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Old 04-23-2003, 11:26 AM   #1
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Wilmington , Illinois
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Talking Our New Argosy!

We owned a pop-up camper and always joked that someday we would have an airsteam. Of course, this was just a dream. We laughed and joked we would put "Our Other Camper is an Airsteam" in vinyl on the bumper of our pop-up. But fate smiled at us this week; we found a 1979 Argosy Minuet that was in our price range! I have a few questions as I have had a hard time finding info on the internet. Does anyone know how much this cost when it was sold new? And the other question, our new to us Argosy is like a time capsule; walk in the front door and you feel like you're walking into 1979. Everything is original and everything is in really nice condition. Would it be horrible to redecorate despite the fact that it's not necessary? My husband seems to think that if we redecorate, it will be like the people on "Antique Roadshow" who ruin priceless antiques by refinishing them. Thanks for any help anyone can offer and can't wait to take my first camping trip!
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Old 04-23-2003, 11:34 AM   #2
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
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Congrats!

Congratulations on your new Argosy! Part of the appeal of Airstreams / Argosy's are that you can make what you want too out of them. The Argosy's are "not as collectable" as the Airstream's...... I say this lightly, as we have a 25 ft one of our own. Feel free to decorate... I'm still sewing our new seat covers, and have started to replace the overhead lights with Ikea halogens. It should be much more "mod" when I'm done.

I'm sure you'll find your new trailer much more comfy then the pop-up!
Marc
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Old 04-23-2003, 12:51 PM   #3
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Our New Argosy!

Greetings Tracy!

Welcome to the forum and the world of Vintage Argosy Minuet ownership. You have joined a fantastic group, and you will find that there are a number of Minuet owners participating in the forums. The Minuets represented range from the first year 1977s to what appears to be the final year for the series, 1979. Probably the most common size is the 6.0 metre 20 foot Minuet, followed by the 6.7 metre 22 foot Minuet, with seemingly the rarest being the 7.4 metre 24 foot. The 6.0 and 6.7 metre Minuets are single axle while the 7.4 metre is a tandem axle unit. The factor that really separates the Minuet from the balance of the line is its width - - it is 8" narrower than the standard Argosy/Airstream lines.

Regarding your question about making changes to your Minuet. There isn’t a strong consensus suggesting that originality is an overriding concern with the more recent vintages of Airstreams, and particularly with Argosys. With an Antique Airstream, originality would be somewhat more desirable, but most Argosy owners feel free to make changes to their coaches to reflect their tastes and travel requirements.

As an example, I am in the process of having the following changes and upgrades on my ’78 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre:

1. New appliances including water heater, Univolt, air conditioner, and likely a new furnaces as well.
2. New draperies throughout the coach.
3. New upholstery and foam for all seating/sleeping surfaces.
4. Refinishing interior domes (front and rear) to match balance of the original interior.
5. New Congoleum sheet vinyl flooring.
6. New reproduction of original Credenza Table in solid oak (my coach has the twin lounge configuration rather than the more typical dinette arrangement).
7. New stereo system (original 1978 unit that was removed from another unit under restoration - - the coach’s owner wanted a CD stereo rather than the 8-track).
8. New birch veneer Tambour material for cabinet doors (will be stained or pickled to resemble the original plastic laminate.
9. New television antenna with wiring for satellite system.
10. New Fantastic Vent fan to replace the original vent with fan.
11. New three-piece front window rock guard (will require modification to the center section to accommodate the narrower width of the Minuet).
12. New OPD valves and re-certification of the original 20 pound Worthington Aluminum LP tanks.
13. New LP Gas regulator and high pressure LP hoses.
14. New Good Year Marathon ST tires on original styled steel wheels, and new shock absorbers.

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 04-23-2003, 02:24 PM   #4
 
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Us too, like many, went from tent, to pop-up, to sleeping in a Toyota van (front seat , then mattress in back), to Airstream #1, to Airstream #2, to Airstream #3.
Even though our 1971 & 1974 are considered "vintage", we never bothered to try to restore them to their original glory.

