October 31, 2006

#29 - The Second Airstream Changes Everything

Yesterday, Rob Baker and Dick Perkins towed my #2 trailer from Rob's house to Colin's shop. Thanks guys.

I got my first real look at my second 1956 Caravanner and am impressed. The tree damage was minimal. The front 14x14 roof vent was damaged where a branch went down through it. And there are a few very mild dents in the front end cap on the curb side to the right of the door. I own a bunch of extra vents and Colin says he can fix the dents in the end cap so that they are unnoticeable.

Click the Photo to See How Mild the Dent Is

Overall, the shell is nearly perfect. It's partially polished here and there, so I didn't really notice finer scratches, but there are no dents at all other than the little ones Colin will remove.

Don't Mind the Missing Windows. They're Inside.

Seeing that near perfect shell on #2 made it absolutely clear where I'm going with this project. I'm taking shell #2 as a whole and moving it to chassis #1. Chassis #1 has been fixed and modified by Colin and his guys to add space for a spare tire, a gray tank and mounting plates for a torsion axle. With shell #2 on top, it's going to be a beautiful and structurally strong trailer.

Chassis #2 and shell #1 will be tacked together temporarily to form an organ donor trailer. Shell #1 has so many problems that it would cost way more to fix it than it will to fix shell #2. Chassis #2 was repaired by the previous owner and some of what they did was great, but it would need a lot more work before would be properly restored.

Caravanner #2 came with all its interior parts (and some exterior parts) loose inside. The previous owners had gutted it and partially removed the window frames for restoration when they ran out of steam. When Rob picked it up in October, they threw everything inside and in the back of Rob's truck. They promise me it's all there in pieces and parts, but I won't know until I have a chance to unpack and inventory. Since my Caravanner #1 came with virtually no original interior, we'll use virtually every scrap from #2.

Overall, the acquisition of this second trailer has fundamentally changed the direction of my project. I originally thought of #2 as a parts trailer for #1. It's clear now that #1 will be the parts trailer for #2, instead. And the biggest part from #1 will be the chassis. It's too bad we didn't have #2 a few months sooner. We would have restored the #2 chassis and I wouldn't have needed #1 at all. But we've already restored and modified the chassis on #1, so we might as well use it with the more complete and restorable #2 shell and interior.

October 09, 2006

#28 - Picking Up Caravanner #2

Rob Baker lives in upstate NY and is continually on road trips for his work. He also has a passion for vintage trailers. Those two conditions lead to him finding and buying more old Airstreams than he really should. He has a blog about it called Sweet Sovereign. Take a look in our links section for a peek.

On October 7th, Rob picked up my Caravanner #2 in PA while he was coming home from a business trip. It will be at his house until late October when he has time to tow it to Colin's shop in upstate New York. I'll meet him there and we'll decide how to merge my two 1956 Airstream Caravanners.

Caravanner #2 At a Rest Stop On The Way Home