This is an Airstream Model 34 travel trailer that was ordered new by Tom Hanks in 1992 and used by the American actor for close to 30 years as his home away from home while filming many of his most famous movies.
Hanks used this Airstream during the filming of at least 18 movies starting with Sleepless in Seattle in 1993. It was also used while filming Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Philadelphia, Catch Me If You Can, Castaway, The Polar Express, Sully, and a slew of other films, the culminating with The Circle in 2017.
He’s now decided to offer it for sale, the price guide is $150,000 – $250,000 USD, and it’d due to roll across the auction block in mid-August in California.
Fast Facts – Tom Hanks’ Airstream
✱ Tom Hanks ordered this Airstream Model 34 as he had grown tired of spending countless hours in the uncomfortable, cookie cutter trailers typically offered on set.
✱ The trailer was delivered from Airstream largely empty inside, Hanks then had a new interior built to his own specifications with ample use of natural wood and fabrics.
✱ The trailer is equipped with a bedroom in the rear, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a dining table, and a lounge area with a gas heater.
Above Image: This Model 34 Airstream is a triple axle trailer with with the signature riveted aluminum body.
Tom Hanks And His Airstream Model 34
Apollo 13 was released to global cinema audiences in 1995, it became one of the most memorable films of the decade, and it was nominated for nine Academy Awards (including Best Picture), and it won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
What audiences didn’t know when they saw Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton in the famous NASA Airstream trailer before their fateful launch, was that Hanks spent much of his free time on set in a similar looking Airstream on the other side of the lot.
“I got it in the days when movies moved slower. I had spent too much time in regular trailers with ugly décor and horribly uncomfortable furniture, so I decided to buy a brand-new Airstream shell with an interior made to my own request.
I didn’t want anything built-in, other than the kitchen and bathroom, so it had only a desk and cupboard in the back, a futon platform on the floor, and room for a small table and chairs. I wanted a regular sofa, too, so I had one made with removable legs so it would get through the door.” – Tom Hanks, Bonhams Magazine interview.
After growing tired of the impersonal and often uncomfortable mass-produced trailers on movie sets Hanks ordered this Model 34 Airstream with an almost empty interior. He then worked with a specialist to have a custom interior built to his specifications.
Above Image: The trailer has a roll-out awning providing a place to sit outside and watch the world go by.
Rather than the plasic, vinyl, and formica that’s so prevalent in travel trailers Hanks went in the other direction, with ample use of natural wood for the floors, cabinetry, chairs, and table. Natural fabrics were used throughout, and over time he added little mementos from various films – like an FBI evidence tag from Catch Me If You Can, a FedEx sticker from Castaway, and an Apollo 13 decal from the 1995 film.
In the rear of the trailer there’s a modestly sized bedroom with a single bed. As you move down the hall you pass the bathroom and kitchenette area as well as the small dining table with two chairs. At the far end there’s a small living room area with a couch and a gaslit fire that adds both warmth and a little character.
Twin roof-mounted air conditioning units have been fitted to keep the trailer comfortable year round regardless of location, and there’s a roll-out awning off the side that provides an area to sit and watch the world go by.
Interestingly the door and one of the windows are adorned with clapper board decals that show the locations that the Airstream has visited while filming, a small hat tip to the extraordinary 30 year life it’s lived so far.
As mentioned in the introduction, he’s now decided to sell his Airstream and Bonhams are estimating it’ll sell for between $150,000 and $250,000 USD. Although that sounds steep it really isn’t much more than you would expect to pay for an Airstream like this without the 30 years of Hollywood history.
If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Bonhams
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