He was a mechanic and inventor from what I have found. He was mentioned a couple of times on Toms RV Discussion Message Board as a parts source for hard to find stuff. The posts are from 1999 and 2000...
Rich the Viking
By TYLERBEARS@aol.com on Wednesday, July 14, 1999 - 08:51 pm:
Hello Past, Present and Future Broken Door Lock Owners,
Following the threads reminds me of a small lesson taught by Ex-Caravan Mechanic Burton Scott (in his 90s now, but still has his truck with all the parts he once carried - and still offers courtesy parking in the Jacksonville, Florida area).
Burton would remove the broken part from the lock and with a specialty type torch - re weld it and put it back in. Not all Caravaners wanted that repair. Instead, they wanted a new lock which he could provide. Result, he had spare parts for locks and he knew which ones fit which locks (every time).
Lesson: Whenever one of my locks break, I will do whatever I need to do for the sake of safety, but NEVER will I throw away the BROKEN parts until I'm absolutely sure they have no salvage value or usefulness to someone with skills I don't have - either for repair or for use as a template to create a new part (in a machine shop).
This lesson was profoundly reinforced at the Sarasota Rally last winter when it was my turn for a lock to break (dumb me slammed the door one too many times - another lesson there). I decided to price a new lock. Before labor, the tab was close to $400 from the Airstream dealer on the grounds. After gasping and settling down for some serious reconsideration, we decided we could get along until either I went to my favorite bone yard ($400 in gas money would get me there and back) or a caravan mechanic who lived less than $400 in gas money away. Yes, Burton had the exact part and he had rebuilt it 15 years ago. It was gathering dust in his truck. We went there, visited for a few hours and reminisced about old times. Later that afternoon, back at our campsite, I installed the repaired part in my broken lock. BIG SMILES with a slight strutting step.
Now, if all my searching for parts came out so successful, I'd think I was blessed for owning an Airstream. No such luck.
'67 22' Safari
'86 32' Excella with a lock plate repaired by one of the most skillful and creative caravan mechanics I've ever known.