If, like us and a lot of people, what you have in mind is getting a nice trailer to pull and camp (or live in), then it is a lot cheaper and easier to modify and especially upgrade anything you want.
If what you have in mind is sell it as a "restored antique", it's a different story.
Some people will go as far as using restored cars of the same period to pull it. Nothing wrong with that as long as the combination is safe.
Most people don't care to match trailer & vehicle on the criteria of "year" (we took home our 1990 TT with our 1990 van. A fluke !)

Just as Kevin said, go ahead. Start with important things like: Marathon tires, make sure your univolt won't cook your fuses & batteries, LPG pressure regulator in good shape. Maybe a better mattress than what AS provides too !
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Old 04-23-2003, 02:40 PM   #5
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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Thumbs up redecorating

Hi Tracy - Welcome!!!

Do you enjoy just going out and having a cup of coffee, tea, whatever in your new/old Argosy???!! My husband and I had the best time just sitting in our 22' Minuet after he brought it home. We have had ours since last Sept. and have done very little to change it yet (although we have spent much time debaiting and researching ideas).

Some things that will have to be changed in ours eventually are the gaucho cushions. The front looks good (altho faded) but the backs are shredding and the foam is starting to be badly exposed. Also, we are looking at new flooring. Probibly cork floor (suppose to wear well, be warmer to the touch than wood, lighter weight and cleaner than carpet).

We are taking our time and enjoying the process (plus, you will find that the money can start adding up!!), meanwhile we don't mind the 70's look - as that was when we were "born to be wild"!! Have a great time with your "new camp baby" and add some pictures here when possible. I think there is only 1 other 24' on the Argosy forums. Later, Leigh
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Old 04-23-2003, 03:03 PM   #6
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1968 17' Caravel
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Congrats on your find. I looked long and hard for a Minuet until fate intervened and I bought my Caravel. I thought the Minuets were really neat little trailers, very open and bright inside. You might consider, if the interior is really nice, doing things like slipcovers to modernize the cushions, or things like that that you can easily undo. I think although there's not much concern right now about originality, there will be in the future, and I'd hate to see you kicking yourself 10 years from now when everyone wants those wonderful orange countertops!

Have fun with your new toy!
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Old 04-23-2003, 05:17 PM   #7
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1975 31' Sovereign
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MY WIFE AND I BOUGHT OUR 1976 ARGOSY IN JULY 02 IT WAS KEPT IN STORAGE FOR MANY YEARS. IT IS ALL ORIGIONAL AND VERY CLEAN. WE FEEL IF WE MAKE ANY CHANGES OTHER THAN MINOR ONES LIKE NEW DRAPES, TIRES AND MAYBE CUSHIONS WE WOULD DEVALUE THE COACH. WE LOVE IT JUST THE WAY IT IS. SO HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW TOY.

GOOD LUCK
BILLY
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Old 04-23-2003, 07:39 PM   #8
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
schaumburg , confusion
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Thumbs up

I just bought my 6 meter 1977 Minute in Febuary. I will leave it a lone for this year besides that I will have it painted in a couple of weeks. Mine is still in very good condition but I will change a few things on it. If it is still is in good condition I would leave for now and have fun with it.

I called Airstream and they looked up the price for me. In 1977 it sold for $6500

I hope this helps

Chris
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:16 PM   #9
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Our New Argosy!

Greetings Tracy!

Was just re-reading the posts and noticed that you are located in one of Chicago's suburbs. You are in close proximity to the Forum Midwest Rally that will be taking place June 6-8 at Morraine View State Park, LeRoy, IL (near Bloomington, IL). Follow the link below for more information:

Midwest Forums Rally

The Rally site is approximately 3-hours South and West of Kankakee utilzing I-57 and I-74 (assuming 55 MPH speed limit for RVs). If you find that you can join us, there will likely be at least one other Argosy Minuet and possibly two - - I am not certain whether the interior restoration/refurbishment will be finished on my Minuet in time so I might be in my '64 Overlander - - either way I am tentatively planning to tow with my '75 Cadillac.

Kevin

Just looked at your profile and see that your Minuet is a 24' (7.3 Metre) coach. This seems to be the rarest of the Minuets, and to my knowledge, there is only one other represented among forum members. You may have one of the more unusual Argosy coaches out there.
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:14 PM   #10
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
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Our New Argosy!

