Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 31, 2008 20:03:41 GMT 10
1956 Carapark publicity:
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan & Touring Manual for 1956, p 97)
Note that the printer's gremlins seem to have miscued the descriptions for the two cutaway diagrams at the bottom of the page. The left-hand diagram appears to be the "Superb", while the right-hand diagram appears to be of the "Junior".
The information for Carapark from Winser's specification table (p 80) lists:
"Hunter" Junior - 10 ft 7 in, steel & aluminium
"Hunter" Special - 14 ft 9 in, steel & aluminium
"Portable Home" - 20 ft, pressed steel
New Superb - 12 ft 9 in, steel & aluminium
3 Commercial vans are also listed: 13 ft 5 in, 14 ft 5 in and 18 ft Diner, all of which were constructed of steel.
From this it appears that sometime between 1954 (see previous posts) and 1956, Carapark moved from producing a mixture of plywood and aluminium and/or steel vans to producing only metal vans. The plywood Hunter Junior and Hunter de Luxe of the early 1950's became the aluminium Hunter Junior and Hunter Special. Does anyone have a 1954 or 1955 Winser that may further help to pinpoint the date of the change?
The best I can offer is a couple of scans from the 1954 “Caravan & Touring” Manual.
The first is from the “Specification” pages and shows the Hunter “Junior” and Hunter “Special” were marine ply at that time.
The second scan indicates they were still having the previously noted identity crises in 1954..... the “Superb” is “Caravan Park's” child whereas “Carapark” produced the “Superb” and the “Hunter De Luxe”.... The 1954 “Trade Directory” lists “Caravan Park limited” and by 1957 they were listed as “Carapark Productions Ltd.”......... what does the 1956 Trade directory say Don .
The 1955 “Caravan & Touring” Manual is the missing link here, who's got it ?
The “Caravan Trade Directories” (which is something different to the “Specifications” page shown above) in the back of these magazines gives a good run-down on whether a company is involved in manufacture..agent...hirer..repairs etc. etc.
I have copied the ones in these books I have on loan for my own edification and I am wondering if folk would be interested in having a couple of them posted on the forum....... yes........ no ?
This photo from “Cars” magazine November 1955 announces the arrival of the Carapark Hunter “Special”... complete with a separate “shower room”. The accompanying article explains that the shower room is lined with Laminex and although only 28 inches square, which does not allow for gymnastics , it is quite adequate for dressing and un-dressing, and for a good shower.
This photo also shows that Carapark were the familiar aluminium skinned toaster shape in November 1955.
Hi VVers Some info that may be useful regarding Carapark 1952 -- 6th Annual Report/ Annual General meeting held on 11/11/,52 1954 -- 301 units produced 1955 --- 475 " " Models Hunter Junior, Hunter, Superb, and Commercial units 1956 --- 569 " " " " ,Hunter Special, Superb De Luxe, Carapark Eighteen. as per 30th June 1956 Report. 1957 -- 637 units produced, Models - 23' model introduced, Big Eighteen, Sixteen-two, Twelve-nine, Ten-nine (sleeps four), Ten-nine (sleeps three). as per 30th June 1957 Report. 1958 -- 662 units produced. From National Library-- Cat no. N332.0994 Car ( for above) See "Plans for Caravans -- 1956" by Keith Winser Pages 49- 53 for branches and parts list. Cheers for now Boblor
Carapark history does get a bit messy around about 1962 me thinks.
From information at the start of this thread and in reply #8 it would appear that Carapark were bought out in 1962 by Motels Australia, who had no interest in Caravan manufacture..... however the distributors, or previous executives of the company, were given the opportunity to continue operations in each state.
Previously I thought the only manufacturing plant was at Mayfield near Newcastle because advertisements up to 1961 indicated they only had “Carapark Centres” throughout Australia, but in the 1962 Winser “Caravan & Touring Manual” they mention “Manufacturing Plants in Five States”.
From an article I have in a December 1962 Motor Manual, reviewing the Melbourne Caravan Show, it announces the new “Carapark Astronaught” 12' 7” model which is the smallest model in their current range.... so it would appear that the “Astronaught range was released during the mid or latter part of 1962 because an August '62 M M article only makes mention of the “Zestline". An add. in the October '63 M M indicates they were still available then.
