What began with one man and a singular vision in 1931 has since turned into one of America’s most enduring and recognizable icons… The Airstream Travel Trailer.
80 years ago Wally Byam had a dream, to build the perfect travel trailer and in the process of fulfilling that dream he created something much greater, a new sense of freedom and possibility. Suddenly Americans could see new places, forge new friendships and enjoy new experiences with greater ease and convenience than previously possible. Wally Byam’s dream of “creating a trailer that would move like a stream of air” created a new way of life that has since been shared by thousands of families and continues to draw legions of fans to its quirky, eclectic style.
For my money, there is no Airstream more quirky, eclectic or beautiful than the early 60s ‘Bambi‘. This iconic piece of Americana even warranted its own show in 2007 at the Museum of Modern Art and one look at its one-of-a-kind, retro appeal is all it takes to see why.
Today, devotees of the Bambi are lovingly restoring these relics of rolling history, often creating pieces of design ‘eye candy’ in the process. Looking more like upscale, urban condo’s and hi-tech centers on wheels than humble travel trailers, they still manage to maintain a sense of the Bambi’s inherent charm.
Although the Bambi Airstream’s roots are American, I see a definite Bauhaus design influence in its distinctive, rounded aluminum body and shape and it isn’t hard to draw a direct line of design influence from the Bauhaus School to the Bambi and into the present with automobiles such as the original Audi TT.
While I have never fancied myself a “travel trailer kinda guy”… Hitting the wide open road in search of adventure in one of the examples shown above could definitely change my mind. Good Sam Club… Here I come!
Randy – A Life Designed