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Goldtimer 04-23-2007 05:51 PM

Just got the '63 Bambi rollin'

I have a place in Decatur, GA (outside ATL) and on Lake Hartwell (100 miles NE on I-85, on the SC lne).

My Dad, who passed away in '80, loved his '63 Bambi (163T103). He pulled it with big Mopar metal like Chryslers or Imperials.

Since that time, I'm ashamed to admit the Bambi has been sitting around for almost 27 years. Why is a long story which would only bore you.

Recently, a charming young lady I know, by the name of Jenny, mentioned the need for a camper for five weeks in Asheville, NC. I suggested the Bambi, and she was game.

The adventure started today, as we had a heck of a time getting the Bambi on a roll-back without taking out the fence. One tire was flat, leading the trailer to pull sideways. But, we got it to her VW shop, and she's already ordered two new rims and tires.

The exterior is just dirty and the interior is the same, but there are no signs of dry rot. It's doubtful any of the utilities are operational. But, she just needs a place to keep her dry for five weeks.

When she returns it, we'll discuss a sale (I have no idea what it's worth), but more likely I'll keep it and gradually restore it, for pulling behind my 6L GMC truck.

So... I'll be browsing around here, hoping to learn more about the Airstream experience and what it will take to bring this Bambi back to full functionality.

See ya on the boards.:)

Mel 04-23-2007 06:33 PM

Welcome! Hope you find lots of good info here for bringing your Bambi back to its former glory.

dudebb 04-23-2007 07:01 PM

Hi Goldtimer,
Welcome to the forum. I too am kinda new to the forum but it has been great so far. Lots of great info. I'm in the process of getting a 62 Bambi. Now expect to have it in the yard by mid May. Stay tuned for some photos and alot of asking questions for help in bringing her back to her former glory. Please keep us posted on your project. I'll be very interested in seeing some photos.
George :cool:

Marti 04-23-2007 07:42 PM

My 62 overlander was sitting for 10 years, it just needed a little cleanup and it's now ready to go too...

Goldtimer 04-24-2007 07:48 AM

Thanks for the welcomes
This forum is providing a great service,

The '63 Bambi looked so rough after sitting unwashed for 27 years that I'm embarassed to post photos of it, but you can see one at this post on my blog:

Airborne Combat Engineer: 1963 Airstream Bambi in Museum of Modern Art

If you see any errors in that, pls. correct me.

I stopped by the young lady's VW shop yesterday evening, and she'd already washed off one side of it, and it looked much better. It's amazing what a wash every 27 years can do. ;-)

The rims and tires are on order, and might get in today. Then, we'll see if there are any axle problems.

I also have to establish ownership and get a tag for it, which is going to be tricky, as I don't have the title my dad had -- only the tags he last renewed in 1980. But, there must be a way.

I am puzzled by one thing, which I've seen on other photos here. One place where she'd washed had large darker (almost blue-hued) areas. What causes that, and can it be compounded/buffed out?

The exposed steel portions of the tongue and rear bumper are rusted and rather badley pitted. Guess I'll just scratch off the rust with a drill attachment, apply a rust preventative, then paint silver, for now.

Thanks again for the welcomes. I can see this will be a great resource as I gradually bring this 44-year old baby back to full functionality.

I see the "Basecamp" model of the Bambi sells for a base MSRP of $23K, so that kinda puts an upper limit on how much I can justify putting into this thing, even given the sentimental attachment (since it was my Dad's). It also limits what I could charge the young lady for it, given what she'd have to spend fixing it up.

But, a bird in the hand, as they say. If I gradually spend $ on it, and don't keep good records, I'll probably never notice how much I've spent on it.

Have a good day!

A-Merry-Can 05-07-2007 05:21 AM

I'd hold on to that bambi forever, if i were you! The shorter trailers seem to be a little easier to restore. plus, it's a bambi!


Goldtimer 05-07-2007 12:49 PM

Thanks for the advice, Merry-Go-Can
I hope to hold onto it, but cash flow needs might necessitate selling it. But, I'll only sell it for a fair price, not 1/3 what it's worth, which is what I've been offered so far.

Older, paid-for stuff with the same basic functionality as expensive new stuff is a good deal.

BTW, it made the 200 mile haul from Atlanta to Asheville with no problems.

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