These three pictures were collected from AirForums from the extensive collection of Helen Schwamborn, now in the hands of her son, Dale (PeeWee) Schwamborn. Helen was Wally's cousin and was intrumental in starting up and running the WBCCI. Thanks PeeWee. And yes its true, Wally used to tow this all around Europe with a Volkswagon convertible.
While researching all I can on this trailer, I found additional pictures on JR's Shutterfly website. Many of these show some of the interior features that I didn't get on my short visit. One shows the port-a-potty extended and explains the aluminum channeling in one of my earlier pictures. I'm thinking any of the interior wood that isn't the same light green paint as the walls is not original to the trailer.
As one could imagine of a trailer that has seen many miles and different owners and is in itself, 54 years old, the interior has held up quite well. Over time, it has had some modifications and has shown wear and tear but there is enough of it present to right the ship, so to speak, and put it back to original. Sam's plans are to do just that and I am really excited to see this take place. The green countertops and table top were additions along with a newer style fridge. Somewhere in the 70's, if I had to say. Around this same timeframe, the small bathroom was removed that was just inside the entrance door to the right. The two round lights that are above the front window and to the right were actually inside the partition wall that was for the bathroom. Part of the front window was in the bathroom. Directly under the front window along the bathroom partition wall is where I believe the original location of the fridge was placed. The current location of the fridge is where a vertical wardrobe closet was. A closer examination of the walls and possible rivet / screw holes would determine if this is correct. I hope to be able to view this trailer once more before it leaves town.
This past Wednesday, I had the unique opportunity to photograph's Wally Byam's Bubble. Now I know if you're not an avid follower of vintage Airstreams, this may sound kinda strange, so bear with me.
A little history on this gem is in order here. Wally had the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio build this trailer to his exact specifications and had it shipped overseas to Europe. The Bubble was to be used by Wally and his wife Stella to scout out a course for the upcoming WBCCI European caravan. I'm a bit sketchy on its whereabouts after its European trip but I hear it went to Canada for some time. It ended up on Ebay where a gentleman from southern CA bought it. He had full intentions to return it to its glory days when it was in use by Wally but as things do, it just wasn't going to work out for him. It then went to auction where a gentleman from England named Sam bought her. This is where I come in. The auction took place here in Phoenix this past weekend and I found out about her after the auction took place. I contacted the auction company and asked if I could take pictures of it. In the end, I had a window of opportunity of around 30 minutes to look this glorious trailer over and snap some pictures. Here are some exterior shots.
You may wonder how the ghost images of the regional names of the destination the trailer has visited can be older than the trailer itself. Wally took the liberty to have these destinations painted on the trailer as the places he had visited outside of the US and not the trailer itself.
This replacement was straightforward with one small hitch. The old circuit board had nine tabs for electrical connections and the replacement had ten tabs. The extra one was for an additional ground so I needed to make the wire and put on both female tab ends. The instructions were spot on with informative diagrams and explanations.
While it was out, I cleaned off all of the tubes, top and sides of the fridge from all of the accumulated dust. This should help it cool much better. Amazing how much there was.
The replacement board is a Dinosaur brand, model number Micro P-711 for a Dometic RM2607. The installation was much easier than I anticipated and judging from the quality of their product, the informative directions and how well the board was packaged, I'd say their product is first rate. Time will tell on the performance but I don't anticipate any problems.
Well, I got to work on the replacing the fridge's circuit board yesterday and its still on. Only took about 30 minutes once the fridge was out. While I was at it, I also reglued the veneer that was coming up and clamped it overnight. All of this was so much fun, I thought I would do some touch up polishing where a tree branch had rubbed a few black streaks. Got good results but not so much fun. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.
There she sits beside the house in the pile of leaves, all forlorn and feeling neglected. This is no way for her to feel.
I'm finally going to get back to work on her this weekend. Now that the holidays have past and things can get back to some semblance of normalcy, plans are in place to replace the circuit board in the fridge this weekend. There is also an electrical problem that needs to be figured out. I'm hoping its the faulty circuit board in the fridge that keeps draining the on-board battery. If that's not it, more investigative work is in order. I know the water pump has been humming as well, so its turned off at the moment and will probably need replacing. I need to get cracking because camping season for us in here in central Arizona can be year-round.