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Old 05-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
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1948 Liner - What's it worth?

While participating in last week's Vintage Trailer Academy, I got to thinking about a few old Airstreams in our area. We drove by this one today and talked to the lady that owns it and lives in it. She said I wouldn't believe the number of people that stop to see it and want to buy it. They have turned down a $6000 offer because they couldn't replace it with $6,000. Anyway, what do you think it is worth considering there couldn't be many around to buy? I think it's obvious it would have to be a total rebuild.
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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I feel that to anyone wanting to use it as what it started out being (a travel trailer), the worth starts out as a seriously negative value.

I say that because jobs necessary to get it looking decent inside, having fully functional appliances, and being a sound, safe to tow AS is often in the $25,000 range.

That doesn't make it a "Concours" level, just "average". I don't think that you would get $25,000 for it in average shape.

YMMV
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:43 AM   #3
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Grease up the credit card! It would be a tremendous adventure.

I worked with a vintage trailer restorer (A&P Vintage Trailer Works near Dallas - Ft Worth) for my solar panel installation and disc brake conversion. They have done several full restorations of this era Airstream (several on site now) using only the aluminum shell as the frames had to be built new and all new insides created. The previously mentioned $25,000 would have been a good down payment, but the finished number was in the $40s.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:23 AM   #4
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A bowlus just sold for 21k and its much much rarer than a liner. $6k as is ... Still to high.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:15 AM   #5
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For reference: I got my 1949 Liner for $2750. It was missing a wheel well, had some body damage, and was painted. It still had three upper cabinets, the sink cabinet, and a stove that may or
may not have been original. Otherwise, the interior was a disaster. Glass in several windows was broken.

Some food for thought:
Airstream produced about 6 times as many pipe frame Airstreams (including Liners) during the 1947-1951 time frame as Bowlus total production during its 1935-1937 existence. The new Bowlus company is now making updated Bowlus Road Chiefs for 100K now.
Airstream isn't producing anything like the old Liner's anymore.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #6
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I agree with the prior comments. 25000 would be a good start to get it useable with a new frame, bad skin replaced, new axle and basic interior. If you want it polished and rebuild to factory specs you are looking at much more.
Take a look at my 48 liner resurrection thread , so you get an idea, of what would need to be done as the one I'm restoring was in about the same shape. I'd say you would be purchasing this one only for the shell and maybe some upper cabinets, if they are still in..
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #7
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Here you go at $35,000.......

Machine Age Magnificence 1949 Airstream Trailwind Museum Quality Frame Up Resto | eBay
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toastie View Post
Was that the one that the owner spent $40,000 to update?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:17 AM   #9
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It is a wonderful looking project! It will take awhile to get her in good shape! Think about whether you want her for "regular" travel or show or to resale. The bottom line, you likely won't get all the money back you put in her, and don't even count your time in the mix. But, you will have a great time, meet other Airstreamers, and have a real adventure! We bought our sweet trailer and it needed a total restoration (frame off) and we haven't regretted a moment! You can look here for photos and the same website offers pricing information. Vintage Airstream.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:26 PM   #10
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Thanks to all who responded. I think I'll pass on this one.
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