1982 AIRSTREAM ExcellaView vehicle description
The 1982 Airstream Excella is a 28-foot, Class-A motorhome based primarily upon General Motors components. The iconic design of the van and varying trailers came from an all-aluminum travel van from the 1930s known as the Bowlus Road Chief. In the late 60’s and early 70’s the crewmen of the Apollo 11, 12, and 14 missions were all quarantined inside of a modified, airtight Airstream RV much like the example offered today. Astronauts were forced to quarantine inside the Airstream in the event that one of the crew brought back a “lunar pathogen,” until it was ultimately decided there was no actual risk of something like that occurring. Four of these Mobile Quarantine Facilities were constructed for NASA, and three of them now reside in American Space Museums.
Powered by a 454-cu in. GM-sourced V8 mated to an automatic transmission, this Airstream easily cruises at 65+ mph. The motorcoach is approximately 10.5’ high thanks to the front and rear roof mounted HVAC units, roughly 9’ across, and 28’ long. The seller has also informed us that this Excella has a new motor with warranties, and all of the engine's surrounding components have been replaced as well.
On the Outside
This Excella’s exterior is built in the iconic riveted aluminum construction that can be found on most other Airstreams. It features bright blue accents which can be seen on the pinstripes, the ‘Airstream’ logo up front, and just above the black paneling around the bottom of the motorcoach. A brisk walk around the unit reveals no major damage to the exterior. The steel rims up front and in the back are clean and all the motorcoach’s glass appears to be clean and free of chips or cracks.
On the Inside
Once inside this time capsule, spectators will be happy to see that although the design is dated, the interior has been excellently preserved. Up in the cockpit sit two off-white swiveling captain’s chairs. Both chairs are in decent condition with no holes or tears to show. The faux-wood dashboard shows very little weathering at all, and all of the gauges mounted within are clean and easily readable. The brown leather-wrapped steering wheel is a nice touch, but it does show some small signs of aging. Interior features are as follows: full kitchen, dual sink, pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and oven with stovetop, living room with a pull-out sofa bed, multiple overhead storage compartments, bedroom with two twin beds, and a full bathroom with a toilet, standing shower, and sink. It cannot be stressed enough how clean the inside of this Airstream is. The carpets show no damage and are fantastically tight. The dual twin beds and pull-out sofa look totally fresh, and there are no stains around the kitchen or bathroom. For such a classic RV, we are astonished that everything still looks neat and tidy 40 years later.
Commensurate with the rest of the vehicle’s condition, we are unsurprised to see that this Airstream has a clean undercarriage. In the engine bay, these trends continue. The engine itself is tidy and from what we can see, all the remaining components appear to be in their proper locations. The engine can be accessed via a ‘doghouse’ cover located between the two front seats. The engine and other components such as the radiator and coolant filter can also be accessed via a folding panel located just above the grille at the front of the motorcoach.
This Airstream comes to us from a seller located in Lubbock, Texas. The seller has kept a wide variety of documents and maintenance sheets on the car from their time owning the vehicle, official manuals that came with the RV, and documents from previous owners. We understand that the seller took ownership of the vehicle in 2018, and prior to that the motorcoach resided in California.
What We Think
The Airstream is by far the most iconic brand in the motorhome/trailer segment in the world. Immediately recognizable thanks to the riveted aluminum construction, today’s Airstream’s now serve as portals to bygone eras. Intelligently designed even in the modern era, the Airstream Excella is a joy to tour in. Today’s example has a clean exterior and an immaculate interior. Any bidder out there searching for an Airstream RV will be hard pressed to find another model in equally excellent condition. We are ecstatic to be offering this Airstream for online auction with an estimate between $50,000 and $75,000.
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