Airstream: America's World Traveler (Hardcover)

Airstream: America's World Traveler By Patrick R. Foster Cover Image
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2017 Gold Medal and Division Winner of the International Automotive Media Competition! 

Iconic, aluminum-bodied Airstream trailers have been around for 85 years--get the full story in this photo-rich book.

Airstream is America's best and oldest manufacturer of travel trailers, and those retro silver coaches are iconic on America's highways. Representative of the age-old desire to explore, these trailers are unmistakable in design with distinctive aerodynamic rounded lines and an aluminum outer skin. Airstream: America's World Traveler celebrates the eight decades since the first Airstream graced America's highways.

Airstream chronicles the fascinating history of Airstream trailers through a detailed history, stories, and beautiful photography. Although its roots stretch back to 1926, the first Airstream-brand trailers were introduced in 1936, just as America was emerging from the dark days of the Great Depression. Of the 400 travel-trailer manufacturers of that era, only Airstream survived. Dubbed the "Airstream Clipper" after the first trans-Atlantic seaplane, the 1936 Airstream featured a unique lightweight aluminum body that cut down on wind resistance, improved fuel efficiency, and made for easier towing. It slept four, carried its own water supply, was fitted with electric lights, and cost $1,200. The Airstream provided travelers with a way to see the world at their leisure and in solid comfort. It was the perfect vehicle for a country emerging from a long struggle.

In the eight decades since that first Airstream, the company has produced some of the finest trailers in the world and gained a worldwide reputation as the Rolls-Royce of travel trailers. The Airstream story is one of travel, adventure, and memories that last a lifetime.

About the Author

One of America’s best-known automotive writers, Patrick R. Foster has spent over 30 years studying the automotive industry. The leading authority on AMC and its predecessors, Pat has written several books on that subject along with many others, including Jeep, Studebaker, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer, and Metropolitan. His popular columns appear in Hemmings Classic Car and Old Cars Weekly, and he has won awards for his books and articles from the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) and SAH (Society of Automotive Historians). In 2011, he was honored with the Lee Iacocca Award—one of the most coveted awards in automotive writing. His website is The Olde Milford Press (

Praise For…

"... a worthy addition to any coffee table."

"Just over the horizon awaits the world, and with an intrepid spirit and a trailer hitch, we can have it. When venturing through Airstream: America's World Traveler, that feeling is, just like the Airstream legacy, impossible to ignore."

"... it is a beautiful, large format, photo-rich tribute to the Rolls Royce of travel trailers. For those who have admired Airstreams or owned one, this book will reaffirm why the products has lasted for over eight decades. This book is a great gift for Airstream owners and history lovers alike."


"Airstream: America's World Traveler, a handsome new coffee table took by Patrick Foster, celebrates the adventurous spirit of founder Wally Byam as much as his no retro-chic aluminum wagon."

San Francisco Chronicle

"If you want a concise history of Airstream through 2015, this is your book. A good book is like good scotch. You don't turn down another bottle."

Tin Can Tourists

"Its iconic aluminum-clad trailers are synonymous with American exploration. The company behind them is far more interesting than you may have known. Airstream: America's World Traveler takes a look at the Ohio-based institution, from its beginnings in the 1920s and '30s to its modern homes on wheels. As the only travel-trailer maker from the pre-WWII era to survive to current day, it has a rich history that unfolds through a series of stories, facts, and photographs that make you wish you could still get an Airstream Clipper for $1,200."

"Fun and informative and filled with the spirit of the open road, Airstream: America's World Traveler by Patrick Foster traces the history and the story of the distinctive Airstream trailer in this gorgeous coffee table book with over 250 photos in color and black white."

Wine Road Sonoma Co.

"Airstream: America’s World Traveler is a wonderful pictorial tribute to the brand and creator Wally Byam. Even if you don’t own an Airstream, you can enjoy a vicarious cross country journey through the pages of this book."—

"For anyone with a passion for RVs and travel trailers, Foster’s 192-page book, illustrated throughout with 158 color and 114 black and white photos (including rare material from the company’s archives), will prove a fascinating read."—Hemmings Daily

"There is no shortage of books about Airstream trailers, but Patrick Foster’s “Airstream: America’s World Traveler,” may be the definitive tome about its founder and the history of his wanderings. Published by Motorbooks (Quarto Publishing), the hefty hardback of 192 pages has 158 color photos and 114 black-and-white images."—San Diego Union Tribune

"With more than 250 photos, this coffee-table book show why Airstream has defined a unique form of first-class travel for decades."—Detroit Free Press

Product Details
ISBN: 9780760349991
ISBN-10: 0760349991
Publisher: Motorbooks
Publication Date: July 1st, 2016
Pages: 192
Language: English