Post by bobandjacqui on May 13, 2012 7:04:21 GMT 10
On our way to Cowra we stayed on a mates property near Texas. Found this small van (10 or 11 footer) it was left there by previous property owners. Very sad state but as we haven't come across a Sapphire caravan before thought it may be of some interest.
Very faded sticker on the front.
Managed to salvage some bits and pieces (windows/ sink/tabletops etc ) most of which ended up on the charity table at Cowra.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 13, 2012 19:11:45 GMT 10
Good to see you had your eyes peeled for 'doer uppers' on your way to Cowra. Unfortunately, this one is not quite in the same league as Cobber's Windmill find in terms of condition...but it is quite well ventilated. ;D ;D ;D
There have been a couple of previous references to Sapphire caravans on the forum. The first was by Humpty2 on 10 August 2007:
I wrecked a 16 foot van recently ....the roof material, windows, laminex and the cupboard latches were the same........aluminium panelling was the same too!!
I was told it was an early sixties van and it too was registered as a Viscount, but the only signage was "Sapphire" Sydney.
It was too far gone to be saved.....you went outside when it rained to keep dry
Looks like the van you saw has suffered the same fate as the one Humpty found. The second reference to Sapphire caravans was on 8 January 2009, when Franklin1 posted:
...I've discovered an advertisement from Saturday 19 Feb 1966 placed by the Carapark caravan company in Sydney.
The advert says,
"Planning your winter vacation touring Australia? We will assist you with buying a caravan, hiring a caravan, building a caravan.
I know that the Hunter is definitely one of the Carapark models, but before you came along I'd never heard of the Caracraft or the Sapphire model names before... There is a bit of info on Sapphire in the 1967 Winser which provides the following item:
(Source: K Winser, Caravan Manual & Tourist Park Guide, 1967, p 165)
The van in the pic looks to be a bigger version of the van you saw, and displays the same "attractive knife-edge styling". The 1967 Winser is a bit frustrating in that it provides pics but very little info about who built some vans, such as the Sapphire. In addition there is no entry for Sapphire in the list of Australian caravans in the 1967 Winser.
According to Franklin1 on the DHL Carapark thread, Carapark apparently ceased to produce their own vans in September 1967 and began to act solely as an agent for other manufacturers. I think we can deduce from that that Sapphire were not built by Carapark. This is line with the statement accompanying the above photo that "...the new Sapphire models...are part of the range of caravans shown in the new marine and caravan centre of Caracraft and Carapark at Summer Hill, NSW". And indeed, a pic of the aforesaid Caracraft/Carapark centre in the 1967 Winser shows a Sapphire van in the front row facing the street:
(Source: K Winser, Caravan Manual & Tourist Park Guide, 1967, p 161)
So...we've got a bit of information about Sapphire, but still a bit to work out!
Post by bobandjacqui on May 14, 2012 5:42:15 GMT 10
G'day Richard, Thanks for the infomation. I had a look through DHL before I posted the pics and couldn't find any reference to "Sapphire". The shape of the van is very much the same as that ally Olympic that you found up here in Brisbane awhile ago.
Just spotted a Sapphire listed on ebay, in NSW. Extremely low starting price and looks very restorable or a good parts/donor van. Don't know what it is about the shape of these vans but I seem to get this ugly/pretty/oh wow! feeling!...
Cheers, Helen. Photos of Sapphire van referred to above by Hellsbells:
The winning bid was only $76!
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2014 16:46:23 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Photos added
Had one and wrecked it....not a resto possibility! That's what the chassis for a TD I have for sale is off. Kept some of the ali and reclad a tilt top box trailer....with the logo in great condition. I recall asking if any one knew about them back then but info was not forthcoming.
Fibreglass fantasia!....a Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)... 52 homemade plywood and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name (might be Skyline?) ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 15, 2014 21:35:17 GMT 10
Sapphire 15 ft caravan advertised on Ebay, December 2011:
Comparing this van with others on this thread, it would appear that it has been modified at the front below the window to remove the original ledge and angled section with a flat vertical wall. The original A-frame has also been replaced. However, I have posted the photos for several reasons. First, the Sapphire logo on the front of this van is in the form of a sticker/transfer, while on other vans higher up this thread the Sapphire logo is a die-cast nameplate. Second, the logo on this van refers to Ardills Caravans. Not sure whether that means that Ardills was the manufacturer or just a distributor. I can't read the address on the sticker, but someone may be able to tell us more. Third, the interior of this van is in much better condition than any of the other vans on this thread, and therefore reveals a bit more about layout and fittings, etc.
The van was advertised as 1962, but at this point we have no evidence that Sapphires were being produced in 1962, and the styling suggests a later date, as reflected in the extracts from the 1967 Winser posted above.
Last Edit: Sept 15, 2014 21:41:58 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo