The Short but Righteous History of One Very Large Airstream

The 40-foot 'Western Pacific' is now a luxury vacation home

By Evan Bleier

 
The Short but Righteous History of One Very Large Airstream
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01 August 2017

If you’re under the commonly held belief that Airstreams top out at 34 feet, you’re wrong. But it's not your fault. 

Because this particular Airstream is rare. So rare, in fact, it wasn't even meant for commercial use. The case of the 40-foot-long Western Pacific Airstream — which was commissioned by Western Pacific Railroad in 1962 — is a story that concerns blue-collar utility, cost-saving measures and, in the end, on helluva custom Airstream. 

(3 images)

Symmetrical from tip to tail, the titanic trailers were created by riveting a pair of 20-foot models together. The trailer was then mounted on 50-foot railroad flatcars so they could ride the rails and serve as living and dining quarters for railroad employees. Limited to only 10 models, only two of the Western Pacific Airstreams still exist.

Part of the reason for that is the fact they were made for the cheap. Apparently, railway staffers don't need much. Originally built with bare woods floors, plywood cabinets and exposed plumbing and wiring, the trailers were split into three rooms and heated by a diesel fuel furnace.

Airstream Trailer (4 images)

So, obviously, the Western Pacific Airstream you see here has clearly had some work done.

Dismounted from its flatcar base in 1989 and restored by Timeless Travel Trailers to serve as a stationary vacation residence, this Western Pacific Airstream was outfitted with a built-in sofa and beds, full kitchen, modern bathroom and new walls made from polished aluminum.

Sadly, this over-the-top custom Airstream job is no longer available — it was sold for $200,000 in 2015 — but it’s still a helluva a way to enjoy a SFW photo spread.

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