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Old 12-14-2019, 02:45 PM   #1
i73
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Questions on buying this airstream

Hey guys, I was originally planning on buying a basic 20k airstream but this for some reason caught my eye, after talking with the guy it needs the subfloor but he says the dual axels were custom and I have time to restore:



What do you guys think for $3k CAD? How much do you think I would need to put in / how much time, can I restore this?
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:01 PM   #2
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That is obviously a HUGE project and would be a labor of love that will make no sense financially imo. What about the frame? likely that will be toast as well so consider that too.
Time? years
Cost? $30k ++
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:11 PM   #3
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The shell looks nice from the photo. If so... would a totaled late model 23 foot Airstream Frame that survived work? You then have the axles, floor and frame to work with and whatever hardware can be salvages.

Sell the aluminum for scrap. Hardware to others rebuilding... If you have a place to do it all. Parts are worth more than you would believe. Also when you need to buy any.

Buy Junk... Sell Antiques, kind of thing.

Much like a rebuildable car... I would rather buy it from someone who spent years putting it together and then has to sell it for a fraction of what he put into it.

If the aluminum has begun to rot on the edges with the white corrosion... you may want to reconsider. You are buying a shell for the style. Put the better running gear under it and you may be ahead of the game. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:19 PM   #4
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Thank you guys, I'll pass on this.
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:20 PM   #5
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Thats a huge job.....honestly, I would not pay more than $500 for it....and only if I was feeling very adventurous.....it is at least a $30,000 project, if you keep it simple.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:23 PM   #6
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This Airstream has been on sale on Craigslist for months. It was recorded by Airstream as being sold as a "shell"." It was built in December 1959 as a 1960 model, but nothing other than the shell will be salvagable. It has very few windows and the ones present are more like early 50s windows than 1960 Airstream windows. It never had an interior. The frame is WOOD!!!!! with a metal tongue installed. It has weird axles and brakes that I have NEVER seen on an Airstream. I was told it was sold without exterior lights and the ones on it were added later.

If you buy this, you are getting a shell with a few weird windows probably not in the locations you would prefer. Everything else will need to be replaced, including the frame, floor, and running gear. Only after this is done will you will have a blank slate for creating your new interior. A MASSIVE project.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:44 AM   #7
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Joe - if its a 22í with two axles - would that make it a world traveler ?
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:13 AM   #8
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Joe - if its a 22í with two axles - would that make it a world traveler ?
No - definitely not a World Traveler. Other than the dual axles it has none of the World Traveler characteristics, and both plants built at least one or two other custom 22' tandems in this time frame were not World Travelers (different floor plan, window locations, etc, but at least finished inside).

One of the weird aspects of this "tandem" is the unusual running gear setup. In addition to the unusual axles and brakes, the springs are different and the spacing between the axles is slightly larger than any other Airstream I have seen.

There has been speculation among a number of people, including Airstream's own Historian/Archivist trying to figure out what this Airstream originally was and we have not come up with any good theories. The best suggestions so far is that it could have been built for a farmer as an expensive farm wagon or it could have been built as a "cheap" movie prop to be used in the background where the lack of interior and other "cheap" changes would not be noticed.

I wonder if the frame/chassis was provided to Airstream to have them fit a body onto it, because other than the shell, it is nothing like any other Airstream I have ever seen. It's unique aspects are not anything Airstream would have been prototyping for actual production.

If someone wants rare and NOT VALUABLE, this might be the Airstream for them.
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:32 AM   #9
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:05 PM   #10
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The frame is WOOD?

Look at the big yellow strap. Holding the shell onto whatever the frame/floor under it came from. Tow it at over 5mph and the shell will start to act like origami (folded paper).

I saw one like this on a beach in NC several years ago. It hadn't been moved in years and frame rot had completely destroyed the frame.

It does look like there is penetrating corrosion on the bottom of the aluminum. Almost anything CAN be brought back from the dead, but if I had Jay Leno money and support staff.... I would still look for a better candidate.

They expect to sell this? I would charge them to take it a scrap yard.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:39 PM   #11
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Good luck if you purchase this Airstream. If you are looking for a "project", I do believe that you can find a better prospect - one that would be easier to remodel and give you years of use.
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:00 PM   #12
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Restoring!

Quote:
Originally Posted by i73 View Post
Hey guys, I was originally planning on buying a basic 20k airstream but this for some reason caught my eye, after talking with the guy it needs the subfloor but he says the dual axels were custom and I have time to restore:



What do you guys think for $3k CAD? How much do you think I would need to put in / how much time, can I restore this?
I met a young couple with 2 kids and a dog and they had a 1960 something airstream that they had been working on they had repaired and replaced all that was needed to make it tow worthy and then put in camp cots and what they needed to travel and camp in! They had battery operated lights and a little propane gas stove a folding card table and some folding chairs. You don't need to go "Whole Hog" on a restoration to be able to enjoy an AS!
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:41 PM   #13
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With a little patients you can find a 19’ or 22’ 1999-2002 for $23k-$30k. You might regret the time, money and surprises to properly restoring such an old Airstream
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Old 01-01-2020, 01:45 PM   #14
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Do yourself a HUGE favor, forget this one.
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