Wally Byam was the editor of a do-it-yourself magazine printed in the United States. In 1920, after receiving complaints from several readers about the malfunctioning of the trailer whose plans appeared in the publication, they decided to build a trailer that would work. So, he decided to lower the floor to bring it to wheel height and raise the roof, thus creating the first trailer to stand upright.
In 1929, he abandoned the do-it-yourself magazine and focused entirely on the manufacture of caravans, building a fleet with riveted aluminum and aerodynamic design that in 1934 he christened Airstream. Despite the harshness of the crisis, the entrepreneur, fresh out of college, created a luxury caravan company, Airstream. It was the worst time to sell recreational vehicles, but two events made him persist.
The first: given their quality and level of customization, he sold his handcrafted models despite the lousy economy. The second: The Depression killed the business of the brilliant aeronautical engineer Hawley Bowlus, designer of Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. It made him the designer of the first Airstreams.
Hawley Bowlus was barely experienced when, a few years earlier, the opportunity of a lifetime had come his way: still in the early era of aviation, he would design an aircraft light, frugal, and rugged enough to cross the Atlantic in 1927. The Spirit of Saint Louis was a lighter, more aerodynamic, and more robust version of the Ryan NYP airplanes.
Hawley Bowlus used his expertise to design the first silver Airstream with a distinctive aerodynamic shape and age-proof aluminum alloy trim. It was 1936. Since then, the rugged, timeless, minimalist design has continued to serve this brand’s latest models, while original models from the 1950s and 1960s fetch the price of a classic vehicle at auction.
Unlike other caravans and motorhomes, the Airstream models of the 1950s and 1960s fetch the price of a classic car of which only a few units were assembled.
This leads experts to recommend that potential buyers do their research and be sure of what they want before buying one of these vehicles:
- Size: the more compact 1950s models are among the most sought after, although they are better suited for individual or couple use. With children involved, you have to go to later sizes.
- Buying an Airstream is a long-term commitment: there are sellers of this type of caravan who will cancel a sale if they believe that the buyer wants to pay for a whim he will not use.
- The number of axles: many models under 22 feet (6.70 meters) in length have only one axle. These models are somewhat more unstable on the road but no less comfortable. Smaller caravans improve the tow vehicle’s fuel consumption (less weight and volume).
- Interiors: the interior of the Airstream is often compared to classic vehicles, given the attention to detail and care in the choice of materials. The repairs cannot be done by anyone but preferably by specialized airstream repair services.
Suppose you are one of the lucky few to have one of these timeless jewels within your reach. In that case, you have a real treasure within your reach, but that means that regardless of enjoying it as it should be, you must keep it in good condition; after all, it is an authentic antique. To do so, you must be sure to take it to airstream repair services professional.