W. Pico Mistral

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Discussion of diving methods and equipment available prior to the development of BCDs beyond the horse collar. This forum is dedicated to the pre-1970 diving.
Aquala1
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W. Pico Mistral

Mon May 08, 2017 8:25 pm

I took a look at all the resources on the VDH website, regarding dating a reg like this, and it seems to be maybe transitional? It's a West Pico address reg (1955-'59), but with yellow hoses and a black mouthpiece (1960-'62). Though almost 60 yrs old, the hoses are still in really good shape, they just have a weird hose-set from what looks like sitting in a box. I'd be surprised if these hoses and mouthpiece weren't original to the regulator. 

So with that said, is this a late '59 built regulator built for the 1960 model year...or would it have been built in 1960, '61, or '62, using leftover West Pico can labels?

Here are a few pics....

Image

Image

Image

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Bryan
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Mon May 08, 2017 9:27 pm

Here is what we know about this era from folks that were there and from research. Ed La Rochelle, Nick Icorn, Kent (Rocky) Rockwell etc. Allan Klauda also did a lot of research on the subject.

1. USD never threw anything away....They kept going till they used up all the parts they had to put regulators together. Which is why so many regulators have oddball parts on them. The only regulator they made more of than the Mistral was the DA Aqua Master....They are about as scarce as a Toyota Corolla.
2. Fire destroyed what if any production records USD had at the time in 1975.
3. 1958 Mistral is shown in the catalog with black hoses/black mouthpiece.
4. 1959 was the ALL YELLOW CRAZE.. Hoses/mouthpieces/Tinnerman clamps..The yellow rubber was clay based and deteriorated rapidly. Who knows how many or how few yellow mouthpieces they ordered. Yellow mouthpieces were listed as an available spare part in that years catalog.
5. 1960 Yellow mouthpieces are GONE from the catalog and as a spare part. But you can get yellow hoses as a spare part.

If I were guessing/betting I'd say there were plenty of Pico labels left and they kept running regulators with that label on them. They finally ran out of yellow/yellow and or out of yellow Tinnerman clamps and at that point had to put the new black nylon clamps with black mouthpiece on a regulator that was already assembled with a Pico label on it so it would look correct.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

Aquala1
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Tue May 09, 2017 12:51 pm

Thanks Bryan for the thorough reply. That's kind of what I figured the situation would have been. Now to get it back into diving condition.

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Tue May 09, 2017 6:26 pm

Hey Aquala, I was going to say that the answer to all of your questions is "yes"; however Bryan said it much better. Just so you know, that particular model Mistral, all shiny and new looking, was actually one of the most dangerous models produced (you can tell because the serial number ends in an "8"). If you want to send it to me I'll make sure it's properly disposed of.... :D 8) Mark

swimjim
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Tue May 09, 2017 9:57 pm

Mark beat me to it, so I guess you'll have to send that dangerous contraption to him. Lol !!! Nice reg! Rebuild it and enjoy it. Be sure to give us reports on future diving adventures!

Jim

Aquala1
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Wed May 10, 2017 9:11 am

Mark, Jim, it sounds really dangerous. So dangerous, that if I gave it away and something happened. I'd never be able to live with myself. Looks like I'm going to have to keep it, and just live on the edge. :lol:

ovalis
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Fri May 12, 2017 9:08 am

Your Mistral was made around 1962-1963

Aquala1
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Sat May 13, 2017 10:46 am

ovalis wrote:Your Mistral was made around 1962-1963


Thanks! Is that based on the serial number range?

ovalis
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Sat May 13, 2017 11:22 am

yes

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Sat May 13, 2017 12:06 pm

Is there a chart someone has put together that gives approximate years of different models of regulator based on serial numbers? Looked for something like it in the M&C section but didn't such a thing. Mark

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Bryan
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Sat May 13, 2017 1:28 pm

In HDS, Volume 13, Issue 1......Number 42, Winter 2005 Phil Nuytten outlines serial numbers and dates for the early two stage though the 58 DA but I don't see any reference to other models.

BTW, in my opinion this is one of the REQUIRED READING issues for anyone interested in the history of SCUBA and especially double hose diving.
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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ScubaLawyer
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Sat May 13, 2017 2:31 pm

Thanks Bryan, looks like a project for someone with research skills and time on their hands. Mark

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Bronze06
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Thu May 18, 2017 4:55 am

Bryan wrote:In HDS, Volume 13, Issue 1......Number 42, Winter 2005 Phil Nuytten outlines serial numbers and dates for the early two stage though the 58 DA but I don't see any reference to other models.

BTW, in my opinion, this is one of the REQUIRED READING issues for anyone interested in the history of SCUBA and especially double hose diving.


