weather icon Clear

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.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Cadillac car show had best of everything at Town Square

The 14th annual Cadillac Through the Years car show at Town Square Las Vegas had 81 Cadillacs representing a record field of classic vehicles. In addition, a crowd of more than 8,000 attended the event, which was held April 28.

Findlay VW Henderson parts manager loves his job

Frank Mattos has worked as parts manager at Findlay Volkswagen Henderson for the past several years and is a Volkswagen enthusiast who has restored many classic VWs, including a classic black 1962 Beetle.

Jeep enthusiasts unite for annual Big Bad Jeep Show

This past weekend, Jeep owners across the Las Vegas Valley flocked to Chapman Warm Springs for the sixth annual Big Bad Jeep Show. The family-friendly event featured live entertainment, free food, face painting for children, raffle prizes from contributing vendors and a blood drive.

Ram 1500 classic named truck bargain of the year

Looking for a new truck but don’t want the high payments? Chapman Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram offers the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic, recently named the truck bargain of the year by carbuzz.com, a multiplatform automotive news and car-buying source.

Senior wins top prize in iChoose to Drive competition

West Career and Technical Academy senior Briana Virella won the annual iChoose to Drive contest and was awarded a check for $2,000 from Findlay Automotive Group during a ceremony present on the campus March 29. The money will serve her well as she moves on to college next year.

Friendly Ford reaches 49-year business milestone

In early April 1970, the No. 1 song was “Let it Be” by The Beatles, a gallon of gas was 36 cents, Richard Nixon was president and Friendly Ford opened its doors to Southern Nevada on North Decatur Boulevard. A lot has happened since, but one thing has remained the same: Friendly Ford still believes in a strong dedication to customer satisfaction.

Chapman wrangles Jeep owners to compete in Big Bad Jeep Show April 27

When you purchase a Jeep, you don’t just get the opportunity to venture off the beaten path, you also join one of the most loyal and exclusive car communities on the road. Chapman Chrysler Jeep is inviting all Jeep owners across the valley to compete in the sixth annual Big Bad Jeep Show.

Las Vegan purchases Elantra SEL from Hyundai of Las Vegas

Diana Medina, who has lived in Las Vegas for nearly 13 years, is a longtime customer of Hyundai of Las Vegas. She has purchased five vehicles from the dealership in the past 10 years.