Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The image! The icon! The bike! The Frenchman?

The man on the bicycle is a Frenchman M. Latourneu, in those days a very famous bicycle rider and racer. Wally Byam was an avid fan of bicycles and heard the Frenchman was invited to the United States and it got him to thinking.
Former president of the California factory, Art Costello, called the staff together to discuss an idea. Art and Wally had heard many people say they wanted to travel, but they did not care to have a heavy trailer pulled by their car. Wally remarked, "I've got to show them that an Airstream isn't any such thing as that. If they would
like to travel with an Airstream, it is not a heavy weight to pull with your car. In fact if you wanted to you could pull an Airstream with a bicycle."
Wally located Mr. Latourneu and arranged for him to come to the Airstream factory and bring his bicycle. He arrived on a May morning in 1947 and agreed to take part in the experiment. Then with Wally taking the pictures and the entire staff watching, Mr. Latourneu actually managed to pull the full size travel trailer behind his tiny racing bicycle. Airstream chose this picture as a Trademark in 1947 and it is has been used throughout our Club history. We have seen it on stationery, articles, advertisements, cups, and clothing.


Tom and Juliet said...

I like that Andy Thompson, up at CanAm in Canada (where I bought my Minuet), duplicated this feat with his 61 Pacer and a tandem bike...


utee94 said...

That should be a picture of American cycling legend Lance Armstrong, not some Frenchman!