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Cutting edge

By Lisa Rummler

October 2009- It's a clear summer day on any major interstate near a state park in America. The sunlight bounces off the multitudes of vehicles heading into the wilderness for some outdoor fun.

Chances are, there's a variety of vehicles on the road: cars laden with camping gear, SUVs packed with equipment, trucks with beds full of stuff.

One vehicle stands out, though, and in no small part because of the disproportionately large amount of shine it reflects from the sun. It's the 19-ft.-2-in.-long, 9-ft.-5-in.-tall Victorinox 125th Anniversary Special Edition Airstream travel trailer. The travel trailer sleeps two to four people, and its exterior width is 8 ft. It has a net carrying capacity of 700 lbs.

Only 125 units will be produced, and they were available for purchase beginning June 15. Each features a commemorative, serialized plaque.

Combined forces
Airstream Inc., a division of Thor Industries, Jackson Center, Ohio, was founded more than 70 years ago, and some of the company's original designs for travel trailers are used today.

According to the Airstream Web site, "Every inch of an Airstream has a functional purpose--there is no planned obsolescence. The classic Airstream of the 1930s is no museum piece. Still in use today, it is as sturdy and modern in appearance as the first day it swung into traffic."

This philosophy also applies to Victorinox Swiss Army Inc., Monroe, Conn., which is a subsidiary of Victorinox AG, Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland.

The company produces the Swiss Army knife, a product whose design continues to stand the test of time--like Airstream's vehicles.

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Victorinox Swiss Army worked with Airstream to design and engineer a limited-edition travel trailer.

According to a press release,"[The trailer] embodies their shared qualities and philosophies: precision, functionality, reliability and classically elegant design. Like the legendary Swiss Army knife, the details of the trailer are precise, clean and sure to last a lifetime, from the solid-surface countertops to the cutting-edge cabinets and hardware to the luxurious custom bedding ensemble, all housed within the iconic Airstream aluminum shell."

Scott Swaebe, director of visual merchandising for Victorinox Swiss Army, said in a press release that the partnership between the companies yielded a product that met and exceeded all expectations.

"From the onset of this collaboration, I have been struck by how fortunate I am as a designer to have such a masterfully designed and precisely engineered pallet from which to work," he said. "When you enter the trailer, the design cohesion between the two brands is both intuitive and natural."

Bob Wheeler, CEO of Airstream, echoed these sentiments and said that the special-edition vehicle embodies what both companies strive to achieve.

"It's rare to find another brand that so closely represents the Airstream value of outdoor adventure in style," he said. "Victorinox is clearly such a company, and we were thrilled to collaborate on this very special travel trailer." FFJ

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