Except for appliances, Elvis came to me with most of his original fittings. Unfortunately, the condition of most was beyond salvage. The divan is an exception.
Sofa, couch, divan, whatever. A divan is defined as a sofa or couch, usually without arms or a back, than can also be used as a bed. Airstream called it a divan in the mid 50s Sovereign of the Road sales flyer. When comparing the flyer to Elvis, you can identify the same mid century modern lines of this original Airstream amenity. This one would be right at home on the set of “I Love Lucy”.
Three Leg-o-Matic chairs covered in the same turquoise vinyl were part of the deal. The Makel’s tell me these 50’s Airstreams always seemed to come with three Leg-o-Matics. Not two, or four, but three. Hmmm.
Currently it looks like something you might see at Grandma’s house. The extreme weight of the solid hardwood frame and components suggests it was built to last, and it certainly doesn’t slide around while in tow. And it is surprisingly comfortable.
And the bonus ~ it unfolds into a generous sleeper.
This piece is too good to trash. So in the rain we loaded it into Martha’s truck and headed for Danny’s Quality Upholstery in Charlottesville, VA.
Danny’s can do any type of upholstery, but is best known for vintage auto interiors. He had a stunning cherry red vintage Chevy in the shop when we arrived. After a few minutes of discussion I knew the divan was in good hands.
It will be reworked, restuffed, and recovered in rich caramelized-brown leather. A pricey recycling endeavor at best. Four oversized hides will be needed to achieve a seamless finish like the original. Some of the leather will be custom shaved for covering the 21 buttons in the design.
Lots of trouble and expense when there are other options? Maybe. But having one of the few (maybe the only??) Airstream divans like this in existence? Priceless!