Airstream has been viewed as the premier manufacturer in the American recreational vehicle business since Wally Byam started making his unique 'Silver Bullet' trailers in the early 1930s. Since then their space age designs and aerodynamic forms have defined the American trailer scene. Indeed, NASA used a modified Arstream trailer for its quarantined astronauts during the Apollo Programme and in more recent times employed a fleet of Airstream motorhomes to transport astronauts to the launch pad.
This classic 1979 Airstream motorhome was professionally customised in 1998 in the USA and imported from Oregon by the current vendor. First registered in the UK in 2005, it currently costs £165 annually to tax and falls within MoT Class IV. The vehicle is built on a Chevrolet P30 chassis and is powered by a 454ci (7.4-litre) Chevrolet 'Big Block' V8 petrol engine. Blueprinted and fitted with performance ancillaries, this mighty power unit affords relaxed cruising on motorways.
This Airstream has been optimised for short stays without needing to connect to an external electrical outlet. There is a built-in Onan 5kW generator and the electrical system operates on 240/110/12 Volts. A modern four-step battery-to-battery charging system recharges all batteries when driving and can charge/maintain batteries from an external power source when needed. Two 115Ah leisure batteries supply 12 Volts and run the interior lighting and water pump, while a 600W battery inverter supplies four 13-Amp sockets. An LPG system runs the heating, hot water, four-ring hob, oven and a large fridge freezer (also runs on electricity). The television and DVD player are 12-Volt units.
This particular Airstream boasts a bespoke fitted oak interior, mirror polished, which incorporates a shower room, lavatory room with sink, twin kitchen sinks and lots of useful cupboard space. Other noteworthy features include day and night blinds; fresh water, grey water and black water tanks; rear view camera; and an Icomera passenger wi-fi router with vehicle telematics. The vehicle is fitted with seatbelts and can accommodate eight passengers plus the driver. It is 28' long, 7' 9" wide and 10' 3" high (with air conditioning). Its size is well suited to UK roads, the relatively short wheelbase facilitating easy driving in city centres. Accompanying documentation consists of a V5C registration document and MoT to March 2016.
This spectacular vehicle attracts attention wherever it goes, and with its modern updates is as practical and useable as any modern motorhome. It looks particularly at home at any historic motor racing event.