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Old 07-27-2004, 10:46 PM   #1
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Unhappy Rare Airstreams Going to Europe

Today I was browsing the ads on the VAC web site and was dismayed to see
that a 1949 Whirlwind and a 1950 Cruiser were being actively advertised to
Europeans (the prices were in Euro's plus shipping plus RORO what ever that
is). I can't help but be sad that these very rare trailers are likely to be
heading to Europe never to be seen here again (I guess anything for a buck).
If I had the means, I'd love to redo one of those (especially the
Whirlwind), but it's beyond me at the moment. Anyone else think something
is not right here?

Joe
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Old 07-27-2004, 10:51 PM   #2
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After seeing all the Trailers and Motorhomes surrounding the Tour de France, I'm not suprised. I don't think camping is a unique American experience.
(RORO is roll-on/roll-off transport)
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Old 07-27-2004, 10:59 PM   #3
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Nothing new

The same thing has happened with many of our light aircraft. Before I retired in 1993, I was working in England and went flying with a co-worker. He took me behind some hangers where there was a long row of Luscombe aircraft waiting to be polished and sold. These Luscombes were produced soon after WW II and will never see our shores again.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:05 AM   #4
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Oversees

I have to say that the feeling of American pride is quite universal.
I have not had the pleasure of traveling oversees, but I imagine that whenever I do I will be happy to see one there.
I realize that someone's forgotten or worse, abandoned AS, can be brought back to life. However, should this not be the case other feelings are triggered.
When someone exclusively targets oversee markets, I do have say that it bothers me. Personally, I can not pick and choose buyers, that would be anti-american.
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
Today I was browsing the ads on the VAC web site and was dismayed to see
that a 1949 Whirlwind and a 1950 Cruiser were being actively advertised to
Europeans (the prices were in Euro's plus shipping plus RORO what ever that
is). I can't help but be sad that these very rare trailers are likely to be
heading to Europe never to be seen here again (I guess anything for a buck).
If I had the means, I'd love to redo one of those (especially the
Whirlwind), but it's beyond me at the moment. Anyone else think something
is not right here?

Joe
Joe, I agree, but I have had my trailers up for sale, just posted here today, though have gotton calls, etc, no one wants to even make an offer to keep them here. I will say I have had offers on both trailers for almost full asking price from Gemany & England. I would love to see them stay here, though I also need to sell. So what is a person to do? Save them so they can sit in the yard? Seems America would rather gamble on ebay, pay a huge price, then grip later - then to just get honest answers, make a deal & keep them here. They want to buy low - sell high makeing it almost impossible for the next guy to own one. Its very frustrating to me to see them leave, but I will not give them away so they can stay when Im asking a fair price. For what Im asking if they were on the Old house wharehouse site, they would have been gone long ago, for probably almost double the money. Maybe I will have some luck on this site. If I dont, I supose I will be forced to let them go overseas.
Lisa
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:42 AM   #6
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Uh, no Joe... I don't see a problem with it. Cash is cash. We live in an internet world with international trading for commodities. For years, the Japanese bought up every decent used German Leica camera in the world, and drove prices through the roof. They're still unreasonably priced, but they can be had. Power, money, and influence fluctuate cyclically throughout the free world. Commodites move to where the money is. I'd rather see these old trailers bought, refurbed, used, and enjoyed by someone than sit rotting in a field or yard somewhere. There's no doubt that the value of the old ones is rising. It has already priced me out of the cool vintage trailers. There are very few 'steals' out there any more. Buy low, sell high in Airstreams is still a great idea, but pretty tough to do any more. The success of this site is one of the reasons! But that's OK. If I wanted one bad enough, I'd pony up the cash. Apparently no one else is willing to do that here right now either. I don't know if you've noticed, but disposable cash is in kind of short supply to many of us consumers in the U.S. right now.

Additionally, those trailers, all by themselves, are some of the best goodwill ambassadors to Europe that the U.S. could enlist. And THAT certainly can't hurt us either right now. Nope, I guess I don't have an issue with it at all.

