First Impressions are Everything

Tuesday, October 21. Day two. Things were squared away at the hotel. I called the seller, “Since we still have daylight, may I come over and check things out?” No problem. I pulled up to a wonderful turn-of-the-century home in the community’s historic district. No sign of an Airstream anywhere. The seller led me to an alley behind the house. As I rounded the corner, I saw it.

“WHOA! It’s as big as Elvis!”
That was my first thought.

“It’s got a whale tail!”

I hadn’t seen photos of the rear exterior but the rear bath shots indicated it could possibly have one. Now it’s confirmed. A whale tail refers to the 9-panel design of the rear end cap. The center panel widens as it comes above the rear window resembling the tail of a whale. It’s one of the distinctive features of California Airstreams built during the mid-fifties. Many feel it contributes to the cool factor. This was more than I had dreamed. I had been blessed beyond my expectations.

After regaining my composure I started to investigate. “Tongue looks solid enough, frame actually looks pretty good! An Eaz-Lift weight distribution set-up with sway control, great!. Windows intact? Afirmative. Rubbermaid storage tubs turned over the roof vents can’t be good. Interior’s original but a little rough. Oh, here’s the weight distribution bars in the bathtub, there’s got to be a hitch ball somewhere. So the running lights work, huh? Tires are holding air but look weak. Brakes, you say they were replaced in 1999? The axles too, well that’s promising. Wonderful, you’re husband just got home and he thinks the hitch ball is in the garage. We’re cookin’ with gas now!”

After inspection we completed the paperwork and exchanged money. Then back to the hotel to get some rest. It’s hard to sleep when you’ve just bought the Airstream of your dreams.