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Findlay Customs turns battered ’76 Airstream into showpiece

Back in the 1930s, Airstream was the Cadillac of RV trailers. The thrill of owning an Airstream has continued with the renovation of a 1976 model purchased from Craigslist and refurbished by Findlay Customs in the Valley Automall.

A pair of prominent Southern Nevada families hired Findlay Customs to resurrect the older Airstream, capitalizing on the expertise of the company, which jumped at the chance to further demonstrate its multifaceted talents.

“We refer to the finished product as the Silver Bullet,” Findlay Customs General Manager Mike Austin said. “It has become the coolest project we have ever undertaken. We have remodeled motor homes before, but this is the first trailer that we have done.

“The only thing that is factory on this trailer is the shell and the frame. It was in bad need of a total refurbish. It has the patina look.”

The complex list of items added to the Airstream includes the brakes and suspension. The entire flooring was replaced with all-new subflooring and structure.

“The entire project took about nine months to complete,” Austin said, adding that Findlay Customs also remodeled a Prevost bus for a prominent local entertainer.

The interior of the Airstream is now a rustic showpiece.

“We wanted to have an industrial rustic look,” Austin said. “It has corrugated siding and reclaimed wood and industrial handles and fixtures, fridge, table and lighting. Everything has been modified.”

The majority of the work provided for the Airstream was done by Jaramy Kaufman, fabrication specialist and project manager, while the fabrication was done by Jorge Maya, a custom fabricator.

“Our GM told me he wanted to match the style of his office, which is the rustic, reclaimed barn-style look,” Kaufman said. “I did most of the design work. The customer wanted something with the barn look and galvanized metal. Their campground is a hangout spot. We didn’t need a kitchen, so we just made it comfortable.

“It’s a very cool farmhouse design, and I incorporated an industrial design. It has a hunting theme because it’s in a hunting environment.”

Airstream was founded in 1936, and its RVs are unlike any others. Its iconic riveted aluminum travel trailers are passed down from generation to generation.

“It was a lot of fun,” Kaufman said. “I had to get creative and did that by researching on the internet. I hunted down the cabinetry and squared it all up to fit the Airstream.

“We were able to get everything put together within the stated budget. I had over nine different coffee tables, end tables and bar tops that had to be customized to fit the Airstream. Everyone who works here had a hand in the project. It was a great teamwork effort.”

Austin raved about the final product.

“It was a shell when we got it,” he said. “We tore out all of the walls and floors. It took us nine months to build, but it’s a showpiece now.”

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