Greetings Tracy!

I may slightly revise my original advice that modification wouldn't pose a value issue with your Minuet. If what you have is a 7.3 Metre Minuet, you have something that is seemingly comparatively rare. While I have not seen production figures, there is only one other 7.3 Metre Minuet that I am aware of among current forum members. In all of my travels to WBCCI Rallys, International Rallys, and Vintage Airstream Club activities I have yet to run across a single representative of the 7.3 Metre Minuets. You may just have found a gem!

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 04-25-2003, 06:42 AM   #11
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Wilmington , Illinois
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Talking She's Home!

Thanks to all for your responses to our new Argosy! All of your advice is very helpful and appreciated!

We picked her up yesterday and brought her home. As if getting our "dream" camper isn't enough excitement for the week - you can only imagine how thrilling to find out that what we have may be rare? Wow - I feel as if we've won the lotto! I think I've been grinning from ear to ear. Could it be possible that if I keep making this face it will stick? Hmmm......

Hubby said she towed home like a dream with our Chevy Astro. Helped that the previous owners added sway bars and a fancy hitch.

I'll attempt getting some photos loaded sometime today. I'm not exactly sure what motifications have been made to this trailer. I don't think very many. There is new carpet. There is a window air conditioner (easily removed). Trailer still has original paint job (looks great) and the original striping is there.......but painted over with colors that match the previous owner's car. As luck would have it, it also matches my van. The family we bought it from took wonderful care of it. The upholstery is original and they even had all of the brown plastic storage bins in the cabinets, all of the original curtains (they could use some help) , owners manuals and advertisements, and the original propane tanks. The countertops are woodgrain - I'm not sure if these are original or not (didn't think to ask). That color isn't shown in the brochures but the upholstery in this trailer isn't shown in the brochures either and I know that's original. There is also a tiny upper bunk in the back - possilby a modification? He (the man we bought it from) was the son of the second owner and knew a lot of the history of the trailer right down to the specifications of the original buyers custom order. He was a really nice guy and seemed very thrilled that we were so happy to get it.

I've put any redecorating ideas on hold for a while based on everyone's posts. We're going to camp in 1979 for a while and that's just fine by all of us. That's not to say we will not change our minds. I may decide to make covers for everything that can be removed (as suggested).

Thanks again to everyone! I will keep you updated on our camper and post some photos asap.

Tracy
Proud owner of a new to us
1979 Argosy Minuet 24"
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Old 04-25-2003, 07:05 AM   #12
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It sounds wonderful! How neat to get such a rare trailer in such good shape. As for the bunk, I'm sure others can tell you better than I can, but in my 1968 owners manual, it says bunks can be added to any trailer at the owners request. If I read it right, you could even take your trailer back to the dealer and add a bunk for your expanding family.

Enjoy your new treasure!
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Old 04-25-2003, 02:30 PM   #13
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1978 Argosy Minuet 6.7 Metre
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original prices

Hello everyone - I just got a return call from the AS tech at AS. While I had him on the phone I also asked about the original price of the Argosys in 1978. He could not find anything that said these prices related specifically to the Minuets, so guess we will have to take them with a grain of salt:

20' Argosy - $6525.
22' Argosy - $7350.
24' Argosy - $8695.
27' Argosy - $10,190.

I show in my Owners Manual that all the specs relating to the 20 and 22 ft, models are called "Minuet". Everything else is referred to as a standard Argosy. We know that there are 24' Minuets, so not sure why my manual doesn't list (not made in 78?). Anyway, hope you find this of interest. Later, Leigh

PS: Forgot to relate that those prices reflect no options on the trailers.
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Old 04-25-2003, 03:34 PM   #14
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
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value

Wow! My 75 Argosy isn't even listed (25 ft). It must be SUPER rare! I think they must of stopped this model in 1976, or 77, as I've seen others like ours out there. What impresses me though, is the holding power of their value. I'll assume that with decreased length and inflation, that the new price of our 25 footer was around $7700 - $8000. Almost 30 years later, it's still holding over half it's value in non-restored shape. I know of no other RV brand that would do that (well, other than Airstreams!).
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