This well-preserved 1968 Airstream Globetrotter is a great example of what travel trailers were like back in the 1960s and earlier. This example has an original interior that includes a bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower, an electric generator, a gas stove, and built-in lighting throughout.
Airstreams have always been targeted at more well-to-do travelers however this model is the more affordable single axle 20 ft model that’s also much easier to tow than the larger Airstreams.
Fast Facts – The Airstream Globetrotter 20′
- Airstream was founded in the 1920s by Wally Byam, in 1936 they introduced their first polished aluminum trailer influenced by the Bowlus Road Chief. Over the course of the 20th century Airstream would become the most famous aluminum travel trailer manufacturer in the world.
- The first trailers of this type are credited to Hawley Bowlus, the designer of the Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic from New York to Paris.
- Bowlus’s design used many aircraft manufacturing techniques including an aluminum skin with aluminum ribs to keep the weight down, and a focus on aerodynamics to reduce drag.
- The 20′ Airstream Globetrotter you see here was built in 1968, it has blue diamond-stitched upholstery, blue and white checkerboard flooring, and it’s fully equipped for off-the-grid living.
Airstream Travel Trailers
At some point as the 20th century progressed, the Airstream travel trailer became a global icon. They’ve been used by movie stars like Tom Hanks who had his own custom Airstream built and used it on the sets of movies like Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Catch Me If You Can, Castaway, The Polar Express, Sully, and many more.
Since Airstream first starting building aluminium trailers in 1936, it would be the only company building trailers of this type that survived the Great Depression, however it was shut down shortly after by the US involvement in WWII.
Airstream bounced back after the war, resuming production in 1948 thanks to the availability of aluminum which had been strictly rationed during the conflict and prioritized for aircraft use. This post-WWII period was an economic boom time in the United States and many Americans were buying luxury items like expensive cars, overseas holidays, and things like Airstreams.
This boom continued well into the 1960s, but which time Airstream had their travel trailers down to a fine art.
They could be ordered with all the modern conveniences of home including electrical power, a fully equipped bathroom, a full kitchen, air-conditioning, an onboard generator, built in lighting, and the larger models had seperate living, dining, cooking, and sleeping spaces.
A Vintage 1968 Airstream Globetrotter
The 1968 Airstream Globetrotter you see here is one of the more affordable and easier to tow models, it measures in at just 20 feet long but it still has all the modern conveniences you could ask for in the 1960s. Or the 2020s for that matter.
This Airstream is largely original, with blue diamond-stitched upholstery and blue and white checkerboard flooring in well-preserved condition throughout.
It has many high-end factory amenities including interior paneling, a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower, lighting throughout, roll-out windows with both clear and tinted glass, window shades, a Motorola AM/FM radio, a liquid-propane refrigerator and range stove, an electric generator, and a more modern roof-mounted air conditioner.
It’s being offered by the seller with two liquid-propane tanks, its original registration certificate and warranty card, as well as manuals and other paperwork. It’s due to roll across the auction block in the first week of December and at the time of writing there’s no price guide listed.
If you’d like to read more about this time-capsule Airstream or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.
Images: ©2021 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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