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-   -   Streamlined Airstream (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f160/streamlined-airstream-45199.html)

bkahler 09-16-2008 10:13 PM

Streamlined Airstream
 
4 Attachment(s)
As I was heading to my car this evening after work I noticed something in the parking lot I hadn't seen before. I'm wondering how many of you can guess what it is. Needless to say I high tailed it home to get my camera, came back and took a bunch of pictures.

Attachment 67521Attachment 67522Attachment 67523Attachment 67524

I left a note on the windshield for the owner and surprisingly he called me a little while ago and we had a nice chat. I'm having dinner with him tomorrow after work and will provide more details then :D.

Brad

94Tri 09-16-2008 10:27 PM

That's a "sporty" looking outfit. Let us know what you find out.

azflycaster 09-17-2008 12:10 AM

Might be a modified Argosy MH...

2airishuman 09-17-2008 12:22 AM

looks like a 74-76, 20 ft argosy, with the smaller tires and a 350? perhaps....

they have modified the entry door with a window, and of course the box and tail fin, aft.

the rear wheel well skirts and bulging front wheel wells with 'venting' are add ons too...

but the rearview mirrors are originals, it would look better with the elecric heated newer mirrors.

of course the 'a/s badging is the easiest alteration...

action paint stripes look ok, IF the photos color is correct they've painted the whole thing a more whitish/putty color.

the rear box may house a genset, circus arcade booth, mushroom farm or meth lab...

cheer
2air'

bkahler 09-17-2008 08:13 AM

Yes, it is a 74 Argosy. The fact that it was an Argosy became pretty apparent to me yesterday when I got up close to look at it. He's done some interesting cosmetic and mechanical mods to the motorhome. I'm sure our dinner conversation is going to be rather interesting because he tows an Ambassador 28' trailer that he's converted into a hauler for his dune buggy and other toys. I had to laugh when I heard that because that's exactly what we're going to be using ours for. We have an 1974 Excella 500 that is gutted and being converted to a 2 car race car hauler. Small world.

More later.........

Brad

1953 Flying 09-17-2008 10:02 AM

I like it......

NoMoSOBs 09-17-2008 11:11 PM

Sweet. If he painted the trailer the same way it would look like a monorail cruising down the road. :)

bkahler 09-17-2008 11:45 PM

3 Attachment(s)
I had a pleasant and enlightening talk with David this evening over dinner. All the modifications he pretty much did himself. The engine has been throughly gone through and the body was modified as shown in the pictures for better aerodynamics. He said the aerodynamic changes allows him to get around 12 mpg around town. I assume around town to David means cruising the freeways in the L.A. area.

Here are a few more pictures of the left side of Argosy and the instrument cluster. David made the entire dash himself.

In another post I'll try and detail all of the changes he made to the engine, dash and body. I'm still trying to absorb it all :D.

He says he can easily tow his 28 Ambassador trailer loaded with the dune buggy and all his gear at 70 mph climbing the grades leading out of the L.A. basin. When he is towing his usual load at 70 mph (3500 rpm) the mileage will drop to about 8 mpg. I can only imagine what kind of mileage he would get if he towed at 60 mph like I do :eek: :D.

Attachment 67622 Attachment 67623Attachment 67624

overlander63 09-18-2008 05:58 AM

So, did you invite him to the forums?:innocent: I know pictures don't show everything, but is it as cleanly done in person as it looks?

bkahler 09-18-2008 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by overlander63 (Post 617818)
So, did you invite him to the forums?:innocent: I know pictures don't show everything, but is it as cleanly done in person as it looks?

When I mentioned to David that I had posted some pictures on an forum for Airstreams he said "you mean AirstreamForums?". So he is aware of this site but I don't think he's visited for a while.

When I first noticed the Motorhome and started walking towards it I wasn't sure what it was. As I got closer I could see the obvious lines of an Argosy but there was enough stuff changed or modified that I wasn't sure what to make of it. Upon closer look I was thinking it might possibly be a product of the commercial division. All of the lines and the moldings are done extremely well. Everything blends in as it should and the lines flow well together. I was talking to Susan on the phone while I was looking at it and told her my inital reaction was it might be an Airstream factory job.

Bottom line is I'm impressed with his modeling skills. Which only makes since because what he does for a living is models full sized concept cars for manufacturers. He says he REALLY enjoys his job, heck who wouldn't enjoy doing something like that for a living :D.

More to come......

Brad

bkahler 09-19-2008 01:21 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Here is a list of modifications and upgrades that David has made to the Argosy. I'm sure there are a lot more I don't know about yet and I hope to meet with him a time or two yet. He told me the HP and Torque numbers but I forgot them. He did say that while towing his loaded trailer he walks right by the diesel dually pickups pulling loads up the hills around Southern California.