Can anybody add to this.....were new carapark 'vans available in 1964 or later ?
That's the short answer to your question Matt, we'll wait to see if anybody adds to it.
Post by bobandjacqui on Jul 16, 2009 6:11:16 GMT 10
Hi VVanners, We have just rescued what we believe to be a 12/9 Carapark Zestline complete with porthole windows. This van had been left in a yard for over 15 years and is in a sad state but not impossible to restore. In need of a complete interior fitout. We will try to post some photos over the next couple of days. There is a photo in Down History Lane in reply No. 10 which is the same and we would be interested if anyone can confirm that van s year of manufacture is actually 1958. Cheers Bob and Jacqui.
Trying to make sense of my archive collection, this is what I think is the history of Carapark caravans from 1960...
1960, December: The Carapark Zestline was first launched on the market in 1960, most likely at the Sydney Motor Show in September that year. Carapark was the main exhibitor of caravans at the Show. This advertisement from December highlights the new Zestline...
------------------------- 1961, November: This advertisement announces the new Zestline 12-9 models just released (again probably at the Sydney Motor Show in 1961)...
--------------------- 1962, August: This advertisement confirms the origin of the Zestline in 1960, and announces the new Astronaut caravan for the 1963 model range...
------------------------- 1963, November: This advertisement shows the Astronaut to be 15ft 5ins...
------------------ 1964, April: This advertisement heralds the new 15ft Voyager model just released...
Note also the reference to Fleetwinds being sold through the Carapark sale yard. This shows Carapark making the transition from a solely Carapark dealer to dealing with other brands.
-------------------------- 1964, September: This advertisement shows the newly released Astronaut Mark II. Note the style of this van is more in line with the Millards and Viscounts that were being built at this time...
------------------- 1965, February: This advertisement talks about an Astronaut Mark II "De Luxe" and a Voyager 15 "Super"...
---------------------- 1967, September: This advertisement marks the transition of Carapark from being a manufacturer to being only a dealer of various brands. It does say "new and used" caravans, but I found no other advertisements for new Caraparks after the 1965 advert above...
Post by astronauty on Jul 17, 2009 18:28:56 GMT 10
Amazing information, the very short production period probably explains why I have only ever seen three Astronauts 15/5's My early version I found on this forum a couple of years ago (Took me years of pestering to prise it out of Nigel's hands LOL), the one from Qld belonging to a forum members daughter (he owns the red Zestline) and the mystery van from SA somewhere that has been spotted once or twice and mentioned here. Does anyone know of any other Astronauts? I would like to compare some of the "unusual" features of my van to them.
Thanks very very much for the time and effort to let us know the history of these wonderful vans.
Here's another set of Zestline photos from a Trading Post advertisement in April 2008. I don't have any other information besides these photos I collected. I've enlarged a couple of them which is why they look a bit blurry.
Doesn't look like this one has fins...
There's a Zestline in the front yard of a house about 2kms from me. Been there at least for the 2 years I've lived here. I should stop by one day and see if I can take some photos and get any ID details off it to help with the dating process.
Post by astronauty on Jul 20, 2009 18:16:58 GMT 10
HMMM that trading Post advert looks like the van from up in NSW somewhere, Melanco found and posted about that one ages ago. From memory, it is the only Zestline styled van that has turned up with singles instead of the nite-n day bed, it has been mentioned on here a couple of times. And yeah no fins and the portholes, we kinda worked out it was another very early van (pre 1960) and had no Zest;ien badges or naming on it either. Matt
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2009 18:26:41 GMT 10 by astronauty
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 20, 2009 23:39:13 GMT 10
On 19 July 2009 Bobandjacqui started a thread called Zestline rescue in the Members' Photo Album section about their newly acquired Carapark caravan.
This led to a discussion on their thread about dating Carapark Zestline caravans. Because the information which was posted as part of this discussion is of general interest, the relevant posts have been copied to this thread. Some of the pics of BobandJacqui's Carapark which sparked the discussion re dating:
Hi Bob and Jacqui, looks like an early Zestline, the same as Mel's (MELANCO) all the adverts I have seen point to the larger window models being released in 1960, so presumably this one will be pre 60 like hers.
Does this van have any external markings identifying it as a Zestline, all the porthole models I have seen have no badges other than "Carapark" and that may have to do with the pre release of the "Zestline" name in 60 as well?
