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Old 03-27-2023, 10:16 PM   #1
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Help! Serial numer / VIN problem

Any light anyone can shed on this would be greatly appreciated! My wife and I just purchased a 1965 Airstream International Tradewind, and there are a couple of anomalies with the serial number: Specifically, there's a 5th character in the series, in this case a capital "S", that is absent from the paperwork. Having been manufactured in Santa Fe Springs, CA, the serial series starts with an "S" as expected, but this is a second "S" that's embossed on the data plate between the "24" that designates the length, and the "5600", that designates the year (5 as in 65) and the sequential production number (600). I'm trying to get things sorted out with MVD, who are stumped by this extra character that does not appear in the title, along with another fault; the appearance of a numeral one (1) in the second character position, but should be an "I" as in International. This 1 vs I is easy enough to resolve, but that S in the middle has us stumped. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide on this. The Airstream Corporate serial number Decoder is of no help in this case. Andy in Santa Fe
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:39 AM   #2
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This site might help:

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Old 03-29-2023, 08:52 AM   #3
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Typical Airstream serial numbers for the era including 1965 are as noted in this document that was created as much as possible from actual Airstream production records:

That said, what was recorded in the office and what happened on the assembly line sometimes differed. I have seen several cases of the extra "S" in the position you note, typically on California built 1965 Airstreams, but have no explanation for it. As far as I know it means nothing special. It was just a production variation.
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Old 03-29-2023, 09:55 AM   #4
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1.If the Tradewind was purchased in New Mexico the NM title process would be easier.
2.Check with DMV if you and the seller can submit an affidavit of sale and ownership
3.You may be able to post a bond along with a NCIS search to determine the trailer is not stolen
4.As a last resort I have heard that an out of state trailer can be registered in Vermont even if you are not a resident.
5. For your information your model is a Tradewind. International refers to the trim level.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:45 PM   #5
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Thanks Bill.
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Old 03-29-2023, 11:50 PM   #6
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Fascinating to hear that the extra "S" seems to be a California-built '65 phenomenon. The Decoder at Airstream Corporate makes no mention of it, so for now, remains a mystery. At one time this additional character referred to something that was significant enough to warrant adding it to the embossing punch row when the tags were given their unique identifiers. So far, hours and hours of searching has failed to bring the meaning of that particular character to light. Many thanks, Joe. I'm a historian in other fields, but basically (nearly) new to the Airstreams, so I greatly appreciate being able to tap into your insights. The only other travel trailer we've owned was the one we honeymooned in back in '91, pulling it with a 1965 Pontiac LeMans convertible all around the great Southwest. It was a 16 foot 1949 model, with the Wally Byam Caravan number 34 and "Floyd & Lucille" painted to the right of the door. I put some 1949 LIFE magazines in the rack, stocked the medicine cupboard with Burma-Shave and other vintage goodies. We only camped out in that trailer a few times before selling it to a friend sometime in the mid '90s, so it's been a long hiatus for us. Looking forward very much to enjoying our "new" '65 Tradewind. Thanks again.
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Old 03-30-2023, 12:09 AM   #7
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Thanks Lumatic for chiming in. The Tradewind was purchased from out of state, and brought back here to NM. It wasn't until my return that I realized the number errors. I have the ball rolling with an NM MVD subcontractor (as far as I can discern), and it may well lead to having to obtain a surety bond, NCIC search, state police inspection of the tag, etc. The more I can find out about the anomalous character in the middle of the series, the better. Information would be a welcome thing in this situation. Thanks again for taking the time to outline the avenues.
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