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Airstream’s Crown Jewel

During the 1956 Airstream Caravan through Europe, Wally Byam designed a dream trailer for his wife, Stella. It was built in spring 1957, ready for the All-American Caravan through the United States, which visited the Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500. The Airstream’s floorplan was constructed to Stella’s specifications, with expansive living and storage space for the married couple. it was custom-made, and built to stand out. Using gold anodized aluminum, it was regarded as a precious crown jewel, immediately recognizable.

The End of the Road

After traveling through the Nubian Desert, the African Caravan reached the final leg of our journey. We loaded our Airstreams and tow vehicles onto a barge for transportation across the water. As we floated down the Nile, a rare opportunity presented itself. As we reached the temples at Abu Simbel, we stopped and went ashore to visit the marvelous antiquities.

A Trailerman’s Prayer

As Wally Byam looks on, the Golden Airstream #1 is being towed through the Southern Ethiopian quagmire, pushed by Caravanners and Ethiopian Imperial guards. His International Harvester truck had broken an axle, so was being towed separately.

Bridging the Gap

Just east of Victoria Falls is a marvelous feat of engineering, spanning a length greater than two football fields. As the African Caravan crossed a great bridge over the Zambesi River Gorge, we crossed one of the continent’s longest rivers, winding and flowing through the continent. The river also serves also as the border between the countries today called Zambia and Zimbabwe. Great beauty, both natural and manmade, abounds as you travel through the area.

Live Riveted
Live Riveted

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