She’s been tucked away in a shed for more than 8 years as that’s how long the previous owner has lived at the property.
With my son Chris along for his muscles, I pointed the compass west and headed out of Sydney for a relaxing 6 hour drive.
Travelling over the Blue Mountains was “interesting” with every speed sign between 40 & 100 – make up your mind guys...anyway as my “muscle” played with his new Tablet and cursed the loss of WiFi every time we left Bathurst or Orange or Parkes !!! I drove on toward my Gypsy treasure.
The van lived in a small town in between Parkes & Dubbo, we had a quick peek of the van in the dark (I couldn’t help myself), found a bed for the night at the local motel, at the local pub we watched the footy game, had dinner & a drink & then hit the hay anticipating the morning to come.
The Shed – obviously some type of garage in the “old days” as it had huge sliding timber doors at each end.
Men doing manly things to lift her on the trailer
For the where is this thread:
She is covered in and full of red dust – I’ve broomed some of it off back in Sydney in this pic !
The Rego Label – I was married two years later.....
The drawbar & the jockey wheel ....... (it needs some help)
Good news – the Gypsy is now registered - however I'm waiting on my pretty pink number plates!!
## My thanks to
G & L Caravan Repairs in Guildford Sydney who own the name “Gypsy Caravans” &
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 16, 2012 22:54:33 GMT 10
What a great find! Congratulations!
Although Gypsy used to advertise relatively extensively in the 50's, we don't know a whole lot about them or the models they produced, and not all that many have turned up on the forum - particularly ones the age of yours.
After pouring through my copies of Winser's Australian caravan manuals, I am thinking that your van may be a 9 ft Gypsy Super Gem model, as shown below:
(Source: K Winser, Caravans and Touring in Australia, Book 5 for 1953, p 105)
As you will note the photos are from Winser's 'Book 5 for 1953'. I think this means that (following a common publishing convention) it was published at the end of 1952. The description says that "The Super Gem is the latest model to be added to Mr Cook's popular Gypsy range...", which given the above suggests that the Super Gem was introduced in 1952. Some confirmation for this is that the Super Gem was not mentioned in Winser's Book 4 which is dated 1951/2.
In addition to the Super Gem, there was also the (non-Super) Gem model. The difference was that the Super Gem was 3-berth (as opposed to 2-berth), lined (ie double skinned) and was wired for electricity. Yours appears to be lined. How does the internal layout of your van compare to the pic of the Super Gem?
The ordinary Gem is seen here:
(Source: K Winser, Caravans and Touring in Australia, Book 5 for 1953, p 106)
The Gem seems to have a smaller front window, and also seems to have a one piece front, whereas the Super Gem seems to have a join above the front window. there are limits to how much you get out of old grainy, magazine quality B&W photos! I am wondering why the Gem was 2-berth and the Super Gem 3-berth. Maybe they left the front table out of the Gem?
The Super Gem was still listed by Gypsy in 1955, but by that stage they were also talking about 'alply' cladding (aluminium cladding bonded to marine ply) and aluminium framed windows. However, I don't know how long they kept it going beyond that...
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2012 21:53:38 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo
I agree, in your pic the front window is smaller & the door faces forward like “John’s” Gypsy, I think his is older than mine & your ad shows the Gypsy Gem is 5 cwt & a two berth – mine is 600 kgs or 11.8 cwt and 2 to 3 berth & the Super Gem was 8.5 cwt or 450 kgs - is it a 10?.
NB: that guy looks really “macho” with the knife on his belt ;D
Hillweller – thanks... it will need a coat or three of paint before summer I think
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 23, 2012 19:19:40 GMT 10
Fairly obviously the weight of a van depends what's in it at the time it's weighed. That may possibly explain the difference in weight between your van and the "official" figures given by Gypsy. If they weighed their van with cushions, water tank (even though empty) battery, etc, included, then it might go some way towards explaining the difference between the 6 cwt you got and the 8 1/2 cwt they gave.
But I've been doing a bit more research, and there is another possible explanation...
