No Reserve 21 Footer: 1963 Airstream Safari

When it comes to iconic pull-behind campers, Airstream is pretty much top of the heap for name recognition. Quality was always up there, too, and in later years they became more popular as status symbols rather than some beacon of over-engineering. The seller claims this 1963 Safari model is a barn find that’s held up remarkably well, and just like vintage automobiles, the model year of this example contains lots of nice-to-have features that disappeared in later years. There’s no reserve to be found in the listing here on eBay where bids have reached $3,650.

The seller has barely started the project, noting he has removed half of the old floor tiles. This is an interesting feature to me, as you normally wouldn’t start that work if you just planned to flip your barn find Airstream. So one could assume there was a plan to restore this rig that fell by the wayside, even though the description makes it seem like it’s hardly a basketcase. The seller notes that the ’63 models were desirable for numerous reasons, from being the last year that the Zolatone interior coating was used to the last year that high grade aircraft aluminum was used for the body. Small details, but likely a big deal to an Airstream collector.

The seller notes that the interior accommodations include a porcelain sink and toilet bowl, along with a sink, shower, and small bathtub. That’s a surprising amount of luxury in an old-school camper trailer like this, and I see no evidence that it was recently retrofitted; it looks the stove and sink have been there for some time. The old-school refrigerator has since gone missing, so you can’t keep your food cold if you’re traveling during the summer months. Still, that’s a relatively straightforward addition. Like on vintage cars where the A/C hasn’t been tested, the seller claims he’s not tested the interior electrical systems.

One other curious detail found in this model year is the use of seven rounded-end panels as seen here – later models reverted back to five panels only. I don’t know much excited that will make an Airstream enthusiast, but I suppose it speaks to being a model year where the penny pinchers hadn’t begun running the show yet to let such extravagances remain in place. The seller notes the tires were recently replaced, and the bearings were greased at the same time. The electric brakes and all lighting works as intended. This is a project that doesn’t appear to need extensive refinishing, and is a nice size for pulling behind a six-cylinder rig, just like the seller did. With no reserve, a lucky bidder could end up with a classic Airstream for reasonable money.

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Comments

  1. Dan D

    Very cool. Amazing how big the bathroom is.

    Like 2
  2. Bob Mck Member

    Nice place to start. These are really fine units restored.

    Like 1
  3. Joe Haska

    It dosent take much imagination to see how cool this could be. However ,to calulate what that would cost,is a whole differt set of skills.

    Like 3
  4. charlie Member

    I ran across one very much like this, in NH, on the shore of a small lake (pond), around and next to, and over which, the owner had built what he called a “camp”, and what the neighbors called a “shack”. He used the kitchen and bathroom as is, and added a bedroom, living room, and porch. The town told him to tear it down, it was unsafe, etc. etc. I think, if he had removed the “shack” he could have sold the Airstream and used the cash to rebuild the “camp” in an acceptable way, but he was an ex prize fighter, and “NO WAY is the government going to tell me what to do!”

    Like 6
  5. Mike

    His CL ad states he’s looking to get $8,800 for it. Current e-bay bid is $6,600 right now.

    Like 2
  6. Howard A Member

    As a kid, we did a lot of camping, in our “lowly” Shasta or Winnebago. Airstreams were for the hoi-paloi on the other side of the campground. They even all had assigned numbers on their rigs, telling the world, they were part of that exclusive “club”. There were some fancy Airstreams, fancy woodwork, high class, but this one seems more of a basic camper. Most campers of the day could be had with the same amenities. I’m not sure the price on this actually means you are getting something better than the “canned ham” poker shack behind Uncle Fred’s barn, seems like buying a name here. And new buyer better buy the BIG can of Nevrdull and have a “shinin” party, looks terrible like this.

    Like 1
  7. Bernie H

    There is a restoration shop in Jackson Center, Ohio where these are made. They do complete rebuilds,

    Like 1

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