Glen Rigby from Mildura sent me these pics from the family photo album of a caravan his Grandad had profressionally custom built in the 30's/40's .....his Grandad used to sell caravans from his Motor business in Mildura:
Hi Mark thanks for sharing these pix with us. Love the stripe on the big van 14 maybe 16 ft ??. Also interesting to see the "Access hatches" in the sides. makes it easy to get odds and ends out without having to rip out the seat cushions etc. The glass ?? if thats what it is ??... in the door looks like stained glass .. or what i call "bottle glass"... on second looks it might be curtain material/canvas
Also like the little TD being towed with the Morris or Anglia. Looks like his annexe is a normal van annexe just strewn over the top tailgate.
thanks guys for your comments .........Reddo, I think it'd be about a 16 footer .
Anyway, grandad Rigby's motor business was going well, and since he sold caravans from his Motor business, he ordered a new caravan to be custom built by Jack Newcombe, a tradesman who built boats, caravans & whatever else. The new caravan was to be the biggest & flashest caravan with many "Don" like features, bath, fold out basin etc.
Here's some pics of the new van built in 1959 ............
The caravan is 18 foot long, and is a longer version of the original with many similar design features ..............and still single axle.
This would have to be the longest caravan I've seen that retains a 'rounded' shape, most caravans of this size are somewhat squared off......consequently its a big, beautiful looking old bondy ............
The pics of the tow car arne't good, but somebody maybe able to tell me what it is
Have a look at this picture ........its an absolute classic
yes ......its a HG Holden towing a Roadhaven / Roadmaster ;D ;D
and have a look at grandad Rigby .......was HE a flash camper
Sadly, grandad Rigby passed away in 1974
Then, Glenn advised me that grandad Rigby's caravan still occupys a corner in his Dad's shed :
Glenn told me that as a kid in the 70's, his Dad used to take the family caravanning in the old caravan, and he clearly remembers the embarresment of turning up to a caravan park in this big old round caravan, whilst everybody else had nice modern ali caravans ............
Boy ! that is one classy caravan......... even got an FJ Holden tail light. And to think it has been sitting in a shed waiting to be rediscovered. I keep saying it, there must be a lot of ‘vans that were exceptional in their time now locked up in sheds around the country waiting for the time they would again be appreciated ......... NOW IS THAT TIME.
Get on the end of the queue Geoff..... no! not that end.... the other end.
Allthough I think we may be too late, notice these photos are in the "members photo album"
" marks quote " yes ......its a HG Holden towing a Roadhaven / Roadmaster roadhaven never made a shape of van like that its a " roadmaster " glens grandfathers van would look good behind my 57 chev F/F ;D ;D ;D ;D
The caravan actually wasn't for sale, as it held much sentimental attachment to the Rigby family.
But, when you have some insane person from the West hounding you continually, it becomes an annoyance
Snail & I flew to Adelaide a few months ago, hired a car outta Adelaide, and drove to Mildura to check it out .......but it wasn't for sale I had another caravan to look at in Coffin Bay SA (more on that later), and some work business to do in Adelaide, so it was a worthwhile trip .
Then ........during the months preceeding xmas .......the Rigby's kinda came 'round to my way of thinking ;D ;D ;D
The Big Beautiful Bondy from Mildura arrived safely in Midland WA (on the Eastern outskirts of Perth), but still had to be transported the 120 kms to Beverley.
With the weight of the 18 footer an unknown quantity, a suitable tow car was needed for the job. We don't own a modern car with a towbar, and my BIG truck was too LITTLE for the job .......with only a 14' tray, there would have been a lotta caravan hanging over the back
The largest caravan I've had on the truck is 16foot 9 inches ......
and the only tow car we have thats capable of such a task, is Ditzy's V8 Fairylane, which was in Beverley
Ideally, a 57 Hudson (never seen one), or even better, a mid to late 50's Rolls Royce would have been the vehicle for the task
instead, the BB Bondy had to suffer being towed with this indignant vehicle, with a tow ball way tooooo high for the low sitting Bondy
Not a pretty sight for such a lovely old caravan
Thanks to Mike from "Carahaul" for lending his Toyota Land Cruiser for the job
A happy ending to a great find . Those brake/tailights.. look a bit ford galaxy or fairlane to me?? What a beautiful big Bondy . Always good to be able to collect the full documented history of the van as well. There is a lot of us out here who have "adopted" our "orphaned" vans and do not know who they where made by or where or when the where" concieved." So we tend to date them from features around certain decades. Hence our vans can end up celebrating thier 50th Birthday up to 10 years too early.
Just a question for you .
Will you be taking any of the vans in the museum out for vint van get togethers over there . would be lovely to see one of the Dons or this van set up in its "natural environment.. i.e: a caravan park. I appreciate that regos for all the vans would be a real killer and you are probably reluctant to move them once they are set up in the Museum.
Once again congratulations on wrangling the Mildura van from The Rigbys. I seriuosly doubt that it would have been released to anyone else if they( the intending purchaser) had mentioned actually using it out on the road again. I think the winning vote would have been your intentions to put it in a van museum.... Right or wrong No matter how you managed to persuade the Rigbys to sell. I see the aquistion as a great result.
"no way ......its too bloody good to be stuck in a museum .....gotta be seen on the road"
A man built from the same mould as myself.
Not too sure just how big your shed is but I'm thinking you might have to display the vans on a rotating basis. 10 vans take up a lot of space and to display them properly so you can see the shape of each van they would probably need to be around 2 metres apart .. ala caravan park spacing
Is that Daggseys FC all in bits . I thought him and carrots was setting the spinnaker and sailing out of W.A about now on there big trip???