1992 Airstream 350LE Class A Motorhome Chassis no. 1GBKP37N7M3312946
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.
Airstream started manufacturing Class A motorhomes in 1974 using a construction method for the 'fuselage' that was lightweight, aerodynamic and very strong. Built on a high-speed Chevrolet coach chassis, the 1992 Airstream 350LE motorhome offered here is one of the last of the classic motorhomes built with the expensive-to-produce, aircraft-style, semi-monocoque, aluminium construction. 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.
Although left-hand drive, he Airstream is said to be surprisingly easy to drive in the UK, with light steering, responsive automatic transmission, cruise control and a quiet and powerful 7.4-litre V8 engine. It can cruise all day at the legal limit, with stability aided by an automatically adjusting, air-suspended Tag axle arrangement. Surprisingly, it has reasonable economy for its size and can be driven on some older car licenses thanks to a GVW of 7,500kg.
This classic Airstream was fully restored in the UK in 2010 by LAS Motorhomes of Northampton, the restoration featuring in an article published by RV Magazine. The quality of the interior puts that of most modern motorhomes to shame and features original hardwood furniture and fittings in oak. The soft furnishings and seats have been re-upholstered in leather by a trimming company specialising in aircraft interiors. Modernised fittings include solid oak flooring; Corian worktops; heating and air conditioning; full-size 'memory foam' double bed; new flat screen televisions; audio and entertainment (X-Box); powered driver's and passenger's seats; and an electrically folding sofa.
The aluminium fuselage has been painstakingly stripped, polished and repainted to a very high standard while the Alcoa aluminium wheels have been polished and re-lacquered. To complement the highly polished exterior, brand new matching Zipdee awnings have been fitted all round. Less visible work includes refurbishment of the self-levelling jacking system; replacement of the under floor; rewiring for UK 240-volt supply; chassis refurbishment and under sealing; re-plumbing; refurbishment of the running gear including brakes; new front adjustable airbags; and new tyres all round. Engine work included new timing chains and a replacement radiator.
This Airstream 350LE has covered relatively few miles for such a vehicle, the current odometer reading being only 63,000. Its generous specification includes cockpit air conditioning plus twin roof-mounted air conditioning units, which in combination with twin auxiliary LPG heaters keep the vehicle chilled or warm even in extreme weather. There is a self-levelling hydraulic jacking system; automatic power step; 7.0kW twin-cylinder Onan generator; and three coach batteries. A large fresh water tank and large black and grey water holding tanks allow for a weekend's stay without connecting up. Airstream is a byword for comfort and this example has an island double bed at the rear, a large leather couch and dinette seating, which can also be converted into double beds.
The kitchen has a gas hob with microwave oven above and an extraction fan, plus a large fridge freezer and lots of solid oak cabinets and draws. Bathroom facilities include a full-size shower, LPG water heater and a full-size ceramic flushing toilet. Storage is taken care of by two wardrobes, bathroom cupboards, and drawers under the couch and bed. Externally there is one large patio and three window awnings. External storage includes a large boot and lots of slide-out under-body lockers. Manoeuvring is aided by a reversing camera, docking lights and electric/heated mirrors. Described as in generally very good condition, this ultimate classic motorhome is offered with sundry restoration invoices, current road fund licence, MoT to August 2014 and Swansea V5 document.
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