In the 1955 and 1956 Winsers the Super Gem is reported as weighing in at 8 1/2 cwt as you quoted. However, in the 1953 Winser the Super Gem is quoted as weighing 7 cwt. This suggests that the weight of the van increased over a couple of years. That might reflect a heavier axle and/or A-frame, or possibly the addition of more mod cons, cupboards, the use of heavier timber for the frame or the cladding, or any number of things. Who knows?
However, if your van only weighs 6 cwt, that suggests to me that it may be an earlier model (eg 1953) rather than a later model (eg 1956). Then perhaps the difference between 6 and 7 cwt just reflects what was in your van at the weigh in compared to Gypsy's. 1 cwt is a fair bit easier to explain than 2 1/2 cwt! ;D ;D ;D
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 2, 2012 23:16:27 GMT 10
Hi again Aquamum,
I've been doing a bit more analysis on your little Gypsy and am now pretty convinced that it is a Super Gem.
It isn't a Gypsy 10 - the front and rear walls of the 10 curve under the van to meet the floor, whereas on the Super Gem (and Gem) the front and rear walls go straight down and meet the floor at a distinct angle not a curve. In addition the 10 seems to have had double front windows, at least from the very early 50's onwards, not the single window like the Super Gem.
The features of your van which mark it as a Super Gem as opposed to a Gem are as follows: slightly different shape at the front, door opening to the back of the van and not the front (as you pointed out), distance between the front of the van and the doorway and between the doorway and the wheel arch, squarish shape of the side windows (as opposed to very rectangular), and placement of the side window on the door side at the back of the van with the the top right corner almost touching the roofline compared to being centred over the wheel arch as on the Gem.
Having said all that, there are some interesting differences between your van and the info we have about the Super Gem model - particularly the weight and a slightly more modern look. I wonder if that makes it one of the later Super Gems - 1956 or 57 perhaps?
Post by GYPSYQUEEN73 on May 22, 2013 21:47:01 GMT 10
Hi, I am new to this forum. you have found yourself a beauty. I have a Super Gem Gypsy 1954 model and am about to start restoring it back to its former glory. From my research I understand that they were sold as a flat packed to be assembled by the purchaser. Do you what colour combinations these came out in (or did the purchaser paint it what ever they liked). I would like to know the colour scheme they were brought out with in 1954 to be able to restore it to it. What make of car would I look for to find the 16" 4 stud wheel and hub caps that are on this van as I need a spare wheel and the hub caps as mine are missing. Did they come out with tail lights, if so do you have any photos of which are the right ones, mine have none fitted. I see your van has some on it. do you know where I could get the strips that are on the outer edges of the van as I would like to replace them. I am in the wagga area. any information on these vans would be much appreciated. Sorry for all the questions. regards dotty
Post by firefighter on May 22, 2013 22:50:30 GMT 10
Interesting....Today I received a phone call from the Cowra info centre......a couple from NSW was looking for the owner of the gypsy super gem that was at the Cowra Nationals.........wonder if its this new member that joined today dotty101 anybody know the owner of the gypsy super gem that was at the nats
My guess for early 50's 16" 4 stud wheels would start with English cars of the period, firstly Austin A40 as there were a lot of them around then. I also think the early Vanguards & Vauxhalls had 4 stud, & possibly 16" Holden never had 16" wheels, English Ford Consuls & Zephyrs (from memory) were 15", & none of the common american imports that I know of had 4 studs. Early Ford Prefects had 5 stud, as did VW.
But I believe they are more likely to be Austin because they were the most common English car of the day.
No doubt someone will correct my suggestions if I am wrong
Post by GYPSYQUEEN73 on May 23, 2013 17:47:42 GMT 10
thank you all for your responses. I have put photos of my van on photo bucket, I am still learning how to navigate around the forum. if you would like to have a look. s1348.photobucket.com/user/gypsyqueen73/profile/ . Yes it was me that called the information centre, dad said there was a white gypsy just inside the gate, if anyone know who this is could they let them know am interested in talking to them. thank you
Hello GypsyQueen I've just found your comments on my thread as not many VVer's have a Gypsy. It's so nice to meet you, please PM me with any queries have and I'll PM you too. Did you pick up that van from Gumtree? I'm in Sydney - not far from you.