I would like to introduce myself and my caravan, as I am new to the forum. My name is Angela and I am from Kiama, NSW. I would like to thank forum member 'Cobber' for his support and encouraging me to join this forum. My husband and I recently purchase a 1940s Teardrop Caravan. We have named her 'Constellation' or 'Connie' for short.
We bought her from a gentleman in Bendigo (he had her for about 45 years), but she was originally purchased from an estate sale in Eaglehawk. I was told it was stored next to an 1800s miners house with a trove of tools.
Please see the attached photobucket link for some pictures.
She had been stored in a shed, and in good condition, but unfortunately suffered some minor damaged when she was couriered up from Bendigo and a vintage gemini pressed up against her. Fortunately the window didn't break. We found a variety of items in the teardrop, which I have photographed below, from old enamel pots, to items from the seaside.
The previous owner could not find any reference to her having been registered although she has a number plate, and what looks to be a part of an old sticker on her window.
My husband and I would love to preserve her and keep her as original as possible. We would appreciate any advice, and would even make a call out to anyone who might be able to assist us in repairing her skin/canvas (paid job). We are first timers, and are concerned we do the restoration correctly.
I think it would be fair to say Connie was custom made by somebody who knew what he was doing, she's a good looking teardrop. I can't remember seeing another vintage teardrop with the wheels mounted under and within the body of the van, do they intrude into the interior space noticeably, how wide is the van ?
I love those Morris Cowley wheels too, I'd like to have them on Ol '36 but they don't fit .....besides, I don't own them, you do
Looks like there is a bit of plywood damage to repair and I admire your intention to try and keep the van as original as you can, and the bloke who built it all those years ago would be chuffed too. If you feel as though you need advice on how to go about things have a look at some of the many restoration projects that have been performed by members on this forum, and then ask questions.
Sorry for my delay replying. I was most pleased to be able to source two spare Morris Cowley wheels online recently. The gentleman I purchased them from was told by his employer to throw them out back in 1968! I'm very glad he didn't.
Would you by any chance remember what colour/brand you painted ol'36 originally?
I measured Connie's width and she is 150cm, with the two wheels encroaching 24cm (on both sides) into the interior.
I did have a quick look online and wondered if she might have been based on a design called 'the midget'?
Yes there are similarities between "Connie" and "Midget" especially the way the wheels are located under the van. But I think Connie's shape is an improvement on Midgets anyway. As to the colour I originally painted Ol '36 ? .... cream. I just picked a colour card off the wall at the big green shed and took it to where the paint I use is available, they mix the colour. Have you started working on Connie ? I'll transfere a couple of photos of Connie from your photobucket account if you don't mind, not everybody clicks on hyperlinks
The restoration of Connie is in full swing. The paint stripping has revealed all the different colours she was painted over the years. I believe she was originally a lighter cream with federation green trims, however it is clear that at one time, she was completely painted in Army green (camo). I did find a stamp on the plywood. It was hard to read but looked like 'Hancock & Gore'. BONDWOOD. Was this the same as your's Cobber? And if so, would it give any indication of date or state of manufacture?
I'll be sure to upload some photos shortly.
P.S If anyone has a set of old beehive lights I'd love to buy them.
It is lovely weather for restoring caravans, if it's not raining , so keep at it and it'll be finished befor you know it
I' m interested to see photos of what you've done and a photo of the Hancock & Gore trade mark. Have you seen the thread we have about plywood Trade Marks ? There is a picture of Ol '36s in that thread. CLICK HERE if you haven't seen the thread befor and you can post a picture of yours there too. We're still trying to work out which trade mark belongs to which period in the history of Hancock & Gore, yours might help
Thanks for your replies. Yes Koala! I have persisted with the paint stripping! I have almost completed the outside. It has been blood, sweat and tears trying to budge that decades old paint- it really was like steel! I also have my share of paint stripper burns ! Ouch! I'll post some photos on the weekend.
By the way, that 30 seconds product was fantastic on the mould. It just dissolved it with almost no scrubbing!
Cobber, I have attached a link to the trademark. I'm sorry I couldn't attach the actual picture. (Still trying to figure these thing out I'm sorry). I did apply a liberal amount of paint stripper and it did bleed the trademark unfortunately, but I managed to get this pic before it smudged. I can make out 'Hancock & Gore' and maybe a bulldog at the bottom?
Remember the invitation for tea and cakes if you come down in October to Shellharbour. I hope to see you all.
Thanks for your message. I agree, it is very similar but a slightly different stamp again I think? Looking closely, I think my trademark has the full word LIMITED printed on it. I did see the attached image online with some handwritten associated trademark numbers. Do you think there would be any other offical records anywhere that might be worthwhile for me to apply for?
Go for it Angie. You've apparently found the ATMOSS search site and if you can make the fool of a thing work you're a better man than me Gunga Din (if you'll excuse the expression Angie)
That site looks like it should be able to tell us when Hancock and Gore changed that small detail on their trademark, from LTD to Limited but I can't make it work......... yet I know of no other place that might be more helpful with the information we are after.
Surely there must be somebody, apart from vintage caravan enthusiasts, who would be interested in using plywood trademarks as an indicator of the age of the ply.
Last Edit: Sept 24, 2016 19:03:22 GMT 10 by cobber
Good luck with the Trade Mark enquiry. From many hours searching for TMs years ago (before being on line) I think you will find changes such as the abbreviation LTD to the full word won't appear. It would have made my enquiries far more enlightening if it had. Basically it seems the word 'Hancock and Gore' with a 'bulldog' image might be the subject of the TM so then just using part of the bulldog, such as the head, is then covered without amending the application. I'll be interested to see if you come up with such detail, some of what I was looking for only bore a vague resemblance to what was initially registered.
NO GEORGE ! I'll BE INTERESTED TO SEE WHAT detail YOU COME UP WITH
Finally set aside some time for an update. Progress is slower than I'd like! Now I finally understand the expression 'labor of love!'.
Cobber and Ken, thought you'd be interested to know I was cleaning up the kitchenette and found another timber branding. This logo appears to read 'Windsor, Brisbane'. It is so faded I can't make out the rest. Do you recognise it?
Thanks for providing us with another mystery plywood trademark 😝 I can find no mention of 'Windsor' plywood in either of the reference points I troll through either HERE or HERE. But they obviously existed so we will just have to keep looking aye? 😉 Get with it Ken & George 😉😆
Do you have more photos Angi of your progress on this intriguing little teardrop ?
Apologies in advance Cobber, but I have one more unidentified trademark! This time on the latch on the back on the van. I have emailed the picture to a specialist called the Keyhole Surgeon, but he doesn't recognise the brand. He is checking with a colleague. He did however say that what was interesting about it was the screw holes with the old hexagonal shape. Any chance anyone recognises the brand? I am wondering if like the tow hitch is could be American?
In other news, to date I have used over 22 litres of paint stripper! (Not that I'm counting!) I keep hoping that much like an old painting, I will find a signature somewhere of the person who made it.
Hi Angi I remain interested in your project and feel that you should feel proud of your efforts to restore your lovely teardrop. In fact after 22 litres of paint stripper you now qualify as a experienced caravan restorer. This title means that you can now sit around the camp fire until the wee small hours with other like restorers and yarn about your project and impart knowledge to others. Will we see it at Shellharbour??
I will, if you bring 'Connie' to Shell Harbour I will take Ol '36
I can't offer any suggestions regarding the lock mainly because my old eyes can't see all the letters on it, so there's two questions for you,(1) can you see all the letters on the lock and what are they, and (2) what is Connies new name and why