The admiration of all things vintage is the founding principle of The Gulley Museum Collection. The owners, David and Mary Gulley, collect everything from travel trailers to automobiles and all sorts of interesting stuff in between. They have always believed in preserving the originality of their acquired pieces. Their appreciation for vintage trailers began with vintage Airstreams many years ago.
Their quest for rare and historical examples of Airstreams led them to the monumental find of both a 1936 Airstream Silver Cloud and a 1936 Airstream Silver Cloud Jr. These two 1936 Airstreams are the oldest examples of factory-produced, original, Masonite-sided Airstreams known to exist.
1936 Airstream Silver Cloud
We met the Gulleys when they purchased a one-of-a-kind Gold Airstream that we had rescued and restored. The Gulleys came to one of our Trailerfest Rallies where I introduced him to our friends, Chuck and Toni Miltenberger. The Miltenbergers had saved and restored a 1936 Silver Cloud to perfection. Chuck and Toni had camped in their pre-war trailer for a couple of years and expressed that they wanted it to go to “a good home.” I had just the place in mind. Knowing David’s passion for vintage Airstreams, we were able to make a deal that worked out for both the Miltenbergers and the Gulleys.
1936 Silver Cloud Junior
About a year after delivering the Silver Cloud to David, I mentioned to him that Justin and Anna Scribner (Flyte Camp Trailer Restorations) also had a Masonite Airstream. The Scribners knew it would “need a good home” after its restoration was completed. This trailer was a 1936 Silver Cloud Jr.—the only other original Masonite first-year Airstream known to exist. Knowing Flyte Camp’s reputation for high-quality work, the Gulleys were confident that the Silver Cloud Jr. would be an impressive addition to their collection. They struck a deal with the Scribners and the rest, as they say, is history.
After 86 years apart, the two vintage Airstreams, the Silver Cloud Jr. and its big brother, the Silver Cloud, are reunited. The Gulley’s two museum-quality wood and Masonite Airstreams are an important part of Airstream history from its formative years before WWII. The Gulley Museum Collection is currently private. Many of the trailers in the collection are shared regularly in The Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine. The vintage trailer community is close, and all four of the couples mentioned in this piece are friends and camp and rally together.
About the Author: Paul Lacitinola and his wife, Caroline, have published the Vintage Camper Trailers Magazine for ten years. The Lacitinolas also host The Trailerfest Vintage Trailer Rallies and The VCT Boot Camp Restoration Learning Experience. They have authored two books on vintage trailering and are advocates for the hobby from coast to coast.
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My first job, at 14 years of age, was on a farm. My buddy and I lived for the summer in a masonite trailer. No toilet, but a 110 volt fridge and gas stovetop. I always wanted to find that trailer and restore it.
My grandparents were trailorites, they had this airstream then a Spartanette and finally a Royal Spartan..we had a Universal.
Daddy was in the Navy so moving our home when he got transferred to a new Base was the way to go!
I had an Argosy (26 ft) travel trailer about 1973-1977. I loved it. It was exactly like an Airstream except for the outer shell. It was painted beige. Very easy to pull. Had to sell it when we moved from upstate NY to So. Cal.
So, when did the Argosy come into play?
The best vintage RV museum that we have visited is the Jack Sisemore Travelland RV Museum in Amarillo, Texas. Just off well-traveled I-40, after Camping World bought the Sisemore dealership recently, the museum has moved to 14501 I-27. Absolutely amazing collection and variety of RVs from the 1920s to 1980s–tent and travel trailers, motorhomes, vans, even motorcycles. Much more interesting than a bunch of Cadillacs half-buried in a field or trying to get a free 72 oz sirloin steak dinner IMHO!
We like that one and the Volo Museum in Volo, Illinois was a must-see. A couple of years ago we toured our http://www.goldairstream.com around the USA and showed it at several museums including the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana. It is now with the Airstreams in this post. Next month we will be at the pre-opening of the new Heritage Center at Airstream Inc. in Ohio.
Has anyone found the two fiberglass Airstream trailers that Wally built ?
Did you mean find Waldo??
Try Luke Burnander in or near Denver Colorado.