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Miller & Ryan's Silver Streak Clipper... The Build Thread!

Discussion in 'The Antiquated' started by Ryan, May 18, 2018.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    So Miller and I have the clipper now... and I figured we would do a build thread. Once the trailer is home, I'm gonna have Miller run this thread (he's a fantastic writer), but until then I'll keep this updated with the latest. First, the story of how it came to be.

    Miller identified the Clipper as the trailer he wanted early on. If you aren't familiar, the clipper design is actually from the mind of Wally Byam - the father of the airstream. When he penned the trailer in 1945, he worked for the Curtis Wright airplane and trailer company. Curtis Wright sold the trailer from 1946 to 1948. In 1949, Wally Byam left Curtis Wright and Curtis Wright sold the design rights to Silver Streak - a start up trailer company lead by Kenny Neptune, James “Pat” Patterson, and Frank Polito.

    The trailer we bought is titled as a 1947 Silver Streak... We do, however, know that it's an early production trailer because there is no galvanized steel on the trailer at all - it's all aluminum.

    In any case, our trailer was originally restored sometime in the early 1990's by a hollywood set designer by the name of Brandt Ellis. Once Brandt was done with it, he sold it to a housing developer in Malibu where it sat untouched and in the weather for years. At one point, it was moved and while doing so, was backed into something big... and hard.

    dent.jpg

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    After this run in, the trailer was sold to a young guy by the name of Tanner Alexander. Tanner is an airstream guy - he fixes them up and sells them. He's also the guy I bought the trailer from. Essentially, he had a number of bigger projects inline to complete and decided to sell this one to fund them.

    So, after a long and arduous process of me doing my due diligence (researching the history of this specific trailer, finding Brandt, sending Lucky Burton to look at the trailer and then another really great airstream guy named Kenny Ruzicka to do the same, etc...) I decided to buy it.

    And now that's it bought, another pal of mine is gonna fix the panels of the clipper. His name is John Matarazzo and he's probably the most experienced Clipper guy in the country. In fact, here's a shot of one he is pretty much building from scratch:

    clipper.jpg

    Yesterday, John went and picked the trailer up from Tanner:

    john1.jpg

    john2.jpg

    As John updates me, I'll update you... The plan is to have John do his expertise on the body and get the the thing road worthy enough for Miller and I to haul it home to Texas. Once it's here, Miller and I are gonna outfit it to his tastes for both camping and TJJ event support. We have big plans... And it's gonna be a lot of fun... and a lot of work...

    I can't wait...

    Anyway, updates pending as John gets to work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
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  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Oh... and here's some interior shots of the trailer. To me, this was the selling point of the deal... It's in amazing condition.

    image3.jpeg

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  3. johnnybentwrench
    Joined: Mar 24, 2011
    Posts: 77

    johnnybentwrench
    Member

    We will be able to figure out the correct year by the serial number also the rectangle pattern over the wheel well are not shaped like the later ones this is an early style with an aluminum and metal frame the later ones used an all steel construction. based on the number It is on the door tag. It was also stampeding the front of the tube. I use a vintage antique number set to reproduce the number the fonts where very different back then
     

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  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Right on... we got John aboard... fellas, this guy is THE guy. It’s gonna be fun to watch him work.
     
    55Deso likes this.
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  5. Looking forward to seeing what Miller does with the Clipper,these old campers are like the cars we love so much they are not cheap but you will be glad you spent the money and it's something you will enjoy for many years to come,the advantage of having a vintage camper at events to sell merchandise and a place to gab a nap is a plus. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Blownfuel
    Joined: Jun 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,198

    Blownfuel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    D@mn it, Ryan! Now you're making me feel bad that I haven't started on my Boles Aero. Gotta finish school first.

    Sent from my SM-G955F using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  7. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,334

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Damn that's cool. How long is it?
     
  8. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    22’ from hitch to bumper... the perfect length in my opinion for an occasional camper.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  9. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,334

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    My lil camper is 13'6" tip to tip. It's pretty cozy in there with the 4 of us. We really have a lot of fun with it though. Going again (just the wife and I) Saturday afternoon.
     
  10. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,074

    NoSurf
    Member

    Rockin'!

    Can't wait to see it progress.

