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Old 02-01-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
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New factory built '59 Airstream?

A salesman from Hehr Windows came in today to look at the trailer and give me an estimate on replacement parts. He said that the Airstream factory is building two new "vintage" trailers. Something like a '59 or '60 from scratch. Has anybody else heard this or is it just the result of some over-active wishful thinking?
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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i guess the bigger question is Hehr windows making repo's of their old windows? Wouldn't be too hard for the factory to make a "new" old trailer, as long as those windows are availalble.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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Sounds fishy to me... if done authentically, a trailer from that era would obviously require building all new 7-panel endcap tool and dies (or locating the originals, if they still exist) as well as reverting back to older dimensions (heights, widths, etc).

Why reinvent the wheel by "building from scratch" when there are plenty of 59-60's out there to refurbish? And if Airstream would put that kind of expense and time into building TWO one-off trailers??? Well, that would certainly make me question their business sense for such limited nostalgia.

Still.. a neat idea. I like the idea of a widely available, limited ed. 13 panel trailer... new from the factory. Could be really nifty, though it would never outshine the quality than people like Winick, Uwe, Frank, Timeless and others can turn out in their shops.

I'd also seriously question whether or not a 50's trailer would be legally roadworthy to build new - headroom, lighting locations, little stuff the DMV requires. Restoring an old one sidesteps all that, being that it's more or less grandfathered in... by virtue of being built by our grandfathers.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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Argosy - According to the salesman, they are not making repro's of their old windows. He suggested that I look for replacement parts from a company company in VT. I had to laugh. Most of my income has been diverted to VTS over the past few months.

Bredlo - I had a sneaking suspicion he didn't know what he was talking about, although buying a brand new "vintage" trailer certainly has its appeal. No more finding dead things in the walls or belly pan!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #5
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Bredlo - I had a sneaking suspicion he didn't know what he was talking about, although buying a brand new "vintage" trailer certainly has its appeal. No more finding dead things in the walls or belly pan!
Yeah, but aren't the dead things part of the appeal? Bragging rights? "I had twelve dead things!" "So? I had fourteen dead things and four partials!" And then there are the gruesome photos!!

Seriously, a "brand-new vintage trailer" is an oxymoron; and I love the idea that PO families have laughed and loved between these walls. I am just adding my life to those already built up in my vintage A/S. I wish these walls could talk...well, not about ME of course, just all the OTHER owners!

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Old 02-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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The idea is not unprecedented however. I believe that Ford Motor Company built 4 Model T's to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2008. As I recall, they found it hard to cast the engine blocks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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I seem to remember that they built more than four. Ford had one at the Fabulous Fords show at Knotts in 2008. They said that the new cars were identical to the original and all parts would interchange with the 1908 cars.

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The idea is not unprecedented however. I believe that Ford Motor Company built 4 Model T's to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2008. As I recall, they found it hard to cast the engine blocks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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Hold on cowboy, it could be true!

If one remembers in another thread the interview with the CEO of Airstream he said "the RV biz needs to go on a diet" the weight of the trailers are starting to be to much for many of the cars and light trucks coming down the path trying to meet mileage standard set by your boys in Washington DC.

So think about it. A 30' trailer from 1959-1960 is about 1/2 the weight of todays same size trailers. You got to start somewhere with research and dev. Why re-invent the trailer if you can just bring out the old drawing board.

Enjoy,
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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Thanks for saying that Paul! I find myself wanting to rebuild a 30 footer so I can keep the weight down!
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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I want to know if they come with the original Lifetime Warranty?
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:46 PM   #11
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Yeah, but aren't the dead things part of the appeal? Bragging rights? "I had twelve dead things!" "So? I had fourteen dead things and four partials!" And then there are the gruesome photos!!
Haha thanks for the laugh Landshark! Maybe I will have my dead things stuffed and mounted in my trailer.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:21 AM   #12
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Another thought: Airstream occasionally buys old trailers and restores them; there was a 70s-era 23' (or thereabouts) when we were there that was completely new inside. It's possible Airstream is doing this with other trailers, and the person was simply confused.
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