P.S. did yours have a sofa fold out bed or singles Don Ricardo queried:
Hi Astronauty (and Melanco if you're around),
You mentioned pre-1960 Zestlines and that sent me to the Carapark thread in the Down History Lane section. There are a couple of references there to Zestlines only being released in 1960, so that left me with a couple of queries:
a. When were the original "Zestline" style vans introduced? b. When were the fins added to the Zestline models? Was it the finned models which were released in 1960? c. Was it only in 1960 that this range of Carapark vans came to be known as Zestlines? (Or have I misunderstood what you were saying in your post?)
Don Ricardo Bobandjacqui replied on 20 July 2009:
G'day Astronauty, Haven't found any signs/stickers re Zestline but as shown in the photos we found the two Carapark badges, they had fallen off both sides and were in the dirt. Only found them because we had to dig the old girl out. Probably lucky to find them... Franklin1 then commented:
I think the Carapark waters are becoming a bit muddy If you look at Repy #6 in the Carapark DHL thread, the 1958 range of Caraparks has a 'new' 12-9 toaster model (which would be what Boblor's information relates to), but no mention of Zestlines. Reply #8 in the DHL is an article from Motor Manual Oct 1, 1960, announcing the new Zestline range (I copied this from an old forum thread into the DHL thread...PM gristy for the original if he still has it). This article agrees with the advertisements I collected showing the Zestline origins from 1960. The only query I have is about the fins...the photo in gristy's 1960 article shows what looks like fins on the rear of the van, and also square window frames on the nearside. The 1960 article says the van will be 7ft width, 13ft 7ins overall length (where exactly is the "overall length" measured on this design??) and headroom 6ft 2-and-something inches. The article says other sizes will be made.
Bobandjacqui, perhaps if you measure the length from the waistline pointy bit at the front, along the cladding joint under the window to the rear, and tell us what that is, plus the width of the van. Maybe the smaller vans had straight backs, and the larger sizes had the fins. Who knows??!! If we keep collecting information, hopefully one day it will all make sense...
cheers, Al. Astronauty also commented:
Hi all, from personal experience I have found the following
These vans appear to have two forms,
Pre 1960 = small porthole windows instead of larger rectangular glass, no rear fins and flat front across from side to side, with no external branding as a "Zestline" only the two "Carapark" badges on the quarter panels, this is the same style as above and Mel's van.
Post 1960 = they have two "Flying Buttresses" next to the front windows, large rectangular glass instead of portholes, and a definate larger rectangular badge on the exterior rear near the fins (the same badge used on Astronauts). This is the same style as the van Kingy had (now gone to caravan heaven), and the one I had mentioned for sale in Melbourne. It is also the base style I believe they used for the Astronaut, but with corner perspex windows etc (but I digress)
ALL of the vans I have seen had similar layouts inside, and a very common pink and green interior colour scheme originally, but the external differences were pronounced, my theory based on all the above and talkign to opther Carapark owners is that these vans WERE produced before 1960, but in 1960 they were slightly altered and branded a "Zestline"
Hope that helps a little
Matt Bobandjacqui provided the following information:
G'day Franklin1 and Astronauty, Thought I would answer a couple of your questions. First off the length is 12 foot 9 by just under 7 foot wide, the van has no fins , looks exactly like the photo Franklin1 posted today. Sorry Matt no chassis number as it appears the A frame has had a repair along the way. To my eyes it looks the same as the photo of Melanco's van in the Carapark thread. Cheers Bob and Jacqui.
See also Replies # 58. 59 & 60 which also relate to this discussion. Editorial note: More recent information has revealed that the Zestline caravans without fins and with the 'flying buttresses' either side of the front window were in fact the Standard or economy model of the Zestline range which continued on until at least 1962. Click here for more information. Don Ricardo
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 20, 2009 23:53:31 GMT 10
Hi ho everyone,
Does anybody have access to the caravan manufacturer model/price lists in the Winser 'Australian Caravan and Touring Manuals' from 1958 through to 1964 or 5? They might help us work out when the "Zestline predecessors" became "Zestlines" and were then transformed into "Astronauts".
Any info about the Carapark model lineup during these years will be useful...
Astronauty - great idea about putting together a register of the Zestline style Caraparks! Well worth doing!