    What's the plan for wheels? I love those with a nice shiny chrome baby moon cap.
     
  11. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 2,749

    catdad49
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm in, this thing is Nice!
     
  12. Papas32
    Joined: Feb 18, 2009
    Posts: 47

    Papas32
    Member
    from No.Ia.

    I've never seen a camper like that. I'd love to have one like it! Enjoy!
     
  13. johnnybentwrench
    Joined: Mar 24, 2011
    Posts: 77

    johnnybentwrench
    Member

    I am finishing up a frame for a 1950 Clipper today. The Shckle bushings are an odd size so I had to have them made at Velios machine Shop in Lawndale CA an old school shop been there 40 plus years.
    I will start pulling panels on Miller and Ryans Clipper Sunday then we can get this build going
     

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  14. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,505

    Doc.
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's awesome Ryan. Great father and son project.
     
  15. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    John sent me some pictures of the deconstruction... This fella does not mess around:

    IMG_0387.jpeg

    IMG_0391.jpeg

    IMG_0393.jpeg

    IMG_0398.jpeg

    IMG_0397.jpeg
     
  16. And I complained about screws,look at all those rivets John had to drill and punch out. HRP

    upload_2018-5-21_10-0-10.jpeg
     
  17. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 840

    Rolleiflex
    Member

    This is going to be a fun thread to watch.

    I'm assuming that @johnnybentwrench will be able to massage the original panels back into shape? Or did they get too distorted and brittle to reuse?
     
  18. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    The plan is to put in new aluminum... Once John does his magic, I *might* have the whole trailer casually polished just to make it all more cohesive to look at...
     
    Stogy likes this.
  19. NoSurf
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 4,074

    NoSurf
    Member

    brEad, enloe, raven and 3 others like this.
  20. The only disadvantage to having a 22 foot Clipper is there is a lot more surface area to polish,but man those things are beautiful. HRP
     
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  21. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,627

    -Brent-
    Member

    VERY cool!

    The dining area/ceiling does it for me, too.
     
  22. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 13,708

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

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  23. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    So I hope I'm not steeling John's thunder by posting these pics before he can but... I'm just so damned excited. John is sending me these in real time. Which brings up a point. I don't know John at all... I've never met him. After Miller decided this was the trailer her had to have, I did a ton of research on who knew these things the best. John's name kept coming up over and over again. And when I had a pretty well known airstream guy go look at the trailer for me, he suggested John too... And, the moons aligned. Point is, if you really take your time and research - it pays off.

    Anyway, progress:

    IMG_0410.jpeg

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    IMG_0421.jpeg

    IMG_0425.jpeg

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    IMG_0431.jpeg

    IMG_0432.jpeg
     
  24. John obviously knows what he is doing. HRP
     
  25. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  26. johnnybentwrench
    Joined: Mar 24, 2011
    Posts: 77

    johnnybentwrench
    Member


    I don't mind at all Ryan. I don't play on my phone while I am working. The only reason I am taking pictures for you is to stay accountable. I am going to get on the one interior piece later and also cut the Lexan so when the panels are attached I can install them right away. then I can sort out the 7 pin.
    It's funny I have been on Ryans Garage Journal since 08? I am johnnybentwrench there. talk to you guys soon. John
     
  27. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    And now the interior panels are done as well...

    IMG_0447.jpeg

    IMG_0466.jpeg
     
  28. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 13,708

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    ok I have a dumb question... how in the hell do you put the rivets in once you cover up one side? isn't it true you need to back up one side of the rivet and hammer the other side? once you finish either the inside or outside how do you do the last surface? I hope that made sense....
     
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  29. johnnybentwrench
    Joined: Mar 24, 2011
    Posts: 77

    johnnybentwrench
    Member

    I have only mocked the panels up to make sure they fit. I will remove the interior panel and shoot the exterior panels together. The guy on the inside My buddy and Welder will reach in and hold a modified leaf spring since its sorta thin and made of good steel in areas he can't use a normal bucking bar once we do that I will wiggle the interior panel back in and use an olympic rivet since that is what the previous owner did when they redid the interior so I will match them. They originally made the endcaps both interior and exterior on a buck then installed them as one big section and all interior walls were held to the rib of the trailer with pop rivets
     

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  30. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,504

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Last edited: May 21, 2018

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