A friend of mine was the Advance Scout for the Airstream Caravan that traveled from Capetown, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt in 1959. Wally Byam, the founder of Airstream travel trailers, undertook a never-before-attempted feat of a caravan of over 100 people from ages 4 to 80 on a caravan of the Dark Continent in 1959. Often times, there weren't any roads, Wally's gold colored Airstream trailer had a military escort through one of the countries because the natives thought it was actual gold, vehicles would have three and four flat tires a day, not to mention other more severe breakdowns. The stories go on and on.
My friend, PeeWee, is Wally's nephew and was hired by Wally to be one of the two advanced scouts for this extended caravan. Wally bought three 1959 Chevy Apache, six cylinder, 4WD trucks without the truck bed and shipped them to the Airstream factory for the camper to be custom made for the three trucks. One truck was for the scouts, another for the photographer and the last was for the mechanic who also traveled with the caravan.
This is such a fascinating story and one I'd like to tell by building a replica of of PeeWee's living quarters for over 7 months while traveling the African continent in 1959.
Here are a few photos of the truck and the reference material I have been given from PeeWee.
Here's the truck waiting to be loaded onto the ship.
Being hoisted onto the ship, headed for Capetown.
Here Peewee is playing music with a battery powered record player for the African native children.
Peewee is sporting his new on-the-road haircut given by one of the Caravanners along side the Scout Truck.
I've started with two of the AMT mid-50's pickups because I needed to lengthen the chassis and need another drive axle for the front to make it 4WD. Also have the '58 Chevy cab from Bob Zettleman of Modelhaus which is very well done. Thanks for your interest and any comments.
Edited by gasser59, 15 January 2014 - 01:56 PM.