In 2001 Tim Shephard, author of “Restoring a Dream: My Journey Restoring a Vintage Airstream“ and his wife, Debra, decided to purchase and restore a 23-foot 1971 Safari Airstream. They did not want to spend a lot of money buying a new trailer because they were not sure if they would enjoy the RV lifestyle,
It turned out that the family, including three children, loved camping and the outdoors. After four years, they sold their 23-foot Safari and found a larger 28-foot 1960 Ambassador Airstream on e-Bay.
Alas, the Ambassador needed a lot of work. Over the next year, Shephard spent a minimum of 15 hours a week, using most weeknights and Saturdays to complete the renovation.
“Like similar restoration projects in vintage cars, or antique furniture, it is purely a labor of love,” says Shephard. “Our final monetary tally of $33,000 can not convey the amount of satisfaction gained from restoring a vintage time capsule and breathing life back into a piece of history that our family treasures. The fact that I did the restoration work myself means that I can continue to maintain and upgrade the Airstream.”
In the next post, ‘Restoring a Dream’ Part 3, Shephard shares valuable information on the four steps-Choosing, Inspecting, Recovering, Restoring-he followed in transforming an Airstream nightmare into a classic icon.
Also check out Tim Shephard’s highly-rated The Vintage Airstream Podcast.
Image: Tim Shephard and his family visited the majestic Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming with his restored 1960 Ambassador Airstream. (Photo by Debra Shephard.)