We have just bought this little beauty and we need some information on a rough build date and name of manufacturer and model.
We were told that is a Hardy Deluxe, built approximately early 60's. Trying to get her registered and the powers that be want more detail then what is on the current rego certificate. Any help would be much appreciated.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 6, 2021 12:47:27 GMT 10
Congratulations on your purchase. Shesgotthelook has referred you to the Hardy Vans thread in the 'Down History Lane' section of the forum. That will provide you with some information that will be helpful I hope. As you will see, Hardy Vans were manufactured by Caravan & Car Co Limited based in Norwood, South Australia.
Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of information about the history of Hardy Vans that allows us to date your van accurately, but I'm going to try and give you a bit of a range based on the construction of, and the fittings in your van...
The original Hardy Vans from the early 50's (or perhaps even late 40's) were clad in masonite with wooden framed windows. There are a couple of examples of those earlier vans on the Hardy Van thread. In the mid-50's, the majority of caravan manufacturers began to fit their vans with aluminium framed windows. On the thread there is an example of a Hardy Van with aluminium windows here. This van has aluminium framed windows that were used by some manufacturers from 1956/7. You'll note these windows have quite broad frames, rectangular in shape with rounded corners. By the ripples in the cladding and the joins in the cladding, I believe this van is clad in masonite.
Your van has D-shaped aluminium windows with narrower frames. These frames began to be widely used by manufacturers from about 1958 onwards. This possibly indicates to me that your van was built in 1958 or later. But...we have no information to suggest that Hardy Vans came from the factory clad with aluminium, and the way that your van has been clad with the same type of (what looks to be pretty new) aluminium sheet on the walls and roof, together with the checkerplate aluminium at the front seems to indicate that the van has been reclad fairly recently. It also has new style stabiliser legs and what appears to be a new A-frame. So it looks as if the van has been extensively renovated/updated. That may mean that the windows on the van are not original.
Are there any signs inside the van that the windows have been changed or altered? And also if you look inside the cupboards and wardrobe, is there any sign of the original cladding, masonite or otherwise?
Subject to anything else you can tell me re the windows and original cladding, my thoughts would be that your van is late 50's. Pick 1957 or 1958 for registration purposes if you like. The style of the van is definitely an older style, even for the late 50's, but it seems like Hardy Vans continued to be produced in that style relatively late even though there were much more modern styles being produced. I have some doubts about whether Hardy was still producing this style of van in the early 60's, but it does appear that they were still involved in the caravan industry in that decade, because in the mid or late 60's they put their name on some much more modern looking vans which were called 'Fiestas' - see here - although they may not have built those themselves.
I hope that helps? Feel free to ask further questions or make comments.