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Old 08-23-2015, 06:04 PM   #1
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Retro is the new in thing.

I wonder in this day and age of trying to come up with a different product that set yours apart from the next guy, if T.H.O.R has thought of bringing back the Classic so to speak. What I mean is, everyone has an Interstate that's blinged out.

I have had many soft and a couple hard offers for my 83 turbo diesel 310. The last one being from a Quebec couple that had once owned a 43' Newmar Mountainaire with all the bling you could imagine in a big rig. They had sold it due to expensive maintenance, difficulty getting into any National or Provincial parks and in his words "tres complex".

The loss they took on the deal was four times the initial purchase cost of my coach (and I paid too much).

The comments once inside our 310 were incredulous and very complimentary. The both of them loved the convertible lounge and the layout. Yes, the bathroom could be bigger but overall, they felt the space was perfect for them.

Ford has gone aluminum, Airstream still has expertise in aluminum, people have money and a desire to own a well built quality diesel powered Airstream that is a Class A aluminum coach.

Yes, we have come along way since 96, in manufacturing with aluminum and robotics; so it would only stand to reason we could built it better, faster and cheaper than they did back in 95-96.

What chassis, power plant, transmission, length, layout would you suggest THOR consider?
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:29 PM   #2
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Mitsubishi Fuso Canter F130 for a 20ft rear twin, FE160 for a 26ft (twin or rear queen), FE180 for a 32ft (twin or rear queen).

Modular layout (adding 6ft = + lounge or + extra twin).

They are cab-overs so just a case of tipping the cab forward, unbolting and away you go.

I guess on a related subject why not a true 'restomod' using old classic bodies (kinda like Singer are doing with Porsche 911)?
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Mitsubishi Fuso Canter F130 for a 20ft rear twin, FE160 for a 26ft (twin or rear queen), FE180 for a 32ft (twin or rear queen).

Modular layout (adding 6ft = + lounge or + extra twin).

They are cab-overs so just a case of tipping the cab forward, unbolting and away you go.

I guess on a related subject why not a true 'restomod' using old classic bodies (kinda like Singer are doing with Porsche 911)?
James May of Top Gear described the Singer 911 as a love letter to a car. What Singer is doing to 911 is jewel like, an absolutely insane attention to detail, but at what cost. A Singer 911 is $500,000.00, and worth every penny if you're a 911 aficionado.

I was thinking of a modern interpretation of the Classic monocoque structure that would be more affordable, durable, functional, easier to use and maintain than the traditional Class A.

I like the Fuso/Isuzu Cantor/W series idea (especially 4wd versions) and a possible modular building system but the suspension system would have to be tossed. I once entertained the thought of buying a GMC/Isuzu W550 crew cab chassis and mounting a trailer body behind it but the thought of travelling across the country in a landscaping truck wasn't my wife's idea of a great trip.

The Fuso or Isuzu 4 cylinder diesels are a great start, both motors have a 500,000 mile BAC number.

Is Martin onto something when the length is limited to a maximum of say 32'.

How about a possible CVT transmission?

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-23-2015, 07:30 PM   #4
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I just happened to go back to the Classic forum and there's a guy in Switzerland looking for just what we're designing. He wants a Classic with a turbo diesel and a modern interior.

I have no doubt he would buy mine in a heart beat for big bucks; what a pity I'm not selling it.

If there was the option to buy a brand new Classic with a modern interior, engine, transmission and chassis....he would buy it.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:05 AM   #5
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To be honest if a new Classic was available, I wouldn't have 'wasted' my money on Bella (I say wasted because that is money I will never see again, not that I'm not happy with the result).

Even if I could have dropped Bella's body on a modern chassis at the start of the rebuild I would have, but because we are exporting to Europe in the future an old body on a new chassis = new vehicle, I would have to follow current legislation with regard things like emissions, crash test rating, and general 'type' testing. So any chassis change has to come later.

But maybe that is the stumbling block for THOR - its not whether they can build a new Classic, it is whether they could be approval to sell (not just US but worldwide)????
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:53 AM   #6
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If they built a new classic it would be well beyond my price range and I would have to wait 20 years before I could afford a used one. ...
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:18 AM   #7
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Maybe that is another problem....who would by a new Classic? Folks that currently buy a new AI?

Personally I think Airstream killed the idea of a new Classic when they went the B-van route, unless they stop making those or try and create a new high end market sector above the B-vans.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:34 PM   #8
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Just to keep the juices flowing......

A couple of these chassis's are front engine diesels, small enough to build a great Classic.

Martin's idea of just transplanting a new frame underneath would be tempting if my engine completely blew up.

Freightliner Motorhome Chassis ? RV Chassis

The specs on Fred would make any Classic owner drool...

http://freightlinerchassis.com/docum...3759000000.pdf

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-24-2015, 04:19 PM   #9
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Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1440454705.692288.jpg
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ID:	246246

Have you fellas ever run across this concept drawing?


Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:05 PM   #10
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Attachment 246246

Have you fellas ever run across this concept drawing?


Sent from my iPad using Airstream Forums
Thar you go Mike! That be what we want!

Maybe a panoramic window at the back, on a FRED chassis with the 340hp 660 ftlbs Cummins and an air ride suspension.

Just try and tell me that no one would recognize this as anything but an Airstream.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:37 PM   #11
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I was just in the process of writing....."whot no panos!"
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:43 PM   #12
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I totally agree Tony
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:46 AM   #13
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Not sure if they are available in the US, but in Europe they have launched a hybrid 7.5t Canter.....just saying

Eco Hybrid

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Old 08-25-2015, 06:55 AM   #14
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Hi, I would consider one if built on a Ford F-550 chassis.
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