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Old 10-07-2008, 06:23 AM   #21
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Argosy Minuet 6.7 metre~ in NC

I have owned my 1978 Minuet since October '03. I purchased it from the original owner in Charleston, SC off of an eBay auction. I talked with the owner at length before making a bid. I entered a bid on the auction and then did not return to the auction until the day after it ended to learn that I had won it. It has an average paint job from 30 years ago, useable upholstery, working appliances. Updated Worthington propane tanks, new Atwood water heater, new convertor, new furnace, new water pump round out the other amenities. It is in need of a new air conditioner, axle, and tires. I keep it under a carport shelter.
(Has anyone replaced the "hazy" acrylic windows?)
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:19 AM   #22
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Argosy History/Trivia

Greetings Distantdrummer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
However I do often read certain members stuff each time I can and Kevin Allen is one that I follow for his excellent style and clarity and IMHO accuracy of reporting. Therefore I have absorbed a bit of Argosy info albeit small and seldom brought to mind.
Thank your for the compliment -- it is really all part of the Forums -- a friendly place to share information and knowledge that you have acquired.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
One advantage to Argosy's limited life span as an active and ongoing product line is that it's history could perhaps be more neatly catalouged.
Unfortunately, like so many things with Airstream, there is very little historical data from the Argosy years that has been unearthed. Part of this may relate to the fact that the first generation of Argosy spanned the period of time where Beatrice Foods was ending its relationship with Airstream and Thor was just beginning its "stewardship" of Airstream. Thus far, most of the information that I have has been acquired through reading owner's manuals, sales literature, and period publications as well as speaking with those who were either involved in Argosy dealerships or someone who actually worked at the Versailles plant.

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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
I think it would be interesting to read at least an overview of it's span covering when,where,why, and who concieved it and killed it.
I have been working on writing an article about the first generation Argosy trailers; and have created a PowerPoint presentation from my current outline. I have presented my Argosy--The First Generation at the WBCCI International Rallys in Salem, OR and Bozeman, MT.

Based upon the Trailer Life article that chronicled the introduction of the first generation Argosy line, the primary motivation for its introduction was "to create a mid-priced line of Airstream quality RVs that would appeal to families and individuals who were either new to RVing or wished to move-up to a higher quality coach." (quote is paraphrased) I have found nothing regarding why the lined was discontinued, but suspect it had something to do with the economy of the times.

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Why the metric nomenclature (nonsense)?
So far as I have been able to determine from my research to this point, is that there wasn't anything published regarding why the Minuets were marketed in metric designations. Speculation, includes the following theories:
  • There may have been plans to market the series outside of the US when the designations were chosen.
  • It was an attempt to prepare for the US conversion to the metric system that was being pushed at that time. Avion marketed all of their coaches of the period with metric designations for size.
  • It was a marketing effort to differentiate between the standard line that was 7' 8" wide and the Minuets which were 7' wide.
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What's this about aluminum floors? an experiment? what was the conclusion?
The aluminum floors were evidently an experiment and were used in most (but not all) 6.0 Metre Minuets, and some (but far from most) 6.7 Minuets. So far, I am not aware of any 7.3 Metre Minuets that were produced with the aluminum composite floors.

Based upon reports from original owner's, there were issues with the floors initially. Looking at the survivor coaches, the biggest problem in the longer-term (on coaches that received reasonable maintenance) is the potential of acquiring a sway or "rut" in the high-traffic areas of the floor. Some owners also report a tendency for greater "movement" or "give" to the floor under foot -- it varies rather greatly from coach to coach. I suspect that this inconsistency of wear may have been the factor that doomed the idea.

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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Versailles Ohio..? was that an Airstream plant? What became of that facility ? and why?
The Versailles plant was (at least initially) strictly Argosy production. When first generation Argosy production ended, the plant was closed. While I have visited the Airstream plant in Jackson Center, my time has been limited both times and I haven't had a chance to drive through Versailles. It is my understanding that the plant building(s) are still in existence, but I haven't heard any more regarding their current use.

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Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
And the "myth"s (or are they facts ?), that the painted skins were due to rejected or damaged aluminum not fit for Airstreams.???
Based upon conversations with an Argosy production line employee, Argosy used strictly new, first-quality aluminum. According to that conversation, Argosy did not use Airstream factory rejects or seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
I have "heard" the Argosy's were catch-alls for left-over parts and trial balloons for new things. Hence a lack of uniformity within a model year. Any truth there?
Argosy wasn't necessarily a "catch-all" for left-over parts, but unlike Airstream; the "experimental" nature of the Argosy division resulted in more frequent "running-changes". The final year's production did seem to use some left-over earlier model interior parts that speculation says was an effort to reduce the carry-over inventory when manufacturing ended.

