Karludi is definitely a "one-of-a-kind" piece of art. Named after its current owners, Karla and Judi, this rags to riches story is ready for its next chapter. The superb detail and craftsmanship, from the high gloss cabinetry and chrome wraps to the deep upholstery and custom lighting, are ready to be appreciated by the next owners of this custom creation. Much like a fine classic car, this trailer has been pampered in her climate-controlled home since being rebuilt. She has never been camped in or seen the mud puddles of any state park. Who knows what the future may hold because anything is possible along the journey with Karludi....
This one-of-a-kind 1959 Tradewind Airstream could be yours.
Karludi's story began quite by accident nearly five years ago when Indiana residents Karla and Judi acquired the 1959 Airstream Tradewind from a friend. The friend had purchased the clear titled Airstream at a swap meet and brought it home to restore for camping. The trailer had spent at least the past three decades in a woods and hadn't been plated since 1986. It was occasionally used by hunters and served as a home to various critters and rodents. Although totally original, (except for added homemade bunks), everything needed gutted. The friend's wife was less than enthusiastic about the whole idea. While visiting one evening, Karla and Judi saw the trailer for the first time and upon discovering that is was a 1959, (the same birth year as Karla), it was quickly decided that they just had to have it. Now, what to do with it was another thing. Judi had no experience with camping or trailers. Karla had been raised camping in everything from a pop-up camper to a pickup camper to diesel pushers. Both being Realtors, renovation projects were quite common for the couple, but never anything with wheels. Still, their love for everything mid-century won out and the journey began.
The first decision was where to put the trailer while searching for restoration companies. Since the couple's home was in a community with restrictive covenants related to the parking of recreational vehicles, a storage facility was the only option for the first several months. During that time, the couple searched the Midwest for professionals who specialized in Airstreams. With very few options available, the trailer ended up in Ohio, where it would spend the next 14 months getting stripped of the years of decay and neglect. The goal was to keep the original footprint of the trailer, but renovate it into a "1950's martini/wine bar theme" with all of the modern conveniences. The interior was stripped to the outside skin and all new plumbing, wiring, insulation, HVAC, tanks and basic essentials were installed. The exterior was polished and freed from major blemishes. Because this company did not specialize in the custom cabinetry and finishes that were desired, Karludi returned home to await the next phase of her journey.
As one thing always leads to another, a permanent place needed to be found to keep the Airstream upon her return home. The real estate couple discovered 5 1/2 acres for sale in a nice suburban area just ten minutes from their home and decided it would be the perfect place to build something to store the trailer. As usual, their idea grew bigger and turned into a nearly 3,000 square foot suburban barn, complete with heat, full bath, kitchen, mid-century themed furnishings, and 14-foot doors at each end for "non-backing purposes". While the vision for the Airstream continued to evolve, she was securely tucked in and safe.
The discovery of Vintage Base Camp in Louisville, Kentucky turned out to be the crowning jewel of the journey. Owner Greg Penner's educational background in creative arts, along with his personal and professional history of Airstream renovations was just what Karla and Judi had been searching for. Greg, along with his team of master craftsmen, knew what was needed to complete the project. They were able to capture the vision and take it to a whole new level. Over several months of planning, Greg helped the couple move their ideas from their heads onto paper. He appreciated and embraced the theme they were looking to achieve and provided both artistic and technical ideas. Karludi was entrusted to Vintage Base Camp in December of 2018 and completed seven months later.
During this time, Karla and Judi were able to make several progress visits and had constant communication with the team. Update pictures were emailed regularly, as well as posts on the company Facebook page. Karludi quickly became a loved member of the Vintage Base Camp family, as did Karla and Judi.
If you are interested in this trailer and would like more details or to see it in person, click here.
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