Is there any way (other than going through the back order process) that we can get a copy of this article in the VDH bullpen. This volume and reference seems to always pop up, but when I go to HDS, they are ALWAYS out of them. Just asking. :?:

Also, here is the link to Hose color types that Bryan gets really tired of re-posting. :shock:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kp91liivcyejt ... d.jpg?dl=0

NOW LET'S GO OFF INTO THE WEEDS OF TIME AND SPACE!

I will disagree with Ovalis, in that I believe your reg. was made in late 1961 to early 62. The 1963 catalog clearly shows that in that model year the Mistral had a "new type' Kleer-EZ mouthpiece and all black configuration. When in doubt look at the catalogs but beware. The picture in the 1962 USD catalog is of an older "up-graded" DW "Stream Air" with a Mistral sticker on it. This was probably a stock photo and USD was notoriously cheap when upgrading their catalogs. Also, by 1962, USD had replaced the so-called "improved" hose clamps (beginning in "possibly" very late 59 and running till 1961) with the new nut and bolt configuration that VDH produces to this day. They also (and I quote the 1962 and 1963 catalog in the photos below) came with a KLEER-EZ mouthpiece (read further on for clarification) in 1962 though the picture, of course, shows the older reg pic. the same reg. incidentally, that appears in the 1958-62 catalogs. Technically, the 1962 Mistral should look identical (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE YELLOW HOSE COLOR) to the 1963 Mistral according to the product description, as the so-called "scientifically designed" mouthpiece (Curved mouthpiece) had just come out in 1962; see below

Mistral 62.jpg remember this is a Stream Air photo!
1963 Mistral.jpg


But according to Ovanessian's research, the1962 had a straight mouthpiece, which leads to this question; "What is meant by a KLEER-EZ (Clear Easy) mouthpiece?" In fact, all mouthpieces (with the exception of the metal ones such as in the Overpressure regulator) that had one-way check valves were called Kleer-EZ mouthpieces by the US Divers Company, whether straight or curved. Though many of us (myself included for a while) thought that only the curved mouthpiece from 1963 was called the Kleer-EZ. Case in point see the picture of the straight mouthpiece from the 1957 US Divers catalog below:

1957 Kleer-EZ mouthpiece (Straight Mouthpiece).jpg


Regarding your regulator, it still has the "improved" clamps from the late 59 (possibly) to 61 production era. Granted USD didn't throw anything away, but in the purer sense, I would go with late 1961/early 62 as the time zone for your reg, as USD had left W. PICO/DELI after 1961.
There are no W. Deli Mistrals as Bryan had pointed out to me once, in that W. Pico and W. Deli were essentially the same location, but Los Angeles had renamed the street to W. Deli and USD didn't feel the need to change the Mistral's data plate. They did change the address on DAAM at this time, however, and you will find Mistrals with the W. Warner change on the data plate of 1963 Mistrals with all black hose configurations. This concludes my dithering using references available here on VDH and my own collection of now a ghastly 50+ regs.
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"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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Bryan
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Thu May 18, 2017 8:21 am

Bronze06 wrote:
Bryan wrote:In HDS, Volume 13, Issue 1......Number 42, Winter 2005 Phil Nuytten outlines serial numbers and dates for the early two stage though the 58 DA but I don't see any reference to other models.

BTW, in my opinion, this is one of the REQUIRED READING issues for anyone interested in the history of SCUBA and especially double hose diving.


Is there any way (other than going through the back order process) that we can get a copy of this article in the VDH bullpen. This volume and reference seems to always pop up, but when I go to HDS, they are ALWAYS out of them. Just asking. :?:
.


For a few years Phil provided me with spiral bound copies of this impressive paper which I sold in the website store. He is an extremely busy guy and I have not been able to connect with him again to get additional copies. Phil nor HDS has given me permission to make digital copies available.
I do not have a good relationship with HDS here in the US unfortunately as they rarely remember who I am and I'm under the impression that my "qualifications" to speak on vintage scuba equipment does not meet their standards. Although I don't have a problem getting information and articles published in other HDS magazines in other parts of the world. :wink:
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Bronze06
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Re: W. Pico Mistral

Thu May 18, 2017 9:54 am

Quote from Bryan:

"For a few years Phil provided me with spiral bound copies of this impressive paper which I sold in the website store. He is an extremely busy guy and I have not been able to connect with him again to get additional copies. Phil nor HDS has given me permission to make digital copies available.
I do not have a good relationship with HDS here in the US unfortunately as they rarely remember who I am and I'm under the impression that my "qualifications" to speak on vintage scuba equipment does not meet their standards. Although I don't have a problem getting information and articles published in other HDS magazines in other parts of the world. :wink:"


Go figure, that is why HDS is losing membership. :evil:
"Where'd ya get that ol' thang, don't cha' know them thare things ill kill ya!"

Live From the Red Sea,

Russ

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