There is increasing evidence to suggest that there were at least a few Argosy coaches produced in the California. The first evidence was contained in sales literature that listed Versailles, OH and Cerritos, CA as production plants. So far, I am aware of two Argosy coaches that have an "S" in the VIN where the plant identification appears. If there were, in fact, coaches produced in California, this could also account for differences in same model year coaches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Why the steel exterior dome caps? Were they on every Argosy?
All factory literature suggest that the top domes on all first generation Argosy coaches were galvanized steel. The speculation has been:
  • It was a cost saving move. One piece versus several (fewer rivets/less labor), and a less costly material was utilized.
  • It was an experiment in preparation for motorhome production. Literature also suggests that all Argosy motorhomes also carried this feature.
  • It was a technique to increase the rigidity of the structure to compensate for the deep wrap of the front wing windows.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Was the Minuet just another model or was it significanly different from other Argosy's?
The Minuet was distinguished from the standard Argosy line in a number of ways:
  • The most notable difference was the coach width. The standard Argosy was 7' 8" wide, while the Minuet was 7' wide.
  • The side windows on Argosy coaches were Acrylic rather than tempered glass. (Plexiglass or Acrylic windows were featured on many of the Minuet's competitors from other manufacturers of the time.)
  • Some, but not all 6.0 Metre Minuets has the aluminum composite floors, and some but far from all of the 6.7 Metre Minuets also had the composite floors.
  • Most, but not all 6.0 and 6.7 Metre Minuet had gray/washwater tanks that were mounted above the floor (in the bottom of the rear corner wardrobe) that did not collect the water from the shower drain.
  • The 6.7 Metre (22') Minuet was a single axle coach while the similar sized Airstream was a tandem axle coach.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Production numbers for the different models etc.
This one area where Argosy is identical to Airstream. Beyond the knowledge that the last four digits represent sequential production numbers, little is known about actual production numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
What about values of Argosy's ? Are they priced similar to like year and size Airstreams?
Prices for Argosy coaches vary rather considerably by region of the country, but as a general rule standard Argosy coaches often command about 80 to 95% of what a similar model/side Airstream coach. The Minuets on the other hand, may command very nearly as much as the similar sized Airstream due to their light weight and towability -- the 6.0 Metre tends to be a little more likely to equal the price of its Airstream sibling due to the demand for a coach that can be pulled by a tow vehicle with a 5,000 pound trailer tow rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Is there anyone who has interviewed former Argosy personnel? Is there an "official" Argosy archivist?
I have had the priveledge of speaking to two former employees of the Versailles plant. This was so early in my research that I didn't really know what questions to ask, but did find out that the aluminum utilized was not factory rejects from Airstream.

The Vintage Airstream Club has an official archivist who is responsible for all club-owned historical data; and there are volunteers who have researched various eras of Airstream and Argosy.
  • Fred Coldwell (48WeeWind) has researched Airstream history from the beginning through either 1966 or 1968.
  • I have been working on the first generation of Argosy trailers.
There are also members who have either begun or have been approached about sharing their knowledge of:
  • Airstream trailers 1969-1985(?).
  • Airstream motorhomes
  • Argosy motorhomes
  • Second generation Argosy trailers (Square Argosys)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
How are (in general) Argonauts recieved at rallys and nationals by the Blue Bloods?
As with so many things in the WBCCI, the reception of Argosy owners varies from one rally to another. Since I became a acquainted with so many people in the WBCCI while traveling in my '64 Overlander, I am not a good example of how Argosy owners feel about their reception. The one thing that disturbs me is that I see so few Argosy owners returning to another rally -- I have noted very few Argosy owners who have attended more than one International Rally as an example (at least among those who park with the Vintage club).

I know that as far as the Vintage Airstream Club and its parking area at the International Rally; there is an effort made to make Argosy owner's feel welcome. Among the membership at large, there are still those who don't think that Argosys should be welcomed into the club. When in one of the Vintage parades into an International Rally; I was stopped in front of a group of "traditional members" where I overheard the following comment: "I still don't know why we allowed the "painted" trailers into the club." -- and Argosys have been accepted for membership since the early 1990s.

