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Old 01-29-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
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Lever style door handle on 1969 Safari

Hey Guys...

I finally found a picture yesterday going through my Grandfather's old slides that shows in detail this elusive "lever" style outside door handle i was curious about on his '69 23' Safari.

The attached photo shows Gramp's Airstream in April 1970. He had taken it to the local dealer here in Detroit for some warranty repairs, and unfortunately, the first night there, it was broken into and vandalized by thieves, and they took EVERYTHING...including dishes, utensils, and the salt and pepper shakers!! (hence, you will notice in the pic, the taped up porthole window)

Anywhoo...I noticed in looking at this pic yesterday, that it does show in detail this ever elusive "lever" style door handle that i am curious about.

Can anyone tell me the story on these?? Gramp's 23' was a very early production '69, as he took delivery in 11/68. I cannot recall in the last few years, since i have really taken notice with Airstreams, neither at any shows, or rallies, online, ebay, or even down at Jackson Center....have i ever seen another example of this elusive door handle.

I distinctly remember it had "AIRSTREAM" cast right into the body of the lever, and was quite aesthetically pleasing to the eye.....much more so than the standard Bargman "knob" style we see so much of. (This must be the "wannabe" automotive designer coming out in me.... )

Can anyone shed some light on this mystery..... Why is this lever handle ever seen anymore??? Recalls?? Design flaws?? One-year "experimental" thing??? hmmm....

maybe now I'll find out....

Thanks again...

Scott
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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Lever hsndle lock

Among the things that came with my '69 Globetrotter when I bought it was a box of old door locks and parts. My AS seems to have a history of lost keys requiring lock replacement. Among the locks is a lever handled one which I assume was original on this '69. It does have "Airstream" cast into the lever and would appear to be identical to the one you talk about.
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
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Hmmm....thinking out loud???

Gee.....Interesting......

A box of spare parts !!....hmmm.....

Identical, eh??? Is this only the outside handle assy, or the whole thing, with the inside lever handle also???

Does it appear to be a "Bargman" lock assy, or labeled otherwise?? Curious...

Might you be convinced to possibly part with this animal, by chance??

Guess I am just thinking out loud here.....

Still quite curious as to why I never see them around ever.......

Thanks for your reply...

Scott
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)



When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander31
Hey Guys...


Can anyone shed some light on this mystery..... Why is this lever handle ever seen anymore??? Recalls?? Design flaws?? One-year "experimental" thing??? hmmm


Scott
Scott, I think this is an old Chesley lock and I have one on another SOB trailer with the original key. It still works good and locks with the key. It is close to a Bargman L-100 and L-200.
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:20 PM   #5
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Chesler Lock

Scott,
The lock I have says Airstream on the outer cast part. The key is stamped Chesler, A. Chesler Co. Inc Made in Hong Kong also; Woodmere, N Y
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commander31
Gee.....Interesting......

A box of spare parts !!....hmmm.....

Identical, eh??? Is this only the outside handle assy, or the whole thing, with the inside lever handle also???

Does it appear to be a "Bargman" lock assy, or labeled otherwise?? Curious...

Might you be convinced to possibly part with this animal, by chance??

Guess I am just thinking out loud here.....

Still quite curious as to why I never see them around ever.......

Thanks for your reply...

Scott
The original 1969 Airstream door lock was made by Chessler. It had a horizontal handle that had Airstreams name in it.

The basic quality of that lock left some room for improvement. A similair "T" handle lock was used on the 69 access doors.

The biggest problem was that since the handle stuck way out, they looked for anything and everything to grab on to and get ripped off the door.

As a result, Aistream went to the absolutely flush lock in 1970, mad by "KT."

Airstream has used flush locks ever since 1970.

Chessler went out of business 35 years ago or so. Therefore, no parts.

Chessler was not related to Bargman.

Andy
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Old 02-01-2007, 01:45 PM   #7
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Chesler Lock

Andy,
Can a Bargman L-100 or L-200 be used as a replacement for the Chesler lock assembly?
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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Andy,
Can a Bargman L-100 or L-200 be used as a replacement for the Chesler lock assembly?
A Bargman L-100 "Special" is the replacement.

The "special" has an extended yoke or striker bolt, that must be used because of the thickness of the cast door frame.

Andy
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