A 1957 Overlander--bringing her home


My love affair with Airstreams began with flipping channels.  One Saturday morning, while waiting on my husband to get out of bed, I began perusing the channel guide.  On HGTV (notably, one of my favorite channels), I saw a show called "Junk Gypsies."  Intriguing enough, I clicked select.  There, on my glorious flat screen tv, was the coolest renovation project I think I'd ever laid eyes on. They were upgrading country-singer Miranda Lambert's Airstream.  Outfitting it with cool paint colors, velvet chairs, lots of fringe, and lots of chic styling, I was hooked.  Turns out, after a little more investigation, the Junk Gypsies had also renovated country-singer Dierks Bentley's monster of an Airstream as well.  I thought to myself....I can DO that!!!!  Surely an old Airstream couldn't be toooo much money, right?!

And so the search began.  I started googling more vintage camper and Airstream information than I ever dreamed possible.  As it so happens, this vintage camper restoration idea isn't such a new concept.  In fact, this is a growing movement and more and more folks are getting into it.  And so would I.

Airstreams (new and old) are not that cheap.  The new ones are quite pricey, but for good reason.  They are still one of the best made travel trailers on the planet.  Production for Airstreams increases every year.  Finding an old one that wasn't a heap of junk would prove to be quite a challenge.  I needed to find one that would work with our current tow vehicle, a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  The weight limit with the Jeep is 5000 pounds.  The older the Airstream, the lighter the trailer.  They were even towed by family cars back in the good ol' days.  So I knew I needed to keep it vintage, so that I wasn't putting myself in the predicament of needing another tow vehicle.  I started emailing family & friends that lived in other states to start keeping an eye out for me.  It's not uncommon for folks to travel many miles, and cover many states, to find THE perfect Airstream.  One night, I decided I would post a request on Craigslist for anyone wanting to get rid of an old one.  I was contacted not too much later by someone who had one on the family farm that had been abandoned in a field for several years. I was told it was not in the greatest of shape, but it would be a renovation project for sure.  Our schedules didn't really match up until almost two months from our first email conversation.  We went and checked out a 1957 Airstream Overlander on Saturday, April 27.  After much investigation, research, and talking with an Airstream owner/renovator, I decided this would be a good purchase. On Saturday, May 4, we brought her home.

Split rims--danger, danger!
New wheels (thanks Out of Doors Mart!) and tires
However, some work needed to be done to get her moving.  One of the tires was completely flat, and she was riding on split rims, which are actually outlawed today.  I spent an entire Friday afternoon trying to find wheels that matched the lug pattern, along with trailer tires.  Luckily, my brother-in-law knows how to do everything under the sun...and he also owns a Ford F-350, which I think can tow a million pounds, and he was willing to go with us that morning and change the tires and tow her home for us.

Now begins the long road to renovation.  I hope you guys will follow along with us and help keep us motivated!!!!













Check out those ghost numbers!!  Proof of WBCCI membership.
Derek's proud of his parking job :)























Pulling her into the driveway



Safe and sound and ready for restoration!

Comments

  1. I'm so excited for you!!! These pictures are awesome. What a neat and scary adventure you're embarking on. Love it.

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  2. I seriously love love love everything about this!!!

    ReplyDelete

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