Kevin
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:31 AM   #23
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Acrylic Windows

Greetings Silverhobby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverhobby View Post
(Has anyone replaced the "hazy" acrylic windows?)
I am sure that there have been several who have replace the Acrylic side windows with tempered glass, but I am only aware of one owner who has reported their experience here on the Forums. I believe that there were several more threads about this, but the one below is the only one that I found through search:

CHAS and '78 Minuet

Before taking the big step of replacing the Acrylic, you might want to try the following:I use the NOVUS products on my Minuet and the results have been very good. The clarity may not be that of tempered glass, but I am very satisfied with the results. The NOVUS products are also great for maintaining the front window rock guards.

Kevin
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Old 10-07-2008, 03:00 PM   #24
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Hello again to all - D.Drummer, thanks for the comment on why I posted. I often end up w/a headache trying to find some post I saw 3 months ago w/good info, but I forgot to archive & NOW I NEED IT. So creating a place for info related to my selfish needs was a must!! Glad you enjoyed it.

J.Husband - thanks for the clarification on Henschen vs. Dexter for AS 1 more thing - aren't Henschen quite a bit more expensive than Dexter, or has that changed?

Adore - we bought our "Mini" from someone outside of Quebec!! He sold it in a reverse auction online & I put a bid in about 2 seconds before midnight of the day before he got over 20 bids. My husband & youngest son had a blast driving up there from Colorado to get it-and like many others, my hub was amazed at the towing ease.

Silverhobby - are you going to add your Minuet to your User CP? I know what u mean about the hazed windows. I think I might try Kevins product.

D&P - we've been to St. George too! We rented a ATV there for our boys when we visited Zion in Utah & one day went to the Pink Sand Dunes. There is actually a picture of us playing in the sand there (in my picture section here) That was our 1st BIG trip w/Mini.

and Kevin - thanks so very much for all your info and keeping it updated. There was a guy here who worked a very long time for the AS dealership in Denver. He gave us some info when we 1st got our trailer, but can't find him now, he retired.

Hope some more of us will post - this is fun. Have I gotten 3 other 6.7metres to post so far? But no 7.3metre...
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
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J.Husband - thanks for the clarification on Henschen vs. Dexter for AS 1 more thing - aren't Henschen quite a bit more expensive than Dexter, or has that changed?
Bare Henschen is $475 + shipping and fully loaded $750 + shipping
You can probably get a Dexter cheaper but not by much when you figure in all of the other work that will have to be accomplished in the mounting of a Dexter. There are many posts on what must be done to mount a Dexter take a look at axle threads. A Henschen bolts right in no chassis modifications and is made to factory specs.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:12 AM   #26
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'77' 6.0 Metre Minuet

Kevin, Thanks for all of the Argosy details. Are the side windows acrylic or polycarbonate? I thought polycarbonate given their good condition on my Minuet.

We bought our 6.0 Minuet January 2007. Have straightened many dents and still have some to go. Straightened one window and repaired a badly abused door. Rewired the 7 way connector, changed out one interior light fixture with my own design LCD fixture, will replace all lights with LCD over time. Removed and replaced the belly pan, after working out the dents in the banana wraps and patching one hole. Repainted parts of the interior where a previous owner had viciously attached walls with a paint brush. Replaced the dinette and gaucho ends and table. Replaced the original converter with a Parallax Tempasure. Two new tires and rims, Prodigy brake controller, Equil-i-zer WD hitch. Still to go are more LCD's, curtians, upholstory, counter top, axle, sunglasses for the front, paint exterior. So far we have enjoyed 'IBDY' two summers, 30+ nights, 6K+ miles in Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. Tows like a dream behind my Jeep Wrangler.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:56 AM   #27
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Minuet Side Windows

Greetings Royce!

Quote:
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Kevin, Thanks for all of the Argosy details. Are the side windows acrylic or polycarbonate? I thought polycarbonate given their good condition on my Minuet.
I am not absolutely certain as I am using the term that was used in the sales literature. My theory is that Argosy used the term Acrylic to distinguish the material from Plexiglass that was being used in light-weight trailer lines by competing manufacturers like Nomad/Skyline.

The one thing that I have learned is that window cleaners containing amonia can cause clouding of the material. I avoided the problem as the original owner of my coach advised using only white vinegar and water to clean the windows.

