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Old 06-07-2006, 05:57 AM   #1
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Would Torpedo Qualify for WBCCI Membership

In the past I have seen artciles on the original 1930s torpedos and recently saw one in the Blue Beret. The question I have is, if someone was to build a replica using the original plans by Wally Byam, would the Torpedo be eligable for WBCCI membership? It would be an "Original" Airstream after all?

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Doug
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:05 AM   #2
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Well, let me put it this way:

When the Argosy line was introduced, it's my understanding that WBCCI didn't want them included.

Not sure on the MOHOs, but the new Basecamp also seems to have the same warm reception as the Argosy did. In the end who knows what they'll do with that.

WBCCI has been fickle about what they let in. One thing is for sure, if they didn't, Tin Can Tourists would.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:22 AM   #3
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The 1935 Torpedo built from Wally's plans by Dr. H. has been a member for many years. It typically shows up for the Internationals (brought by his son) and always makes a big show. Sometimes leads the Vintage Airstream Caravan as it enters the big rally. It was modified years ago by adding a covering of Aluminum sheet over the original Masenite that was the original clading material. Non-Wally torpedoes would most likely be accepted. One showed up at Lansing several years ago. He was hoping to sell it but found no buyers and did not try to enter the rally grounds.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:19 AM   #4
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Interesting question about building your own Airsteam... So many Airstreams are rebuilt or modified. Just what "piece" of it's structure or heritage is the qualifier? The skin, the badge, the design?

I read on the Buzz at Airstream.com that in July the basecamp will have it's own website.

Here's a few pictures for the thread of the Torpedo taken at Lansing International 2004.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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The WBCCI Constitution says members may be "An adult who owns a fully self contained and hard sided recreational vehicle manufac­tured by Airstream, Inc. shall be eligible for membership. Adult owners of units manufactured by Aristream, Inc. prior to 1975 shall also be eligible. (6/30/05)"

The Base Camp is up for a vote because it is not fully self contained. There might be a question about home-built vs manufactured but I haven't seen that debated anywhere.

The issue is really about what sets WBCCI apart or makes it different from other RV organizations like Good Sams. As you can see here, it doesn't take much to get into a discussion with a rather unpleasant tone on this topic.

There are a lot of strong feelings whose basis is not well identified here.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:59 AM   #6
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Additionally, there are a lot of feelings at the local level too.

As an example, I heard one office of a local club wants to let SOB class "A" in now that Airstream is walking away from them.

So it seems to be an issue that goes at several levels and although the International may allow it, there are very picky local groups as described above.

Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:03 AM   #7
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The proof is in the masonite ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
... There might be a question about home-built vs manufactured but I haven't seen that debated anywhere.
The question is not debated because it has arisen only once, long long ago. But the proof is in the masonite. Dr. Holman's 1935 Airstream Torpedo was home-built from plans (not a kit), and that trailer was and remains the basis for the WBCCI membership #1935 of both Drs. Holman Sr. and Jr. Their WBCCI membership sets a strong precedent for interpreting the written membership qualifications to allow another home built Torpedo as qualifying its owner for WBCCI membership, assuming the owner does not already own a qualifying Airstream product. Although the general membership qualification provision was not necessarily written with home built Airstreams in mind, likely due to their rarity, it can be interpreted as a matter of policy to cover these rare and unusual situations. My aluminum ball has not recently been polished, and the grey oxidation makes it difficult to peer into the future. But I hope, and think, the Club would open the door to a second home built Torpedo should one appear at its threshold.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Not sure on the MOHOs, but the new Basecamp also seems to have the same warm reception as the Argosy did. In the end who knows what they'll do with that.
I don't think that's necessarily true. Our unit just voted on the Basecamp question, along with the name change. Our members voted overwhelmingly in favor of welcoming the new Basecamp.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:20 PM   #9
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That's where it gets tricky. When you talk to unit by unit. Of course after the national by-laws are passed it doesn't matter what the locals thing, per se, however, as we all know, people are people and just because it may be allowed in the future (basecamp) doesn't mean that folks won't crank up the snob volume control in some units. Just the way some locals work.

Personally, I think anything associated with Airstream should be allowed (basecamps, torpedos, Argosies, etc, without bias, but that's just my opinion from one of those people whose basis is not defined here.
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Additionally, there are a lot of feelings at the local level too.
Dam' but it gets hard to say anything when words don't count - or count for more than they actually say! That's two posts just following mine that didn't seem to catch what I thought I said.

The famous quote is that "all politics is local" and that applies to the WBCCI as well. It is what the voting members think in the aggregate that is expressed in the larger group. But it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease and that is why passionate minorities cannot be ignored.

Now we also have the criteria that provide a special identity for a group being equated with "snob volume" to illustrate why it is so difficult to address the issues involved in who WBCCI should accept as a member. If snobbishness is the only reason to limit membership then you get into an educational issue before you can even begin to approach the membership issue.

Perhaps we should say a family is snobbish because they don't allow anyone on the street to just walk in and join them for dinner? I think there are other factors involved.

It isn't such a clear cut case with WBCCI membership requirements but it is very similar in nature. Just who should be accepted and why? Why should they join WBCCI versus some other club? What are the implications of ignoring membership standards? What are the implications of enforcing them? When should exceptions be made and for what reason?

Then again, why join a club at all? Why not just show up at Caravans, Rallies, and meetings and say what you think and have a good time? What is an organization needed for anyway? We can have people join these forums who don't own an Airstream or have any interest in them, but why should they? Why do these forums need an administrator, a domain name registrant, discussion moderators, and so on? Why can't WBCCI be organized like these forums with similar membership requiements?

Fred hit the point that, while not widely argued, precedent has its say, too. The fact that WBCCI has made significant allowances in its membership is a good indication on the one hand that it is open and friendly. On the other is the problem that stimulated the founding of the VAC and Classic groups.

So we get questions about whether the home built Torpedo would qualify. The fact that the answer isn't all that cut and dried says a lot. Good case of where words aren't there but the meaning comes out anyway by what isn't said. Good reason for more discussion!
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:29 PM   #11
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The qualifications for membership are "An adult who owns a fully self contained and hard sided recreational vehicle manufac­tured by Airstream, Inc. shall be eligible for membership. Adult owners of units manufactured by Aristream, Inc. prior to 1975 shall also be eligible. (6/30/05)"

Clearly Dr. Holman Jr. does not meet that criteria (in that the unit was (home built) rather than manufactured by Airstream. The club leadership is flexible enough to recognize the historic nature of the unit and therefore allow continuing membership. Wish we could find another one out there someplace so the club would have a pair. The TAB looks alot like it but is not qualified for membership. The Base camp will likely be voted in but the people in target market for this product is not likely to join a club like WBCCI. If some did, I am sure they would be welcomed by most locals.
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:06 PM   #12
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Torpedo

So I guess that if I went ahead and built a replica of Dr. Holms torepedo using a set of original Wally plans I could call it an airstream.

Assuming that, anyone who builds one of these could potentially challenge entry into the WBCCI even if they did not purchase an Airstream corporate product.

Sounds like a minor loophole for some fun discussion!
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #13
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I think, if you build it, they will come.

Wouldn't it be a fun seminar to get plans and start a group for building your own, or as I just read in an RV book last night, "Rolling your own."
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy_hollow
So I guess that if I went ahead and built a replica of Dr. Holms torepedo using a set of original Wally plans I could call it an airstream.
The problem here is that the original Torpedo was built from plans bought from Wally Byam and thats hard to do now.
An original set of plans would probably be worth more then the trailer since non have been found.
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