Roger
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:36 AM   #7
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I can see both Joe and Roger's points. There's always a twinge of disappointment when something deeply rooted in America eventually disappears, whether it's open prairielands, drive-in movie theaters, or old Airstreams. I even get sad when an old neon sign on some side-street in Chicago is taken down and thrown in the dumpster. That said, the fact that these Euro-bound trailers are going to have full and happy lives with people in Europe makes it an easier pill for me to swallow.

Like Roger, I'd rather see them crusing the backroads of Germany and England, than serving as a b-b gun target on some farm in Kansas, if that's what the choice boils down to. The backdrop of where the trailer is located is ultimately secondary. In a perfect world, every Airstreams would be shiny and clean, slowly crusing past Half Dome, the Grand Canyon, parked in a forest in Maine, or in a circle with 2000 others.

But that's not reality. Some of us keep them garaged most of the year. Some are stuck in restoration purgatory, never to really be enjoyed at all. And some are die-hard fans from outside the U.S. that want to live the Airstream dream just like us. I'll simply take solace in hoping that no matter where they are, they're being loved like a family member.
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:38 AM   #8
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Count me in with Roger ... I don't see a problem here.

Why shouldn't European collectors and enthusiasts be allow to share in Airstreaming? Since when is ownership of an Airstream an exclusive privilege of Americans?

Should we prohibit the shipment of Airstreams to Canada? Mexico?

I think those vintage Airstreams destined for other countries are likely to be prized and meticulously maintained, just as they would be here. I'm in favor of having them in the hands of people who will care for them, regardless of where they live.
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:24 AM   #9
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Joe, bearing in mind that you guys exported thousands of our prettiest girls as G.I brides after WW2, I don't believe you should begrudge us the occasional rusty-framed, floor-rotted, axle-sagged trailer! Nick
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Old 07-28-2004, 11:16 AM   #10
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Now really, Nick. You couldn't possibly expect us to compare -
the endless beauty,
intelligence,
nurturing elegance of the most lovely form in the natural world,
integral to our very existence...

with women!

Just kidding, ladies!
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:19 PM   #11
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Call me crazy but...

I guess I'd rather see them going to individual owners elsewhere in the world than seeing the Ralph Laurens of the world buying them up en masse redecorating them how they see fit, and re-selling them at prices that are totally out of reach to the average A/S enthusuast. There are a finite number of the old coaches left - it would be a shame if Ralphie gobbled 'em all up.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:26 PM   #12
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FYI

2 of the 4 Ralph Lauren Airstreams are still for sale but at a discounted price of $100,000 down from $150,000.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriolis1
I guess I'd rather see them going to individual owners elsewhere in the world than seeing the Ralph Laurens of the world buying them up en masse redecorating them how they see fit, and re-selling them at prices that are totally out of reach to the average A/S enthusuast. There are a finite number of the old coaches left - it would be a shame if Ralphie gobbled 'em all up.
That's kind of a slim possibility, don't you think? By my count, Needless Markup (Neimen Marcus) sold one in their Holiday catalog several years back, and Ralphie boy redid just four trailers. Given that it's taken over two years for him to unload two of 'em, (even with the added incentive of part of the profit going to charity) I doubt he'll ditch up the clothing scene and redecorate trailers full time.

So we're really only talking about five high-profile trailers, out of hundreds, if not thousands of vintage trailers out there, waiting to be discovered, negotiated, or pried out of grandma's little white knuckles.

I do get your underlying point though: These trailers had humble beginnings and a humble purpose. Keeping that simple honesty in the Airstream experience is important to perpetuate, I fully agree. Not much fun in seeing them all retrofitted with hot tubs and X-boxes.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BobbyW
FYI

2 of the 4 Ralph Lauren Airstreams are still for sale but at a discounted price of $100,000 down from $150,000.

Oh well HECK - take two - they're small!!
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