Kevin
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Old 10-09-2008, 02:11 PM   #28
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1978 6 metre minuet located in Ferndale, WA

Love it, but feeling a little cramped with 2 children the wife and dog.

Tossing the notion around to sell and get a slightly larger Airstream.

Only problem is I doubt I can recover what I have into it and would rather keep it.

Maybe a trade.

Anyway, count me on the list.

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Old 10-09-2008, 03:31 PM   #29
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Hi Craig - know what u mean about tight quarters w/4 people, & we even have a bit more space w/the 6.7. When our 2 boys were small, wasn't too bad (altho I had to post a no entrance sign when I was cooking or washing dishes. Once they hit the growth spurt age tho, we started feeling cramped & used a tent or back of car sleeping arrangement for them. That was ok by them cause they wanted "more privacy" by then anyway.

Hey, going back a bit. Loudruff (or anyone who might have an "original" manual. Is it possible for u to post a picture of the front of your manual. I am curious to see if it is the same as what was sent to us. I could try to post pic of our copied one, but it is not to clear as it is. I can say that it has a pic of a double axle Argosy on the front and is headed
1978 Argosy Owners Manual.

1 last thing, has anyone tried to repaint, refresh the metre # sign painted on the side of their rig? Our 6.7metre signage is looking kind of tired & I dont know exactly what to use to brighten, sharpen it up.

Thanks for all who are contributing.

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Old 10-09-2008, 03:40 PM   #30
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Minuet Side Decals

Greetings Leigh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78 View Post

1 last thing, has anyone tried to repaint, refresh the metre # sign painted on the side of their rig? Our 6.7metre signage is looking kind of tired & I dont know exactly what to use to brighten, sharpen it up.

Thanks for all who are contributing.
I have been looking into this situation locally. In speaking with a local sign shop, they suggested taping a ruler next to the current decal. With the ruler next to the decal, take a close-up digital photo. From the photo, the technician can identify the font and size, then you can pick the color that you want. With the choices made, heay duty vinyl decals can be created using the computer -- my contact tells me that they will be close to identical.

The second possibility, again, using the photo technique, would be to have a sign painter duplicate the decal in sign paint on the side of the coach.

Kevin
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:18 PM   #31
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Thanks again, Kevin~more good info for "all us" Mini owners

PS I was sorry to hear the rally reaction to you and your "painted AS" Never imagined there could be a, should I say it, bigotry issue w/AS's.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:12 PM   #32
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GetAttachment.aspx.jpeg

I wasn't sure how to make this picture show up as a part of the post like many do here, but thought I would add it in case other Argosy (mostly new) Owners want to see the original Owners Manual cover for 1978. I don't know how much it relates to prior Argosys, but I now know that it is the same as my copy which we bought several years ago (the front cover on our copy, which shows a double axle Argosy, pulled by a station wagon, w/a woman in front, is actually the second page of the original).

Lou and Larry (owners of a 6.7metre Minuet, like us) were nice enough to e-mail me the pic of their original front cover so I could compare it to what we have, & they filled me in on why my front was different than theirs. Up until now I was not sure I had the right manual or all of the Argosy manual pertaining to the Minuet.

I figured this would be a good place to post it for others.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:05 PM   #33
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Another Argonaut, a 7.3

Greetings,
We have a lovely 1979 24T 7.3 Minuet. Bought it one year ago, it grew up in Alabama. Really really nice exterior and the interior is looking forward to TLC. We aren't sure what we'll do with it, we have all the Airstream we need with our CCD 25. (sad isn't it, to have an Argosy feel unloved?) We bought it for the Africa trip and just won't need it.

We've kept it under cover and aired out. Makes a great place to entertain couples, with a couple candles, a couple bottles of wine, and a couple hours. We're going to start going through it later this month and seeing what we want to do with it. Probably sell it. It's too nice to keep without really using it the way it deserves. Has all the original appliance documentation, owner manual, original receipts, and all subsequent invoices.

