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Old 05-04-2005, 09:17 AM   #1
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Thumbs down Vintage Parts Replicated

Our local community college is interested in reproducing obsolete Airstream parts. I have a call in to Airstream as well as Andy at Inland RV to see if some kind of arrangement can be worked out. The college students are in the Industrial Engineering degree programs and are interested in replicating obsolete parts from existing parts and blueprints, etc. The college may also be interested in replicating old electronic control panels, etc. I'll have to check and see if the electrical engineering or electronics students might be interested in repairing them, as well. The college would like to make this a student run venture that enables the students to generate an income to cover the cost of operating the 'business'. So is anyone out there interested in having obsolete parts fabricated? I am hoping that Airstream will not think it a conflict of interest or something along that line.I am also hoping that Andy might be interested as well. Who knows? Maybe the students can reproduce the parts and Andy can sell them! This would be a great way to have those otherwise non-existant parts reproduced for the vintage trailers and motorhomes. The students should be able to reproduce just about anything with their state of the art machine shop. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Tom
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
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Tom -
This is a great idea! I don't see how Airstream would have an issue with it if the parts are no longer manufactured. There is a demand for the parts and they no longer make them.

The students will learn invaluable insight to running a business and creating products in a low run operation. Tough to teach that from a textbook.

FF
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:07 AM   #3
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The first lesson they should learn is not to get to closely locked up with a single distributor. You should include Vintage RV Enterprises (airstreamdreams.com) and maybe a few other distributors like Oasis.
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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The first lesson they should learn is not to get to closely locked up with a single distributor. You should include Vintage RV Enterprises (airstreamdreams.com) and maybe a few other distributors like Oasis.
I hope not, but I fear the first lesson they learn may be that any company does not look kindly upon someone producing items they hold patents on, even if the items haven't been produced in decades. The second lesson they may learn is the amount of $$$ that licensing those items may cost...
I hope that is not the case, and I am just being cynical, time will tell.
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:09 AM   #5
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I hope it goes better than the decal thingy went,"trademark infringment"Good luck to them,
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:20 AM   #6
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Notice that since the decal thread was nonceremoniously scrubbed and exterminated from the forum, that NOT ONE WORD has been forthcoming about the decal debacle?
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:22 PM   #7
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Patents don't live forever...

Just to respond to Argosy20's point, patents only have a life of 17 to 19 years, and when they expire anyone can use the design and make the product or part...

There is reluctance by manufacturers in a number of industries to permit newcomers to make new parts using the designers old drawings, but more for fear of designer being held liable for design or manufacturing defects... This can be cured if new manufacturer clearly distinguishes their product from brand and original manufacturer sourcing.

THis is theory Piper is using to try (unsuccessfully) to keep small companies from building new clones of Piper Cub airplanes, designed in 1936. It is also an issue with "Counterfeit parts", where unauthorized supplierrrs sell fake parts of low quality and represent them as originals...

John McG
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Old 05-04-2005, 04:32 PM   #8
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I agree with the previous poster. I'd certainly contact Airstreamdreams. They have duplicated at least one or more parts already and they have a good reputation for quality & customer service.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:59 PM   #9
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TMiller:
Great idea. One item I'd like to see reproduced are the original style 'stinkpipe' and plumbing vent covers- the round plasticy ones that appear to be vacuum formed for the pre-70's trailers.
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:12 PM   #10
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How about producing 1959 door handles. There aren't any aftermarket one's available. Maybe interior light fixtures. Just the metal part.
I'm sure if they contacted any of the vintage parts places, the "expert's" could tell them which parts are needed the most.

Paul
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:18 PM   #11
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Actually, it shoudn't be that difficult! In the car market, aftermarket parts are very commonplace, after all.

Lynn
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:40 AM   #12
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I agree with the previous poster. I'd certainly contact Airstreamdreams. They have duplicated at least one or more parts already and they have a good reputation for quality & customer service.
Airstreamdreams ROCKS!
My brother has ordered from them and they will find ANY answer for you whether you buy from them or not!
REALLY nice people!
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:07 AM   #13
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Actually, it shoudn't be that difficult! In the car market, aftermarket parts are very commonplace, after all.

Lynn
Lynn, auto parts are only made available by the aftermarket after a particular part has been produced by an auto manufacturer for 10 years, unless the auto manufacturer releases the patent before then. If the aftermarket people think there is enough market for an item, they may develop a similar part on their own, with the dimensions very, very close, but not dead on. This difference keeps them out of court for patent infringement. The down side to this is, the parts are slightly different, and the installer may have to get creative to put them on your car.
When you produce the exact same item, with all the dimensions exactly the same, is when you get into trouble with the legal eagles.
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Old 05-05-2005, 09:15 AM   #14
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Stink Pipe Covers

Murray,

I think I read your mind. We'll have the plastic plumbing stack covers ready to go in a couple weeks.

Steve Hingtgen
AirstreamDreams.com
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