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dtbw 10-23-2003 03:16 PM

Factory visit
Well, my little "ouch" from about a month ago is now history. The factory did an excellent job of replacing the rear end cap panels as well as handling a few minor warranty items. I had them install a shower light (ala the recessed lights as used in the CCD) since they had access to the area while the rear panels were being replaced. I also got a new recessed license plate box (as used in the Classic) to replace that cheap fixture A/S has been using of late. I am going to install it myself as it was a last minute "would it work" question. While the trip to the factory was a two day trip each way, it was well worth the investment.

During the factory tour, I saw quite a few CCDs in the lineup and surprisingly a large # of 19' Bambi units (Safari and CCD). Total weekly production is being ramped up to 26 units (up from 14) as sales are brisk. Near the end of the line was a new 28CCD in lemongrass. Having not been particularly fond of the hazard orange, I was VERY impressed in the lemongrass. The 28CCD is simply stunning. If I was in the buying mode, the 28CCD would be at the top of my list. I suspect it will become a best seller. Also got to see the new Interstate van (replacement to the B-Van). It is based on the Freightliner Sprinter. The interior is kind of a cross between a Classic and a CCD. The interior skin is left polished aluminum while the cabinets are a warm cherry laminate and the fabrics are more subdued than in the CCD. The list is around $72K. Should sell well and based on the number of Sprinter units lined up for the conversion, A/S expects good sales as well. There was a Skydeck motorcoach, but we only got to look from the outside. Also got to see Wally & Stella Byam's gold anodized Globe Trotter up close (interior via a peek thru the front window). A/S REALLY should get those vintage units into a musuem and out of the weather.

If you have the opportunity to go to the factory, plan an extra day to travel down to Dayton (55 miles) for a visit to the US Air Force Museum. It takes an entire day (or more) to see all the planes. It was delightful to be able to walk under, around and in several cases thru the planes (over 300 total on display). Virtually every USAF plane past and present is on display (the B2 is on site, but had not yet been placed in the museum...although its location was set aside). Be sure to go over to the Presidential and X-Plane hanger (you have to take a shuttle). Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower planes are on display as is SAM 26000 (the plan used by Kennedy, Johnson, Bush). All these are setup so that you can walk thru them. The X-Plane exhibit is a real trip and the highlight for me was the Valkyrie XB-70. Even though I knew it was a BIG plan, seeing it was something else. It is almost a football field in length and 1/2 a football field in width. Brought back a lot of memories of my late teens as I vividly remember its cancellation and the inadvertant mid-air collision during a photo-op that left only a single copy of this magnificent aircraft. Although everyone knows about the SR-71 Blackbird, few realize that we had it with our grasp to deploy an true intercontinental bomber that had the same speed and altitude capability as the SR-71 (if only McNamara had not been so gung ho on missiles).

To those A/S employees that I met and I know read this site, thanks for a great job fixing my Bambi and being excellent hosts.


wheel interested 11-01-2003 02:43 AM

did you take any pictures?
What was the lemongrass ccd like? And the fabrics? We are back and forth between 25' or 28' new unit. We saw the neon orange, I think.

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