Living in a Bubble! 1957 Airstream Bubble

“Cute as a button,” my late Grandmother would have said of this 1957 Airstream Bubble in Little Rock, Arkansas. Airstream, arguably the most glamorous of vintage trailers, only produced the 16-foot Bubble model from 1955 through 1958, though a 16′ “Bambi” reappeared in 1960. If you’re looking for Airstream style in a minimalist rig, this Bubble might be just the ticket. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least 11 bidders, raising the market value above $26,000. If that seems crazy, remember that the Airstream will hold its value or increase and similarly sized adventure trailers can top $50,000.

Looking tidy and ready for fun, the vintage interior recalls a time when America was on top of the world, and freshly-poured Interstate highways made holiday adventures with a travel-trailer easier than ever. Families everywhere took to the road with their portable house behind them.

While the olive range looks more ’70s than ’50s, it certainly jives with the retro vibe, as do the flowery curtains. My grandparents had a similarly-sized travel trailer from the same time period, and the interior looked much like this layout. It was more than practical for trips with two adults and a child or two. I rode out Hurricane Agnes in the little trailer, and it was dry and tight, though the campground looked like a small lake upon our departure. I would expect nothing less of the ’57 Bubble.

A polished aluminum Airstream is as classy as they come, and instantly recognizable. Airstream owners even share exclusive campgrounds where you can enjoy an overnight stay among your own kind, free from the unpolished rabble and their lesser brands. Only the wheels deviate from the vintage look, and that could be easily rectified. Hit the road with this vintage beauty behind, and let the stress of the modern world and depressing news stories fade away. Then, when you’re blissfully unaware of current events and someone asks if you’ve been “living in a bubble,” you can answer “Why yes actually; I have been living in a Bubble!” Do you have any Airstream memories?


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  1. Rosko

    It seems crazy.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Not really, the early Airstreams have had a dedicated fan base for decades. It’s nothing new. This is no different than anything else where there is a limited supply compared to the number of people that want one.

      Steve R

      Like 13
      • PatrickM

        Pure economics. Supply vs. demand. Always has been. always will be. This is cute. I could put this to use, except my wallet ain’t fat enough.

        Like 1
  2. Will Fox

    Airstream owners of all models/vintages are a dedicated bunch. They have coordinated huge “camp-alongs” since the 50’s that I know of! A friend in MO. has a nice one of 1955 vintage they took me camping in once. Fantastic experience, wonderful new people to meet, and HUGE cookouts that spanned the entire campground!! Wish I had the pocket for something like this. Unfortunately, my 4-person tent is as close as I’ll ever get.This would look great with a `59 Chrysler New Yorker towing it!

    Like 8
  3. Bob C.

    Hey Boo Boo!

    Like 4
  4. Gerry

    My dad would have called it a “horse trailer.” When my sister made the mistake of asking why my father called their little trailer a “horse trailer”, she turned four shades of red when he replied, “Because your mother & I horse around in it.”

    RIP Ed & Phyllis

    Like 41
  5. Al

    My parents had one, a little bigger though, 17′. They towed it all over Europe with Wally Byam Caravan Club, behind a 3-tone (color) 1955 Packard Clipper.
    They eventually wore out about 5 other cars. The trailer was towed about 1.2 million miles. I know they replaced the axle twice.

    Like 31
  6. Howard A Member

    I know I kid about vintage campers and monster truck shows, and many deserve that fate, obviously, not this. Naturally, the price is outrageous, and all but eliminates the very people that would use this, but here we are. I’ve said it before, but I live in “Camp, USA”, the Rockies, and I’ve seen just about every conceivable contraption for camping, and I’ve noticed, there’s the cheapies, old vans, buses, and bicycles, then there’s the ultimate behemoth living rooms. There’s no middle ground. Camping has become, either you have money, or you stay home. Campers used to be $500, $1,000 bucks, maybe, $3 bucks a night to camp ( now almost 10 times that) just about anyone could enjoy them, but today, these greedy so and so’s ( to escape filter) got to get 5 figures. I’m simply astonished, the least expensive new Airstream today, is the “Basecamp”, not much more than a “Teardrop” trailer, for,,are you sitting down, Th, Th, Th, THIRTY SIX GRAND!!,,, so there’s the sellers justification, right there. So sad, a whole generation ( or 3) may never have the chance to go camping, I suppose therein lies the problem, when they were $1,000 bucks, they sold a million, now, with so few sales, they have to charge $30 grand just to stay in business, a trend that runs through our way of life today. Way to go,,,,society.

    Like 15
  7. Cmarv

    gone !

    Like 1
  8. Little_Cars

    For the year this was made, and for the asking price, I would have updated the wheels to something other than unpainted spoke units from the 70s and those taillights/reflectors look like they have lost their luster, Just me, but I’d want to replace them as well. Again, for the asking price…..

    Now it’s gone to a good home.

  9. lbpa18

    Howard, anyone that wants to go camping has only themselves to blame if they dont. It doesnt take a trailer, actually not even a tent for much of the year in the Rockies. Get away from the trailer crowds. That said, owning an Airstream and occasionally taking it out into the actual wilds, is more like owning a fine car. Its as much about the experience and meeting with like-minded people. I have no use for one but appreciate the Americana and like to see one on the open road behind an old vehicle. But then that’s the attraction for others as well. Those who place a high enough value on that experience and who also have the means get to do so. There is no “Trailer camping” merit badge in Scouting. I’ll be up in the woods somewhere camped without neighbors, or on a USFS road likewise without neighbors. Doesnt cost a dime.

    Like 1
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $29,500, but Reserve Not Met.

    Like 1
  11. Little_Cars

    Seller is a specialist on these things, and probably knows the market but also has delusions of grandeur during these tough economic times. Maybe it will come back at $19,995. Still over the top.

  12. Newell Roundy

    The “Horsing around story was hilarious!!

  13. Kenn

    For those of us that aren’t wusses Howard A, camping is still more than affordable with tents available for less than $200, metal grill and coffee pot for $50, frying pans at garage sales for a few dollars. Throw in a decent sleeping bag – or bring blankets from home. With my wife and son we often had kids from the rolling mansions come to our campsite to eat breakfast or dinner cooked over an open fire. That’s what is known as camping. When we wanted peace and quiet we’d just pitch the tent in Michigan’s North woods. No need for a campground at all.

    Like 2
  14. John Oliveri

    Little bit too old for me, but I guess if you picture hanging out in there w like Rita Moreno, or some other hot women from back then, I guess nostalgia? Nah give me a nice Hilton

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