Engine & Engine compartment
Batteries relocated to the right lower front fender area (see attached pic)
Headers with thermocouples for monitoring temperature (see attached pic)
Small "peanut exhaust" heads
Largest oil filter he can find and then wraps it in reflective heat shield tape
Two (2) transmission coolers that are stacked with a puller fan right side of grille (see attached pic)
The original transmission cooler is no longer in front of the radiator (see attached pic)
One engine oil cooler with puller fan on left side of grille (see attached pic)
Both engine and transmission coolers have thermostats installed
Water spray system to spray mist on the radiators and coolers when towing through the desert manually controlled from the dash
All of the extra holes in the front grille are were added (or removed?!) to allow for more cooling air flow
The mechanical fan & clutch are still installed
Large pusher cooling fan on the front of the condenser & radiator
Performer Intake manifold
Hi performance RV towing cam
Hi performance valve springs
5-angle grind on the valves
All gaskets were port matched
800 CFM Quadrajet carburetor (might switch to 650 CFM for even more torque)
MSD with knock sensor and advance/retard control with rpm limit control

Dash Instruments
Fuel gauge
Tachometer
Speedometer
Oil temp gauge
Water temp gauge
Transmission temp gauge
Vacuum gauge
Voltmeter
Air/Fuel ratio indicator
Knock sensor

The engine and transmission temperature gauges can be switch to both read the same sensor to verify gauge functionality.
He indicated to me the Argosy brakes are no where near adequate to stop the Motorhome when he is towing so the trailer brakes have to be in good working order. :)

He has also installed front and rear air bags for better ride and control. There was a large fuel tank added to the rear of the motorhome in the extension pos that he added to the back.



redstart 09-20-2008 10:07 AM

so how much can you tow with an argosy moho? without all those modifications?
just thinking it would be a great way to travel with the mother-in-law, tow an extra trailer for her!:)

Andrew T 09-20-2008 04:12 PM

Streamlined Airstream
 
1 Attachment(s)
It is funny you mention the Mother In Law unit.
When we went to PEI this summer we were taking my Mother and our teenage daughters which seemed a little much for two weeks.
So we towed with a Sprinter Van Conversion for the girls to stay in.
Not my first choice of tow vehicle but on this trip the liveability advantages outweighed the fun of driving and it worked out well.

Andrew T

MaryContrary 06-08-2009 11:41 PM

ok thats it! I'm remaking my dash...that little bug is awesome!
...would have loved to see more interior pics.
thanks so much for posting this.

bkahler 06-10-2009 07:49 AM

Mary,

Sorry I didn't get more interior photos :o. There was nothing spectacular about the inside of the motorhome other than the dash. The rest of the interior was pretty much standard Airstream (Argosy actually!).

David is an exceptional modeler. I was very much impressed with the quality of work he did on his Argosy.

I've been tempted to contact him and find out what he would charge to fabricate a dash for me but then the reality of shipping it from Pasadena to Richmond, KY sets in and I drop the idea.

Brad

Dismayed 06-10-2009 01:10 PM

"He said the aerodynamic changes allows him to get around 12 mpg around town. I assume around town to David means cruising the freeways in the L.A. area."

So the mileage quote is for a top speed of 30 miles/hr!

mandolindave 06-10-2009 04:53 PM

Thanks so much for sharing.
 
I bet you were anxious to post about it and get it off your chest.
You made my day. It's nice to come home from a hard day of work,
and get a treat like that. That is a very cool ride. It's a little weird for me because the rear of his motor home looks like the front of my trailer ( minus the modification). It's looks like my trailers grandfather when he was young. :wally:.....:huh: Dave

israndy 12-26-2016 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew T (Post 618656)
So we towed with a Sprinter Van Conversion for the girls to stay in.
Not my first choice of tow vehicle but on this trip the liveability advantages outweighed the fun of driving and it worked out well.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...9&d=1221944962

Andrew T

How did you use a 19 foot Sprinter to tow a 30 foot Airstream? The Sprinter is only going to pull 5000 lbs. That should limit you to towing a Bambi or less...

-Randy

Boxster1971 12-27-2016 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by israndy (Post 1891789)
How did you use a 19 foot Sprinter to tow a 30 foot Airstream? The Sprinter is only going to pull 5000 lbs. That should limit you to towing a Bambi or less...

-Randy


By driving a typically overloaded RV rig.


- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter

Lumatic 12-27-2016 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkahler (Post 617303)
As I was heading to my car this evening after work I noticed something in the parking lot I hadn't seen before.

Brad

It needs fins


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