Can you check this van again if it is close by , as it appears to have alumimium frames and sashes to all windows as with #4, where as #35 only has these type windows in the front. I also would like a set of photos if possible of ext.and int.
Sorry Bob the bloke that owns the van was heading back to Croydon that same week So the only info I have and photos are the ones already posted.
Hi Atog I don't know how many moulds they used,but I know they changed from the early models at about chassis no.90. to a new mould with less imperfections and new ceiling design and upper cupboards. I assume they only had one mould for each style/size van they produced, but I could stand to be corrected. Thanks for the photos of no.30. Cheers boblor
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 11, 2010 21:43:21 GMT 10
While visiting Brisbane recently I happened to see an aluminium clad Olympic in the front yard of a house (see Reply #29). I wasn't able to stop to get pics or chat with the owner, but Bobandjacqui and Boblor were able to follow up the lead and Boblor was given permission to photograph the van in question. The following photos are posted on behalf of Boblor.
You'll note that Olympic used a particularly sophisticated suspension for this van:
No springs! The answer is that this van was used in Olympic's own caravan park as an on-site van, hence no need for springs.
Boblor has noted that the splashback on this van (see next photo) is the same as on his fibreglass Olympic No 35 (the Don Chip campaign van) which was built in 1962/63. This suggests that this aluminium van is also around 1962/63.
This van is very similar to the aluminium Olympic shown in Reply #27, but retains the original windows.
Boblor has contacted the Olympic factory and they are considering collecting this van to be restored. That would be a great outcome. Bit of work to do, though...
The following is an advert from Keith Winser's 1964 Caravan and Touring Manual (p 167), which is likely to be for a model similar to the one above. However, while the advert is from the 1964 Winser, Boblor has been told by a former Olympic worker than when he started work in 1963 only fibreglass vans were being produced.
Thanks for following this van up Bobandjacqui and Boblor.
Post by firefighter on Nov 15, 2010 19:55:57 GMT 10
Olympic Riviera no 27 for boblor records.....this one is owned by a friend of mine that lives at Dimboola vic .....Ian & Lorna look at the forum as guests........Ians story is .......van had been in a shed for 35 years ( this van is like new) a new house was built in front of the shed so the van could not be removed a crane was used to lift the van over the house ......And this weekend at the bendigo swap is the first time the annex has been used Ian found it under the front seat where it has been for 35 years ( the orignal owners had never used it ) Check out the Circle Caravans sticker f/f ;D ;D ;D ;D
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 28, 2011 19:39:10 GMT 10
On 24 March 2010, I posted:
...Boblor has also asked me to post the following photos of a fibreglass van he saw at Evans Head:
Brand and age unknown. Boblor says it isn't a Chesney, and that it's owner doesn't know its make either. Does anybody have any clues?? I'm guessing post 1970 - everyone's gone silent, did I say something wrong? - but fibreglass vans of the late 60's and 70's isn't my area of expertise...
Don Ricardo After quite a deal of discussion about the van, and the elapse of some time, Boblor advised on 2 January 2011:
Hi All The unknown van has been identified by yours truly, as I rec'd. some number of photographs of another similar van with a raised roof area, in the last couple of days from a new contact. The van still has the original stickers on it, and it says OLYMPIC and it turns out to be another version of the 'Travel Trailer'. Bobandjacqui may post some photos of the van in question. The chassis no. of this van is 4 6 186 (a 1974model), as much as I study these unique vans you can always learn something. Cheers boblor And Bobandjacqui obliged with the following post later the same day:
G'day All, I'm posting these pics for boblor. I know that 1974 puts the van in the classic forum but I think it should be included in the DHL section for Olympics . I will also put it up over on Classic. So to all the fibreglass tragics ;D ;D ;D
Hi All VVers If you are looking for the chassis no. on an Olympic van (any model), it is found WELDED ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE 'A' FRAME, and is generally digits (no's) for the earlier vans up to 1970-1 = 3-4 digits, 1971-5 =5-6 digits, 1975-1988 = 5-6digits + a letter G,W, or P. The very early vans from 1-90, the chassis no. is back UNDER the van on the 'A' frame leg or on the FRONT cross member in smaller WELD, these are sometimes difficult to find. It appears they started with chassis no. 1 and so on to about 220 where they found they had to add digit 1 infront, so the next unit became 1221 and so on,( this was carried out to suit Traffic Regs at the time, around early 1967. I hope this is of some help to those owners or those seeking to own an Olympic, don't forget I am always available to assist, -- just send a PM. Cheers boblor
Hi All Today marks the end of an era, the founder of the Olympic caravans John (Jack) Dimmack passed away overnight. He was in his 92nd year, and produced some of the most durable caravans ever built during his time as a manufacturer, and I am sure we will enjoy them for many a year. As some of you know, a few of us gathered with vans at the factory in 2009 at the invitation of son Brent and his wife to celebrate Jack's 90th birthday along with some of the ex factory workers. What a great day we had, and for Loretta and I to meet the man after trying for nearly 10 years to do so. Jack told me that he and his father started being involved with caravans from 1927. History 2nd May 2011. Cheers boblor
Post by surfersrust on Apr 10, 2012 11:15:33 GMT 10
Re topic #18, I recently purchased a Aluminium Olympic van, with front and rear pointed bulkheads, with the xl tail lights in fairly good condition. Original inside and out except maybe external for the paint job. I am going to have a look for the serial number as suggested as it is not on the A frame. Will the serial number indicate the year or is this a bit of guess work. I will try to post some photos soon. Regards surfersrust
Post by First Glass - Tory on Apr 12, 2013 1:39:24 GMT 10
From the information kindly supplied by Bob:
Dean Flavel who sold me the van is the son of original agent for these vans in WA. Dean's father Michael floated a 'Riviera' down the Swam river in the '60's, with their wives/girlfriend sitting on the roof hatch in their swimsuits.
Here is the pics of my 14 ft Olympic Debonair, Make # 1792, Model 14/8/1969.
Post by bobandjacqui on Jul 20, 2014 13:41:32 GMT 10
Driving past the Olympic factory in Springwood this morning and it looks like it’s about to go for development. This will be the end of an era. Wonder what will happen to all the molds and stuff there?
Cheers Bob and Jacqui.
Last Edit: Sept 1, 2014 21:31:55 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Photo addresses corrected so that they display in post
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 1, 2014 22:42:21 GMT 10
Aluminium Olympic caravan advertised on Ebay, May 2011:
The styling of this van is similar to the Sapphire caravan in the 1967 Winser, although by that date Olympic was advertising its more familiar fibreglass vans. That suggests that the Olympic aluminium van shown above may possibly be from around 1965/6 (guess only!).
This is the second aluminium Olympic we've seen with what appear to be Ford Falcon tail lights, so that suggests that this may have been a regular fitting by Olympic on these vans.
Hi All A follow up on bobandjacqui's post earlier. Demolishion of the office and factory took place recently, and thought we should record this on our forum. Office knocked down on Monday 11th August and the factory on Wednesday 13th August 2014.I understand some caravans and gear (perhaps some moulds)are stored at the rear of the development site.I am hoping someone can take some photos for our records. The end of a well made product enjoyed by many still today 50-60 years later, I don't know of any other marque of van that has stood the time in the numbers that the Olympic marque has been able to do. My register just keeps growing,by people who have just recently aquired a van or found that I have a register and wish to be included. One great 'family'. Cheers boblor
Post by bobandjacqui on Dec 8, 2014 17:05:42 GMT 10
Last week end at Murwillumbah motorfest we had a small presentation for Bob Taylor. Bob or boblor as most know him on the forums is the Olympic Guru and we wished to let him know the appreciation we have for his knowledge and effort in recording the history of the Olympic brand which was produced in Springwood Qld. And his involvement it the total Vintage Van scene. Bob is a great friend, mate and mentor to many of us . Bob is always ready to share his knowledge with anyone who has an interest in our fantastic hobby.
Very popular with the ladies !!!!!
A BIG THANK YOU BOB from all your friends in the Vintage Caravan world.
We wish you many more happy trips and events and keep up the good fight.
Hi All A very memorable event for me, as it was kept a secret from me. I only woke to what was about to take place when I saw the cakes on the table. I said to Jacqui 'what's going on here' she replies 'just wait and see'. All I can say is a very big thankyou to all concern with the great effort. It's Olympic history isn't it ??. I should say a big thankyou to Jacqui and Bob for their effort in pulling it all together and for posting the photos of the event on the forum for all to enjoy. Cheers boblor
Post by Don Ricardo on May 23, 2015 15:45:59 GMT 10
Another example of the Olympic caravan model posted by Stephen&julie above
This van is a 16 ft version (Stephen&Julie's is a 13 ft) and belongs to Oztinbasher, showing the nearside and the Ford round tail lights which seem to have been used for several Olympic caravan models in the late 50's and early 60's. Oztinbasher dated his van as 1959/60.
The van was later extensively re-modelled by Oztinbasher - story here.
Hi All I have found it very difficult to tell the vintage of the aluminium caravans produced by Olympic. In a short space of time it appears they produced about four different models.I was informed by an Olympic employee that he worked on chassis no. 35 in 1963. I restored this van in 2008-10. I would assume the Olympic started the fibreglass versions probably two years prior to this, and produced them along with the aluminium models at the same time, to have a cash flow. Jack Dimmack told me that he and his father were involved with caravans from 1927 in some way. In 1939 they won an award at the Melbourne Caravan Show with their van that could accommodate a boat. At that time the Company was called Rackett Company or something similar, (Iam doing this from memory without my records). To date I have found bondwood ,aluminium, and fibreglass models, but identifying the build date for bondwood and alumiium models is anyones guess. What can you tell us about this early vans .Just had a look at the Chesney posting on page 2 of neilncheryl's van which appears to be a similar design and shown as a 1962 model, perhaps early 1960's is ok. Cheers boblor
Post by Don Ricardo on May 24, 2015 21:05:30 GMT 10
Thanks for adding some more photos of the aluminium Olympic caravan you've seen (and recovered?) to fill out the picture (sorry about the pun!) we have of this model, including the interior shots. It certainly is an unusual design for that period and demonstrates that, along with Carapark, Olympic was experimenting with some pretty "edgy" designs in the late 50's and early 60's.
Thanks also for pointing out in a post that since seems to have been deleted that Ford was using the round tail lights on more than just the Falcon range during the same period of time. I've modified my earlier post accordingly. The tail lights on Oztinbasher's van look to me like the lights from an XK Falcon because they have the centre turn light (or is that just that the centre bit has been punched out/broken?), but given the use of similar lights on the Fairlane and Galaxie models, I presume that Ford used common parts across a range of models.
If you look at the lights on this later Olympic model above, they appear to me like the lights from an XL Falcon? However, I'm not an expert on Falcons in any respect, so am quite happy to be corrected.
Hi Richard, Ford USA started using round tail lights in 1952, & continued thru well into the 60's & later. Most lights were specific to a model, but were similar. They varied in diameter &finished shape from model to model. I would think it likely that the Aussie Ford in the 60's were similar to the USA ones, but even though I've seen a lot of lights, I make no pretense of being knowledgeable on all of them. The one person that knows much more on Fords than anyone I know, appears to be uninterested in commenting on these at this stage.