Take the world’s cutest car and stick the world’s most recognizable trailer behind it and you get the coolest thing to hit the beach since the Brazilian Bikini!
Is that an Airstream in your rear view mirror? Why yes, a 22-foot Airstream trailer, to be exact. And that's exactly what will be on display in Milan, Italy, at the Salone del Mobile show in April.
The concept was to bring together the two iconic brands to produce a combination that is much more than the sum of its parts; especially when you slap a beach-motoring theme to the whole thing. So, the two companies got together and tapped into the mojo of furniture producers Republic of Fritz Hansen to work its magic on the Cooper S Clubman tow car (can you imagine?) and the Airstream trailer.
Taking a modern surfer theme, Fritz Hansen left the majority of the Clubman jet black, but added black wetsuit neoprene accents with lightning green trim (you don’t want to get your seats all wet, now do you?). As for the Airstream, it will show off a few black and green exterior accents, but they didn’t want to mess too much with its hallmark bare aluminum body. Apparently, the design team thought (rightly) that both brands were pretty much as cool as they can be as is.
Inside the Airstream is a hearse of a different color, however, as the group waterproofed the interior and outfitted it with a table, numerous Fritz Hansen chairs, a sunbathing bed – of course – and in a paean to the old “surfin’ woody”… wood paneling.
Can’t wait to hear what they think of it in Milan!
As one of the select few car companies on the planet currently making money, BMW has purchased RV trailer-maker Airstream at a “fire sale” price. Reason? Who needs a reason?
It’s called the Silver Bullet, the trimline stainless steel 50’s retro trailer you’ve seen being pulled countless times behind trucks and SUV’s all across America. But the times they are a changin’, and those big trucks and SUVs are being garaged in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles like your beloved MINI. So… when you put two and two together you get the logical marriage of MINI and Airstream.
“I’ll be honest. Sales were in the dumper. No one was buying our trailers in this economy.” Said Roy Hagen, CEO of Airstream. “When BMW approached us and explained how the recreational travel market was the one they hadn’t hit yet, it all fell into place.”
Jan Stellar, a MINI retailer in Palo Alto California, has lined up to be first to sell the pair, expecting delivery as soon as July. “MINIs are the coolest cars. Airstream is the coolest trailer. People are going to save money on travel and look cool doing it. This is going to be great for business, no doubt about it.”
The Airstream features a custom interior designed by Copenhagen’s “Republic of Fritz Hansen”, the design team most famous for its sleek rainwear line and who recently decorated the post-modern Danish palace. It’s taken a new approach to trailer design, to be sure, eschewing the traditional kitchen/dinette for surfboard racks and bat-winged swivel chairs. There is, however, a small refrigerator and a composting toilet located discretely in the rear.
“People are vacationing differently these days. Access to cheap eats and junk food is everywhere in America, so they’re not cooking anymore,” says Hansen. “Yanks just want to have fun, and so we took the drudgery completely out of the experience and made it surfboard ready. Fat people don’t drive MINIs anyway.”
BMW America chief Jurgen Weiner added “The brand, the lifestyle, the look… they all fit perfectly with MINI. And we were able to gobble Airstream up at a real fire sale price. Sort of like buying a bit of America.”
What’s next? Harley Davidson?
“We’re looking at that, actually.”
The company does have blueprints for other, non-surfer-related designs, including a NASCAR version replete with a removable barbecue and beer dispenser. Says Hansen “That one really captures the new spirit of America. It will include a large-screen plasma TV, bench seats, an iPod pre-loaded with top Country hits and a nav system pre-loaded with directions to every NASCAR racetrack in America.”
Now that sounds too good to be true. Which it is. Happy April everyone.
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