Cobber's guess......... "I reckon it's custom built (sounds better than home built) in Queensland sometime in the 1940s. The fact that you found it in Qld. the barn style door and the general style shout Queensland built to me."
So unless I find anything that tells me otherwise, I will go with that.
The van is now under cover. We got a $12,000- quote to put up a double carport and decided the carport will have to wait till next year. So we decided to make use of our undercover area. The only problem was, it is out the back and on the opposite side of the house to the driveway. It took two days to do it, but we got there in the end.
Reversing down the side of the house.
We had to move the trampoline and the swing set, then winch the van around.
Then we had to jack up the rear end to clear the veggie garden.
Then jack it up again to clear the retaining wall.
This is the good side. The other side was exposed to the weather, so I am expecting quite a bit of damage. Also the panel to the right has the shower behind it, I can already see from the little bit that is exposed that it is very rotten.
I managed to find a bit of history of this van. I tracked down the daughter of one of the owners of the van.
Parts of Melody’s email …. My Dad (Bernie Porter) owned the caravan. I remember it well from my youth. Unfortunately I can't recollect the van's origins, except I'm sure that my Dad did not build it himself, although he was a most amazing man and made all sorts of things, having been a Fitter and Turner and Mechanic and served in the RAAF in New Guinea during the Second World War working on keeping Australia's fighter aircraft in the air. My family lived in Theodore and Dad would go over to the coast on fishing trips. The van was used for accommodation.
Melody made some enquiries for me and here are parts of her follow up email…… The general concensus is that Dad would have bought the van around about 1966. He bought it somewhere on the coast and set it up at Mooring Place, Boyne Island, just down towards the Boyne River from where the van was when you bought it. Once it was set up as his fishing camp, it didn't move until it went up to Mum's place which is where it was when you bought it.
Things are progressing. I have been continuing to remove the outer skin, but have found it easier to pry it off from inside the van. So a decision was made to remove "things" from inside the van to enable access to the outer skin.
Upon closer inspection, it has become apparent that the van has been remodelled in the 1960's. This remodelling involved removing the kitchen from the front of the van and rebuilding another one in the middle. Lining the shower with galvanised sheets, removing the seating area and putting in a bed and vanity. Also putting in a bed where the kitchen used to be. Some parts of the van were also lined with a textured Masonite.
So I have removed the kitchen, beds, vanity, shower lining and masonite.
Now I have a bit of a blank canvas and will attempt to rebuild everything more in the style of how it would have originally been.
The later addition kitchen. The galvanised shower lining. This lovely curved wall that was hidden by the shower lining.
The drawbar came off easily. It looks to be in good condition.
Hi Mel, Good to see an update, my goodness you are earning this van, but it looks reasonable in condition all things considered. Nice to get some van history. That pink Laminex brings back some memories of our childhood kitchen.
Great old van very big for the year built looks like it will come up a treat chris
Restoring 1934 jennison roadcruiser 10 ft restored 1963 Jennison pathfinder 30 ft 1961 jennison pathfinder 17.6ft restored 1957 jennison pathfinder 14 ft 1964 jennison pathfinder 16 ft And 55 fj special sedan Portarlington vic
Time for some updates and photos please. We have just returned from 10 nights touring Tassie in a camper with no rain sighted the whole trip. With such clear and beautiful Tassie weather you should be powering along.
Located in Rosewater SA "Marvin" 1950's SA Home Build Masonite 1960 Globe Trotter Chassis # 1255
That's a very special Bondwood Van, I don't see very many where the front leans forward same as the back. As a kid when the parents were alive we had a plyvan which leant forward like that about 12ft long, have no idea what it was but, It is one of only a few I've ever seen that leans forward for the front wall. Keep at it, I'm sure you will return it to a marvellously unique Van.
Hi cster, It is a bit unique. Although I prefer the look of the more curved vans, the good thing about this one is that we have heaps of head room. No hitting your head when you stand up!! So although it is not the most attractive van, it is interesting and quite luxurious. I have been trying to convince hubby and the kids that this one will scrub up well and they will grow just as fond of it as they are our other van, but so far they can't be convinced.
Some of the framing ribs had been partly removed at one end and the others were falling apart. So instead of employing the carpenter to replace them or asking my Dad to do it, I decided to have a go at making some new ones myself. So I went off to Bunnings and bought myself a girly router as the one my husband has is very bulky and heavy. I then sought some advice from Dad and headed out to the shed.
This is the result.
I showed them to the carpenter and he said that I had done a good job. Yay!!