Following an unrelated conversation on Facebook with Hughdeany, it occurred to me that the name we all seem to apply to Franklin's little 10'6" baby may actually, officially, just the smallest of the Caravelle range.
Is the word 'Mini' just a colloquialism that has become common place, and not the official name of that model from Franklin?
Once that thought entered my head, I went looking through my collection of ads from the era, and I couldn't find any using that name.
Also, I don't recall ever seeing one of those small stickers beside the door where one can see names such as 'Regent' or 'Arrow' on what we all usually refer to as a Mini.
To prove or disprove this, has anyone got a copy of a Franklin ad from the late 60's where Franklin themselves use the name 'Mini' as the model name?
Or, has anyone seen one of those door badges with the word 'Mini' on it.
Or, conversely, one with the name Caravelle on the 10'6" model?
This may be something only of interest to me, but maybe some of you may have more info or an opinion on the matter.
Post by Roehm3108 on Sept 13, 2019 11:00:48 GMT 10
I owned one of those "Mini's" as my first foray into vintage caravanning and I don't remember the name being anywhere in it. Nor, for that Matter the word "Caravelle". Could that be because Millard used the term "mini" and "micro" in the early 70's? Not much help for you, Jim, for what is an interesting question.
Post by Franklin1 on Sept 13, 2019 14:13:03 GMT 10
Yes, interesting question! One of the downsides with researching Franklin history is that Franklin didn't seem to spend much on advertising in the media until around 1968. The Franklin brand made its way into the NSW market in 1964, but it seems it was left to the dealers to do all the advertising. The term "Mini" was widely used in NSW Franklin advertisements from 1966. For example, the following 1968 advert from a dealer in western Sydney shows the Mini tag...
It is not until 1968 that we start to see some corporate Franklin advertising, which would show a photo of one of the models at the top, and sometimes would include the name of the model, for example this Caravelle (print is a bit blurry above the rear window, but says "Illustrated 6 berth 18' Caravelle")...
On two occasions in 1968, Franklin ran advertisements showing what appeared to be the range of Franklin models available at the time. Unfortunately, there are no names printed beside each of the models...
I'm presuming that since the depiction of the "Mini" (No.2) is separate from the "Caravelle" (No.3), then Franklin considered the Mini to be a separate model, rather than a mini Caravelle.
Your other question about stickers is also interesting. I have heaps of photos of Franklins from the 1960s, and I've never seen a Caravelle sticker or a Mini sticker. The introduction of stickers showing the model name seems to have started with the change of ownership of the Franklin business during mid-1970.
Al, I think you've found the answer in the second ad. I discount the first as it is a dealer only although they do refer to it as the "Mini" as you point out. And the price is interesting. In 1968 it was $1434. Hmm. Apparently, the median wage in 1968 was $7200. So the Mini represented an investment of 20% of the average mans yearly wage. Median wage today (2018) is $82436 so the equivalent price (20%) would be $16,500. Could we buy a small van today for that money? I would have thought no, but I haven't really looked.
But the second ad appears to be a generic ad for the range as a whole by Franklin themselves. The first line refers to Franklin as a "manufacturer of trend setting design and styling" so the emphasis seems to be on promoting the range as a whole. Not any particular model.
But, it then refers their range as starting with "the 3-berth 10' 6" Mini Model" That's what I consider to be an ad from Franklin specifically referring to it as a "Mini Model" The reference to Caravelle seems merely to explain which one is being illustrated.
And since they use both names on the one ad to describe two different sizes, I think it's reasonable to suggest that you've found proof that Franklin refer to the 10'6" model as the "Mini" and the larger example as the "Caravelle". Two different models, albeit with a very similar shape.
And, I agree with your logic about the next ad.
Thank you Al.
Regarding the door stickers. I never considered it may have been something they started in the 70's. I too, have never seen one on an earlier model. The penny never dropped for me though. Thank you again. I'm going to suggest the mystery is solved. Does anyone disagree?
Last Edit: Sept 13, 2019 17:20:52 GMT 10 by grandad
Post by hughdeany on Sept 13, 2019 19:34:54 GMT 10
Hi Grandad and Franklin 1, Yes,the mini was the Caravelle shape but in a smaller version.I have a pic at home somewhere that has the names against the vans. The ones in this add are 1-Freeway 2-Mini 3-Caravelle 4-Premier 5-Safari 6- Freeway again. The Caravelle came as 10.6,14.6 and 18.6 and 19.6 to order only,and the 18.6 available as tandem or single axle and 7 or 8 ft wide. I remember the door stickers being on silver aluminium onwards. Cheers hughdeany