Originally Posted by juel
I have a friend who has a 1948
Airstream he would like to restore. He is having trouble finding parts for it. If anyone out there knows where he can get help please email him at McKenneyShalay@cs.com
. He has restored several airstreams but never one this old. Juel
Juel: My 1948
Wee Wind was in great original condition, so I lucked out there. Finding original parts for my gutted 1951 18' Clipper, as for any 1940's travel trailer, is challenging. Though fast disappearing from our landscape, old junkyards, especially in remote areas, may have vintage tavel trailers lying about that still have some original appliances, cabinets, hardware, mushroom cap roof vents, wood panels, etc. Many appliances were standard in the TT industry, so can be adopted in old Airstreams.
In an antique shop I found a Coleman white gasoline 1938 Trailer Range that I swapped with an acquaintance in Calif. for a late 1940's Coleman butane stove/oven. I bought an old Day and Night vertical butane heater on Ebay (ouch!) and some parts from people who buy and scrap out old trailers. I've stripped out abandoned 1950's mobile homes for hardware, light fixtures, drawers and overhead cabinet drawers. I prowl hardware stores for old original stock, or new retro, drawer pulls and knobs. I'll adopt some modern technology, like a catalytic heater and new fridge, in my old trailer but hide them behind swing out doors. Check on line classified ads for old parts and visit RJ's Dial's restoration page for more resource ideas:
Your friend has to be a resourceful "scavenger" and "hunter-gatherer" when restoring an 1940's Airstream. Or he/she can be an adopter of newer technology to an old trailer, or combine both approaches. Unfortunately, there is no big box store brimming with old trailer parts, although a few people and companies make nice reproductions of many old trim items.