When this 1958 Shasta Airflyte landed at Reparadise, we encouraged the client to find another vintage Canned Ham for us to restore. In truth, we even offered to find a more complete example. But, the client insisted on bringing this overlooked vintage camper up-to-date.
As expected of an aluminum-over-wood camper in this state of disrepair and neglect, it presented its share of challenges. And, in hindsight, the lessons learned have made more recent restorations go smoother. For this ’58 Shasta Airflyte, we took it down to the chassis and addressed all the rot, broken welds, and bent frame members. On top of the refurbished chassis, a coat of POR5 will prevent further rust, and a new sub-floor provided a solid foundation to build up on.
Throughout the interior, we saved cabinets where possible, then rebuilt where things were either missing, ruined from water intrusion, or destroyed by an over zealous previous owner. The customer located a vintage ice chest and princess stove, both of which will be refurbished to match the camper in time. We also installed a new sliding rear bed and dinnet. The interior lights, like the exterior, were replaced or refinished as their condition merited.
For the aluminum skin, we saved most of it to keep the original pleating intact, and painted it with a bright red. The end product is a custom vintage camper that won’t be mistaken for the microwave-equiped re-issue of this iconic vintage camper.