Neat Argosy. Someone will surely want to adopt it and get wonderful use out of it. I wish we could -- it would be so cool to take it on weekend and weeklong trips to the beach or the mountains. It tows without any mirror extensions since it is the same width as the truck. And you can see all the way through it because the front glass isn't tinted. Neat to see night traffic coming up all the way through the windows. Gotta love it.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:36 PM   #34
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I forgot, all the Snow White pix are in my airforums photos album -- they're beeyootiful!
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #35
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DreamStreamr- just looked at your pics & your right, she's beautiful. I'm sorry that you might have to give her up. She's the 1st 7.3 to post here. Have you done any upgrades? If so, you can list them here & then if you decide to sell, maybe others will remember what they read & make the sale go faster. Are there any items that stand out in the larger Minuet that you might tell us about. Looks to have a separate bed area between the kit/dining & the bath. I remember when we first got our
"Moonunit" we were the 1st 6.7minuet to post & there were no 7.3's as members. Nice to see so many members interested in & using the Argosys. Thanks for adding yours!
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:08 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COArgosy78 View Post
Don Ambose, the factory tour guide, knows that lifting an Airstream or Argosy trailer by placing a jack on an "axle", can and will cause misalignment.

He also knows that lifting the trailer using the "axle mounting plate" is safe, secure, and cannot cause misalignment, PERIOD.
Have a question about the above which is on another post talking about jacking up AS trailers. Does anybody know or have you seen the "axle mounting plate" on your minuet? And, just to be sure, are they talking about using this plate if you are going to attach folding type jacks to your trailer (as opposed to those kind that can be slid under and then ratcheted up?
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:38 PM   #37
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79 Minuet 7.3 (24T)

Leigh and other Argonauts,
Our Minuet is pretty much original with few changes. Radio is missing but speakers are still extant. Roof locker doors were covered with a dumb contact paper which, fortunately, lost its adhesive and has almost all released so the original cute fabric inset covers show again. Fridge and rooftop A/C replaced and both working great. Original stove, oven, sink, tub, toilet. The coiling door (drat! forgot name for it) under the sink apparently died and some p.o. replaced with a pair of doors. Tracks are still there.

Front dinette, mid-twins beds, rear bath. Four burner stove over oven; two-bowl sink. New 30amp cord. New bearings and brakes 1.5 years ago. Full documentation including original owners manual and all receipts. Awning needs refurbish. Body is almost perfecto, paint seems original and tired. We've stored under shelter the past year.

Pictures are on this forum's gallery under dreamstreamr. Unit is in North Carolina 1/2 hour outside Charlotte, NC. Email me direct if interested, at dreamstreamr@gmail.com
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:49 AM   #38
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1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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JACKSON , Mississippi
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I have the same Minuet. My wheel covers are rusted and it cost a fortune to get re-chroming done. I happened on one of those guys who sells hubcaps...and he had a pair of new ones from China of course, but with polish to protect, they should last a while; cost only $15 each! They look exactly like the original ones.
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Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Leigh!

My minuet is a 1978 6.0 Metre and I am the second owner. It still has its original countertops, cabinets, refrigerator, furnace, water pump (rebuilt), and acrylic windows. Its axle has been replaced with a new one having 10% greater capacity. Mine was built at the Versailles, OH assembly plant in the early spring of '78 -- a special order for the first owner.


Since acquiring the coach, it has received the following:
  • New foam and upholstery, new draperies, floor covering, and credenza table by Fowler Interiors of Symsonia, KY.
  • New axle, toilet, air conditioner, bat wing antenna, Magnatec Converter, and water heater -- Ace Fogdall RV in Cedar Falls, IA.
  • Original Worthington LP Tanks recertified.
  • New Rockguard modified and installed by Ace Fogdall RV.
The only part that I am hoping to see available in reproduction form at this point are the ABS ARGOSY steel wheel center caps -- both of mine shattered and depositied themselves along I-57.

Kevin
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:41 AM   #39
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Calling on all Argosy Minuet Owners

Greetings Campman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by campman View Post
I have the same Minuet. My wheel covers are rusted and it cost a fortune to get re-chroming done. I happened on one of those guys who sells hubcaps...and he had a pair of new ones from China of course, but with polish to protect, they should last a while; cost only $15 each! They look exactly like the original ones.
I suspect what you have are likely the generic center cap replacements for Chevrolet/GMC trucks with styled steel wheels from the late 1970s (I believe that they are listed for 1978-1983(?). I have considered these without the center decals, and will probably order a set from JC Whitney before next camping season.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:31 PM   #40
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
Love It Here , Colorado
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Wondered if anyone saw my above earlier post re:the axle mounting plate on the Minuet? Is anyone familiar w/where it is? and just to be sure, do u use it when camping or just when storing? Thanks.
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