The Quest for the Right Aero Cruiser
years ago I received a call from a Dr. Charles Morledge in Billings,
MT. He said he had seen an Aero Cruiser and was interested in buying
one. I told him a very nice late model with low milage, owned by one of our
club members, had just been put up for sale. (Bill Cave. I gave him the details
and told him it probably would sell soon as club members were always updating
their older coaches.) Several weeks later I received a call from Dr.
Charles & Patti Morledge saying they were planning a trip to Cool, CA to
buy the Cave coach - to late - sold to a club member.
I then gave them information on Erin Harvey’s coach which was for sale.
It had every conceivable option and all the upgrades. It was located in Dallas Texas.
They flew to Dallas twice and finally decided to buy it. All arrangements were made for the sale but
she could not produce a clear title. (A strange thing - the license plates on the front and the one on the
back were from two different states.) So back to Billings they flew.
By this time after numerous phone calls, Dr. Charles and Patti Morledge had become Charlie and Patti
and were on our automatic dial - so the search goes on!!!
Their first choice was for a twin bed configuration. About this time the Southard coach had been put
on the market and the club was planning a rally in Las Vegas. The Morledges decided to fly down and
look at the Southard coach and attend the rally to get a good look at what Aero Cruiser’s were supposed
to look like.
As some of you may remember, Charlie & Patti limped into the rally with the Southard’s coach. After
looking around at the coaches at the rally they realized their new possession needed a lot of attention!!
At the rally they looked our coach over and stated “if a 92 twin bed model ever came up for sale” be
sure to let them know. By now we have a hot line to Billings as the Morledges attempt to get their 1990
in a presentable condition for the Palm Desert Rally.
They arrived in Palm Desert with their 1990 and it truly had gone through a transformation.
During this rally, Frank De Remer said he had just seen a very nice 1991 Aero Cruiser with very low
mileage and it was for sale. The Morledges decide to go look at it. They bought it and had a driver deliver it
to their home in Billings. After the rally, they put their 1990 in storage in Ontario CA and flew back to
Billings - They now own two Aero Cruisers.. The Quest Continues!
In February of this year I got a call from Clement Sartori (a club member) in Tuscon AZ. He said he
was planning to sell his Aero Cruiser. I knew this coach well as he and his wife Paulette had gone through
our coach taking notes. When he ordered his from the factory he gave instructions (with notes) that it
was to be the same as the Kinnison Coach. It turned out to be the “last” full production Aero Cruiser.
(Ours was the first gasoline 1992)
I go to the phone - push the hot line button to Charlie and Patti. Question - were they still interested in
a 1992 coach like mine - if so the one and only carbon copy had just been put up for sale. Charlie and
Patti were interested and ask if we would meet them in Tuscon to help evaluate the Sartori coach. Pat
said it was time to take a break - so why not!!
The Sartori coach had the most unique background - it had been shipped to Europe and had spent
several years there - France, (yes it had been on the Riveria) Spain, Portugal, Egypt, etc. A real world
Pat and I arrived in Tuscon and joined the Morledges.
The next morning we met Clement and drove
to the storage lot to look at his Aero Cruiser.
I looked the coach over from one end to the other and decided it does have good potential. The sale
was completed and the Sartori’s - Clement and Paulette, were the most gracious hosts. We were served a
7+ course dinner in full French fashion - silver, crystal, china and wine and cheese and wine and cheese
and wine and cheese!!! A most impressive experience.
The next day we pick up the coach with a plan to leave it in the Tuscon storage but the owner needed
a major attitude adjustment. So the Morledges decided to bring it to Fallbrook (our home) and then pick
it up and go to the Spring Rally in Las Vegas. This would let Charlie drive it some six hundred miles to
check it out. So we headed West...
They put the coach in our driveway and take a plane back to Billings. THEY NOW HAVE 3 AERO
CRUISERS!! Every day I would look at all of the strange things on this French Frog and I knew that
somewhere under that facade was a real sleeping Prince!!
Since the coach was sitting next to my workshop I could not
resist the challenge! The restoration to original configuration
I remove 3 spare tires, two seven foot sewer pipe holders
(good for fishing rods I was told), an out of date satellite
dish, 24 shoe holders, 18 wine bottle holders, a central vac
system, about 50 feet of wiring for the European 220 volt
system and the list goes on.
The inside was covered with a lot of double uglies which
were added to the dumpster pile. As the Spring Rally approached,
Charlie and Patti came to Fallbrook. They step out
of their car and low and behold the ugly frog has been transformed
into the Handsome Prince - it was now truly an original
configuration 1992 twin bed Aero Cruiser with low milage.
What he had wanted from the beginning! The last chapter
of the quest for the right Aero Cruiser took place at the
Las Vegas rally when Charlie and Patti drove in with their 92
Aero Cruiser and the front end was at the proper level - cheers from the club members.
Charlie had the opportunity to do some “Hands On” transformation as a ladder was installed on the
back and he made the “Virgin Ladder Climb” to the roof of his Aero Cruiser. Only those of you who have
attended a rally can appreciate the “Pearls of Wisdom”
and “Supervision Expertise” offered during
this installation. With the final Helwig Spring problem
resolved the Morledges headed back home to
Billings and I understand it was a very enjoyable
trip. Their Quest for the right Aero Cruiser has
ended. It only proves that with persistence you can
get what you want - even if you do end up with 3
Happy Aero Cruising Charlie and Patti
to the Tip List.
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