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  #21  
Old 01-26-2021, 10:08 AM
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mojo1986 mojo1986 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Hmmm...ok, well there ya go. Thanks for digging up that old thread.

The only thing I’d wonder about would be the Damon ‘shutdown’ of Centuri. Centuri issued two more catalogs after the 1981 catalog and had new products in each of those two successive catalogs (1982 and 1983). So, not sure exactly how that matches up with a ‘shutdown’, but there was no doubt that by 82-83 Centuri was certainly not on par with where it had been before.

Possibly Damon just saw the Tomahawk as a product too costly to undertake (maybe?) knowing even then that Centuri’s role was going down and maybe even then they saw they would not continue it as a separate line that much longer.

Earl



Earl, another factor may have been the mini recession of 1982. Interest rates were sky high resulting in less borrowing by business and significant job losses. I have a clear memory of this because I was hired by DuPont in 1980 and narrowly avoided getting cut in '82. Perhaps the cost of money for new moulds was prohibitive, especially in view of the fact that sales were soft. I suspect that the recession of that period had something to do with the decision by Damon to scrap the Centuri business.


Joe
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2021, 10:40 AM
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I remember interest rates being sky-high in the late 70's (double digit mortgage rates in the teens), but seem to recall those were lessening by 1981 if not 1982.
Commercial credit rates back then were nearly as bad as Mortgage rates. Automobile financing and credit card rates were even worse in the late 70's, not to mention the economy had outrageous inflation to boot. There weren't any handy "shooting" WARS to participate in to spark the economy either.
Throw in the Iran hostage Crisis and numerous OPEC issues, it's a wonder more businesses didn't collapse back then.
The late 70's/early 80's were a particular BAD time in relation to U.S. economic performance.
I remember it well. It sucked.
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2021, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
I remember interest rates being sky-high in the late 70's (double digit mortgage rates in the teens), but seem to recall those were lessening by 1981 if not 1982.
Commercial credit rates back then were nearly as bad as Mortgage rates. Automobile financing and credit card rates were even worse in the late 70's, not to mention the economy had outrageous inflation to boot. There weren't any handy "shooting" WARS to participate in to spark the economy either.
Throw in the Iran hostage Crisis and numerous OPEC issues, it's a wonder more businesses didn't collapse back then.
The late 70's/early 80's were a particular BAD time in relation to U.S. economic performance.
I remember it well. It sucked.

Interest was extremely high during the Carter administration. I was a kid with a small savings account that earned about 18% interest. There's no telling what the interest rate was for borrowing. My savings interest dropped significantly in the early 80's. I believe I recall it being around 6-8%, but as a student instead of a bread winner, I didn't notice whether there was a dip in the recovery. The savings account was pillaged in the mid 80's for my first motorcycle.

With a separately run Centuri surviving the huge inflation of the latter 70's, I would imagine the death of Centuri was purely to get rid of redundancy. Two catalogs, two design teams, two sales teams, two presidents/ceo's, two shipping/receiving locations, etc. etc.
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2021, 11:10 AM
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Rates were very high late 70's and peaked around 1980. They only declined significantly in 1982.

https://www.macrotrends.net/2015/fe...istorical-chart
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  #25  
Old 01-26-2021, 11:18 AM
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A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
The late 70's/early 80's were a particular BAD time in relation to U.S. economic performance.
I remember it well. It sucked.

Yeah, things sucked around here when I was in high school. Jobs were tough to come by without an "in", and I wasn't much on cultivating anything that resembled one. I got turned down by McDonald's AND K-Mart multiple times. Things got better the first week of college when I got an airline ramp job for a small, local commuter airline. I had gone through the job office at NKU and was sent to interview for a job in a Thom McCan shoe store that was due to open in a new mall. As I was about to leave the lady said "Would you be interested in working at the airport? It's more of a drive, but it pays $3.50 an hour?" Minimum was $3.10 at the time, so I interviewed for both. I got hired for the shoe gig and they said they'd call when the store was about to open. (It got built, fixtures were installed, then covered in plastic. I think it was still that way when they tore the mall down ten years ago.) There were three guys in the office for the interview at the airport. One guy was already in being interviewed, and it was me and some stoner in bell bottoms in the outer office. When the ongoing interview ended, it turned out that the guy was a friend of mine from high school and we talked while the stoner went in for his interview. We were still talking when they came out five minutes later. The interviewer said that he noticed that Rob and I were friends and his first question was "So, would you an Rob be able to cover for each other in a pinch?" I said sure and that was the end of the interview. I started the next day, so I guess I had an "in" without knowing it.
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2021, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1986
Earl, another factor may have been the mini recession of 1982. Interest rates were sky high resulting in less borrowing by business and significant job losses. I have a clear memory of this because I was hired by DuPont in 1980 and narrowly avoided getting cut in '82. Perhaps the cost of money for new moulds was prohibitive, especially in view of the fact that sales were soft. I suspect that the recession of that period had something to do with the decision by Damon to scrap the Centuri business.


Joe


Oh yes, I remember the economy of those times very well. I was in college in the early 80s (finished high school in ‘80, college ‘84), and I remember wondering many times what the job prospects were gonna be when I graduated (and scraping money together however I could to pay for college). Things were better somewhat by ‘84 when I finished college and getting a job thankfully turned out not to be a problem.

But yes, no doubt the economic conditions of the early 80s was probably a large factor in the demise of Centuri. I was just surprised to learn by what Initiator posted that possibly the decision to wind down Centuri had started as far back as maybe ‘81, a full two years before they were shut down completely.

Earl
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2021, 02:11 PM
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It was well known for years that Estes was part of Damon.
What was not well known back then that Centuri was also part of Damon after ~1969.
When the news came out in the early 80's that was the case and that ~82 Centuri started using Estes parts in their kits, the handwriting was on the wall that Centuri was doomed.

What I would like to see for a Cruise Missile is a larger version of the Centuri/Estes Boeing ALCM. Say BT-80 sizeish.
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  #28  
Old 01-26-2021, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
It was well known for years that Estes was part of Damon.
What was not well known back then that Centuri was also part of Damon after ~1969.
When the news came out in the early 80's that was the case and that ~82 Centuri started using Estes parts in their kits, the handwriting was on the wall that Centuri was doomed.

What I would like to see for a Cruise Missile is a larger version of the Centuri/Estes Boeing ALCM. Say BT-80 sizeish.


If I remember an early 1971 article out of Model Rocketry Magazine, it was stated that apparently Lee Piester and the Damon folks talked some at NARAM in Houston in the summer of 1970. Then, like in February, 1971, the deal was finalized and the news went around the main hobby trade show that year (I think the article in MRM was about that trade show specifically).

But, yeah, Damon buying out Centuri then was just not as well 'advertized' in general. Centuri did not add "A Damon Company" under their logo like Estes did for example (why, I do not know).

Yes, I do recall getting my 1982 Centuri catalog in the mail that year and it was about half as thick as previous catalogs. And...all the Centuri specific parts (tubes, nose cones, etc.) were gone and were replaced with Estes parts. Like you say, I too knew then that this was not a good sign. The 1983 catalog was a better looking catalog and there were even some new products in it. But, that was to be the last, sadly.

Earl
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  #29  
Old 01-26-2021, 06:03 PM
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Original kits from the last two years of Centuri tend to be pretty rare. It would be interesting if someone could find out some of the production numbers were from the last three years of Centuri's existence.
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  #30  
Old 01-26-2021, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
...What I would like to see for a Cruise Missile is a larger version of the Centuri/Estes Boeing ALCM. Say BT-80 sizeish.



Ditto...
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