. of the rack, mods., modified rear receiver, bikes & spare to be at about 100-170# & will weigh both again fully loaded & the tongue wt. again with it on & down/fully-loaded to be sure. I went with Aluminum cargo rack for both wt. savings & no rusting issues.

I'll post the techie pix & stuff over on my own post, with a link to it from here, just so I don't have to keep checking Jana's email inbox for topic replies & questions.

.

ALL -

Here are some pix below of Jana's other RV - her recently restored/refurb'ed 1988 VW Vanagon Campler GL Westfalia "Happy Van" on display at the Steve McQueen Boys' Republic charity Car Show in Chino Hills CA this June 2015, just to see our other camper & long term RV since we bought it new in April 1988.


The last 2 pix are at our OC Porsche Club Concours, where she was not welcome on the event grounds - not being a Porsche, so she was very sad! .... the Westy - not Jana!

Did Porsche ever produce a camper?

Well, for those who don't know, in the mid-1980's (1985 MY) Porsche actually did produce a very limited run of Porsche powered/chassis VW Vanagon T3 vans - at least one of which was their Euro version of the "Joker" Westfalia camper - which was called the Porsche "B32 Carrera" - so google for that & you'll find some more info on it for those who may be interested! It was powered by the same 3.2L Carrera aircooled flat-6 as in the mid-80's, including it's G50 5-speed transaxle, suspension, big 4 wheel disc brakes, Fuchs alloy wheels, & other running gear, etc. In a way - other than huge HP & TQ upgrades - it was a step back from VW's waterboxer flat-4!

The other more common B32 model was a 6 place (Recaro Captain's Chairs) Executive Luxo Van, as in the last 2 pix below (Westy/Joker at unknown & 6-passenger at the VW Oldtimer Museum of all their Vans & trucks). The "B" in B32 comes from the German name for the VW Vans: "Bully." The 6 passenger van sold for 70,000 DM in 1985-86-ish (no idea what the camper sold for - possibly more, since the VW powered ones are more than "tin-tops" ... or passenger vans) & surpassed the price of their then top sports car/GT - the 928S!!

The idea sprouted from Porsche Racing division's need for a support chase vehicle for their 959 (?) in the off-road Paris-Dakar Races in the early 1980's, & since Porsche had always used VW Vans as their race support vehicles, the simply retro-fiitted 2 1980 2.0L flat-4 aircooled Synchro (4WD) cargo vans with Porscge 911 drivetrains, in order to keep up!

If I win the Lotto big, then we'll look into having the ole gal factory upgraded to B32 status, but perhaps with the more modern 2000's era flat-6 waterboxer motors, Tiptronic 6-speed auto & brakes/suspension etc. as a modern tribute "what if" to the Porsche B32!
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:40 AM   #15
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Ooops .... I forgot to attach the 6 passenger version of the B32 to my prior post -
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:59 PM   #16
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Orange , California
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Here are some bigger pix of the Porsche B32 Carrera "Joker" Camper Vanagon T3, & an English language magazine article on it fyi below ....

Cheers!
Tom (hubby) .... & at the other posts above too!
///////
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:32 AM   #17
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Great info! Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2015, 04:27 PM   #18
Tom T
 
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Orange , California
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 896
Update: We're currently still looking for "the right" low mile 1-2 owner well cared for 2006-10 Cayenne S. We may go look & drive some more this weekend.

We really like the 6 month only Iceland Silver (silvery-light-blue metallic) paint on the `06 Cayenne S Titanium Edition used to fill in the No-2007-MY gap until the 2008 Series 2 was released early in Jan. 2007. Otherwise we have several acceptable colors for the 2008-10 Series 2 Cayenne S.

BTW - I'm posting this under my own alter-ego or screen-name/member on here, rather than logging into my wife's to do so as in the past above.

Cut-n-pasted this for the `06 Cayenne S TI in Iceland with our Avion to show my wife, to make sure she liked the color...

__________________
Tom T
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-22 Cayenne S, EH, etc
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner) + 1970 Eriba Puck
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:22 AM   #19
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1957 22' Caravanner
1960 26' Overlander
1963 24' Tradewind
El Paso , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Images: 32
New 1960 Avion T20 owners

Love all your pictures and great info on your Avion.
I'm looking at an Avion T21 and can't find much info on them, any suggestions?
Looking for possible year, owner is looking for title and not sure of year.
Can it be a 66?
Plaque says 66-21922 
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:39 AM   #20
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There are three Avion Facebook pages.
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