I bought a 1958 Don 150 (#1063) back in March. It's in great condition inside but was in desperate need of repaint outside. I have completely stripped it back and layed calico on the roof, and finished the 4th coat of gloss enamel today. YAY! It's probably quite a bit whiter than the original but it is looking very fresh and I am happy with the finish. From reading other posts it seems that the trim was an ochre colour but I have decided to go with a deeper/traffic-light red. I am just wondering what people's thoughts are about me doing the door red too. I know this is not the original design so wanted to canvas opinion before I proceed. It also has a stone guard which covers the Don emblems on the front, and am thinking of relocating them to a bit higher - beside the front windows. Would also appreciate thoughts on this. I've attached a few photos to show the progress I've made.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 24, 2023 13:23:21 GMT 10
I'm so glad that No 1063 is receiving some TLC. That's great news, and I'm excited to hear it. The 150 model was a pretty stylish looking van in their day to my eyes (although they were still an older style, even then). Certainly the V-shaped front, etc, was very unusual for an Australian designed and built caravan.
In response to some of your questions:
1. Unlike the previous leadlight window series, Don used a range of colours for their post-1956 models. One of the colours used was a creamy coloured body with ochre or perhaps cinnamon trim. That's what your van appears to have been painted. I actually like the colour you've painted the body in, and I think it's not far off the original in fact.
2. Regarding the door, originally it would have been painted the same colour as the rest of the body with a cinnamon waist high stripe. I'm a bit of a traditionalist and like to keep my van in as close to original condition as I can, but No 1063 is your van, and you are free to paint the door whatever colour you wish. I do wonder if a red door would stand out and look as if it has been replaced after an accident, for example, a bit like you see a car which has had it's door replaced and not painted to match the rest of the vehicle? But it is up to you and what appeals to you.
3. The stone guard is an after market addition, and being a traditionalist I personally would take it off and leave the Don badges where they are. But again it's your van, and the stone guard does provide some protection. I'm not sure where you'd move the badges to? You've suggested beside the front windows, but that might look a bit strange? By the way, I am interested to see that your Don badges are green enamel. They were always green from late in the 30's through to 1956, but for the 150 model some of the badges were colour matched to the colour of the van - so blue badge for a blue van, and I think I've seen a cinnamon badge on a van the colour of yours but can't find the photo of it at this point. Anyway that's just a comment out of interest.
4. Regarding a clock, I think that your clock was probably after market. They certainly weren't installed in the pre-1956 vans or other Dons, and I've checked out the photos I have of other Don 150's and they don't have a clock, so maybe you can just choose something which looks suitable for the era and space?
Hope that all helps. I'm not sure if you've seen photos of the Don 150, serial no 1050? We think that it was the very first 150 model which was displayed at the 1956 caravan show, because the serial number 1050 matches up with the model name 150 (there are a few other reasons for thinking that as well). You'll find some photos of No 1050 here.
Thanks Don Ricardo. I had so much white/ cream paint left over Ice decided to do the door and hatch in that. The red has turned out a bit more orange than I wanted so going to get that remixed for the trim. I'll post more photos when it's all done and back together. The Don insignia are def green and don't appear to have been removed/replace and the kitchen bench is a pink so I'm confident the trim was ochre/cinnamon.
The rain guards over the windows had been painted cream but I've since noticed from photos of other Dons that they were traditionally kept unpainted so eventually I will take them off and strip back to the metal - I'm really trying to restore rather than just renovate. And I hope to get sprung cushions made with more 50s style upholstery as the previous owner has replaced the original with foam block covered in vinyl. They are OK but just not as authentic as I'd like.
I do have two another Qs: 1. just wondering what to do with the spare tire? There doesn't seem to be a bracket on the front as the gas bottle takes up all the room. I think the previous owner mustn't just kept it in the van but I'd rather not have to move it in/out for travelling and when I'm using the van.
2. Did this model originally have a washbowl in the wardrobe? It has a bath under one of the single beds but a washbowl would be really handy. Any idea where I could source one?