Airstream: Iconic American Trailers Tailored for Europe
There is something unreservedly American about the look of these aluminium ‘silver bullet’ travel trailers, made by Airstream Inc, of Ohio, USA. They’ve been around since 1931 and, remarkably, more than 65% of the Airstreams made are still in use today.
Up till now, however, Airstreams have been rather too wide, long and heavy for European roads – and for our lighter tow cars and EU homologation requirements. But now, a new breed of European Airstreams has been developed, with all the traditional style and comfort in a slightly more compact, European size. Meanwhile, the trailer’s aerodynamic shape helps the fuel consumption of the tow car – which is claimed to be up to 20% better than one towing a conventional ‘white box’ caravan.
The design of the graceful aircraft-inspired aluminium bodies has scarcely changed over the last 78 years, and every Airstream is still carefully riveted together by hand. Inside, the interior boasts exposed aluminium detailing, complemented by ultra-modern white and black maple veneer furniture.
Says Christopher Deam, the award-winning architect and designer responsible for the look of the new Airstream, “I wanted the interior to deliver on the promise of the exterior. While the exterior of the Airstream was imagined using the highest technology available from the aircraft industry, the interiors often were quaint and attractive, using lodges and cabins as their models. That created a disconnect for me. When I looked at the exterior, I thought, ‘Wow, this is really a contemporary idea.’ But when I walked inside, it was like your grandma’s kitchen on wheels.”
There are three trailers in the range: the two-berth 532 and the four-berth 534 and 684, the last being built to the maximum permissible external dimensions for use in the UK, with correspondingly generous accommodation.
Airstream has already appointed dealers in the UK, the Benelux countries and Germany, and has plans to appoint more continental dealers over the next 12 months. Prices for the European Airstreams start at £39,340 for a 532 and rise to £49,715 for a 684.
For more information, see www.airstreameurope.co.uk.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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