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Old 10-24-2016, 08:59 PM   #1
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Tough Times in JC

Worked for AS in 1972-1974 as their Nat'l Cost Accountant. Sales were doubling every 18 months and Argosy was taking off like a rocket. Then OPEC shut off the oil and everything went into a tailspin!

For three months during the oil embargo, not one AS was ordered and the dealers could not sell the ones they had. All the factory folks were laid off and we were bleeding red ink. Had it not been for Beatrice Foods checkbook, AS would have gone out of business. Beatrice told us to start looking at non-travel trailer products to make. We started to make bread trucks, cargo containers, go cart bodies, etc. but the margins weren't even close to making AS and all of those products already had market leaders. I could see no future there and left. The people were great and the trailers were second to none. Loved working there.

Thank God Thor picked them up in later years and look at them now!
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:04 PM   #2
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Tough Times in JC

Thx.

Streamline went under in the same period. Had factories in both SoCal and Indiana.

Then the market changed with de regulation of air travel circa 1978 and wives going to work.

Easier to fly and rent car. Families had less time off.

De regulation of trucking same time meant the Interstates began to get too crowded.

A premium purchase lost its natural market as the doctors lawyers and executive types (with the added impetus of divorce) were no longer buying these as they had before.

I remember my father and grandfather discussing a 1968 Trailer Life comparison article if the various brands. Rule of thumb was that they cost pretty well the same as the median new house.


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Old 10-24-2016, 09:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for your historical perspective........very enlightening!
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:15 PM   #4
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Thank you for posting this! This type of history is important to get documented. Any more memories?
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Old 10-25-2016, 05:51 AM   #5
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Good post, thanks. By the way I grew up in Kent.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:36 AM   #6
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Was hauling crude from Casper, wyo to Sinclair refinery at Sinclair, Wyo, near Rawlings, all tanks were full, gas and fuel, they supplied Denver and surrounding area, all tanks were full, at Calif coast tankers had to wait weeks to get unloaded as everything was full,anything to get the price up..this took place right before the 55 mph regulation came in.....
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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Oh - those were the days my friend we thought they'd never end (the news media sure made it seem so) but, alas they did. Now we are afloat in oil ...
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:26 PM   #8
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I got a question about Airstream being owned by Thor! Does this mean that if your a Thor Motorhome owner you can become part of the Airstream club, forums, and get your own red number? Just Curious!
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:34 PM   #9
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No it does not. WBCCI has voted on that issue and rejected it. You have to own an Airstream or Argosy branded product to be a member. Trailer, MH, Van, whatever. But the other Thor products are not included. WBCCI is not connected to Thor or to Airstream. It is an independent, self supporting, non profit corporation registered in Ohio.
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer56 View Post
I got a question about Airstream being owned by Thor! Does this mean that if your a Thor Motorhome owner you can become part of the Airstream club, forums, and get your own red number? Just Curious!
If by "Airstream club" you mean the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International), the answer is no, only brands that Wally Byam had something to do with. These include Airstream trailers (and later motor homes), Argosy trailers and motor homes, and--if you come across one--a Byam Holiday trailer.

Airforums, on the other hand, is unrelated to the Wally Byam Caravan Club and and anybody can join it.

By the way, regarding "Airstream being owned by Thor", originally Thor was Airstream. Beatrice Foods bought Airstream in 1970, and Airstream executives Wade Thompson and Peter Orthwien bought the company from Beatrice in 1980. (Hence the name Thor.) After Airstream became profitable again Thor started buying up other RV companies as they became available. But Airstream is still Thor's "flagship" brand.
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Old 10-25-2016, 09:57 PM   #11
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Very enlightening, subbing!
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:17 AM   #12
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Interesting now I know! I have both now and really like the slides my Thor has. Really opens up the room inside! I bought the Excella 280 as a project that I may never get back to. Thanks for the explaination!
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Old 11-01-2016, 01:02 PM   #13
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If someone who bought a $60k Airstream trailer in 2009 during the recession had bought Thor stock instead--the stock would be worth $2 million today! A 30+ bagger in 7 years!
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:51 AM   #14
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Thanks to all for the history, but especially to Carrma for his comment.
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