AirStream popularized the towed-home vacation for Americans in the middle of the 20th century. Roomy cabins with the mod-cons of home, the AirStream phenom really took off after WWII as the interstate highway system grew in the 1950s.
These light but relatively strong streamliners were and are constructed of high-grade polished aluminum — which was good for looking cool and staying rigid over thousands of miles. But it was less good for overall comfort inside. Small windows were the only option for designers and engineers, limiting cool breezes inside.
If parked in the hot sun of a national park all day, these puppies heat up like a skillet. Their premium price over 1970s models made of fiberglass sealed a downturn in sales. Combined with the hothouse interiors, AirStreams fell out of the limelight.
But modern A/C and design appeal has brought them roaring back!
People love the iconic look and the unique interior feel of all AirStreams, and this 40-footer was the top of the line.
It is so huge that only five are thought to be left, and lived the first 40 years of its life not on tires, but on railcar wheels. This AirStream was actually a private train car — a la the Pullman coaches of train travel heydays. It is huge and fully revamped inside.
Those two tiny axles look overwhelmed by the long and sleek beauty — and they are.
This is not intended for road use — so find a shady spot to give it a forever home! It would make a very unique cabin for rental on AirBnB, if nothing else!
Sold for $200,000 at Mecum’s Denver auction, this silver devil is an icon of Americana — reborn for the digital age with full AC.
1962 Western Pacific 40-Foot AIRSTREAM
Lot S109// Denver 2015 // June 26-27 $200,000
1962 Western Pacific 40′ Airstream
Restored by Timeless Travel Trailers
– Believed to be 1 of 5 left in public possession
– Mid-century modern styling
– 40 foot 1962 Airstream
– Created by riveting two 20 foot trailers together
– Mounted onto 50 foot flatcar for railroad service
– Dismounted from flatcar in 1989
– Restored by Timeless Travel Trailers
– Air conditioning and heat
– Custom tile work
– Polished aluminum exterior
– Western Pacific badging
– 110 and 12 volt systems
– Built-in sofa and beds
– Glass door shower
– Wine chiller and rack
– Stationary model, does not have holding tanks or water heater
– Not for road use
– Sold on Bill of Sale
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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