Airstream is an American icon, founded in 1962 by Wally Byam. It has a distinctive rounded body shape constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, the design of which dates back to the 1930s – from the pen of Hawley Bowlus, the chief designer of the Spirit of St. Louis aircraft.
In the 1970s, Airstream was in financial debt to the tune of 12 million dollars. Wade Thompson (a Kiwi born and raised in Wellington, and a graduate of Victoria University) and his business associate Peter Orthwein purchased the ailing company. After the first year under their management, the two turned Airstream around to make a million dollar profit! The company kept growing, and today it’s the largest RV company in the world, with about 8000 employees and a market capitalization of over 3 billion dollars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_Industries).