Manufactured initially by P.A.W. Caravan Co. 65 Federation Street, Mt Hawthorn, Western Australia and Cnr Scarborough Beach Road & Hutton Street, Osborne Park, Western Australia
Later by C.&.W. Industries Pty. Ltd. Cnr Scarborough Beach Road & Hutton Street, Osborne Park, Western Australia
And later by Caravan Industries Pty. Ltd. Cnr Scarborough Beach Road & Hutton Street, Osborne Park, Western Australia and 20 Collingwood Street, Osborne Park, Western Australia This is an 1968 Aristocrat van.
I don`t have much info, but am sure someone will add to this post.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 15, 2009 14:52:39 GMT 10
1966 Aristavan purchased by Willyn from Albany, WA in August 2009:
Pics of the Aristavan's large hatch posted by Willyn on 11 September 2009:
The external paintwork on the van is not original, but note the similar if not identical profiles of the Aristavan and the Aristrocrat van which commenced this thread, especially the unusual and relatively small front windows placed under the quite prominent front bulkhead.
The Aristavan logo is virtually identical to the Aristocrat logo, indicating that the vans were produced by the same company:
This leaves a few questions:
1. When did Aristocrat change it's name to Aristavan or vice versa? (The Aristavan was claimed by the previous owner to be 1966, whereas Trev's Aristocrat is 1968, so perhaps it was vice versa?)
2. What does the 'C & W' on both logos stand for?
3. Is the proper designation for the vans actually C... & W... Aristocrat and C... & W... Aristavan?
4. Did Aristocrat/Aristavan only build small vans?
5. The Aristocrat logo says it is Mk II - what did Mk I look like?
6. The address given on the Aristocrat logo is 'Caravanland, Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park'. Does this info provide any clues as to the origins of Aristocrat/Aristavan caravans?
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 7, 2015 22:51:29 GMT 10
Advertisement and information for Aristocrat and Aristavan caravans published in the 1967 Winser caravan manual:
(Source: K Winser, Caravan Manual & Tourist Park Guide, 19th edition, 1967, p 159)
The advertisement and other info presented in the manual provide an answer to some of the questions that have been raised over the years about the relationship between Aristavan and Aristocrat caravans. The two brandnames were applied to two separate ranges of caravans built by the same firm which were available at the same time, and which differed in size (although overlapping), construction and weight - and level of fit-out? - and price.
The Aristavans ranged in size from 9 ft to 16 ft (20 ft according to the advert), were clad in Crezon (see below) and aluminium, and in 1967 ranged in price from $790 to $1,710. In contrast, Aristocrats ranged in size from 12 ft 6 in to 28 ft (30 ft according to the advert), were clad entirely in aluminium, and ranged in price from $1,590 to $5,200. As a comparison, the 16 ft Aristavan Regal weighed 17 cwt, and cost $1,710, while the 16 ft Aristocrat Deluxe weighed 18 cwt and cost $2,170. (Info from pages 150 and 151 of the 1967 caravan manual.)
The advertisement indicates that Aristavans and Aristocrats were built by Caravan Industries Pty Ltd in Osborne Park, although the text underneath the photo in the top right hand corner of the page refers to 'C & W Industries'. It seems that the vans were then sold through Caravanland in Osborne Park and several other locations.
It is interesting to note that the 'C & W' logo appears in the advert and is shown on the signage on the vans (see examples higher up this thread). It is not clear from this whether 'C & W' relates to the manufacturer (Caravan Industries) or to the retailer (Caravanland), or perhaps they were all part of the same enterprise? In any case, we still don't know what 'C & W' stands for, although it has been suggested semi-seriously that it is short for Country & Western!
And if you're wondering, 'Crezon' was an external-grade ply with a pre-coated surface, so probably similar to Rescote used by other van manufacturers. These days it is apparently mainly used for outdoor signage.
Don Ricardo ADDENDUM - November 2023: More recent information indicates that Caravan Industries Pty Ltd, the manufacturer of Aristocrat and Aristavan caravans, was a successor to C.&.W. Industries Pty Ltd, the manufacturer of C.&.W. caravans. It is unclear at this stage whether the formation of Caravan Industries just reflected the growth of the earlier C.&.W. Industries enterprise, or a takeover of C.&.W. Caravanland was the sales division of Caravan Industries Pty Ltd. Don Ricardo
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 8, 2015 15:28:06 GMT 10
Photos of Aza's 9 ft Aristavan Sprite posted on 9 September 2014:
When posting the photos, Aza commented:
I originally assumed that maybe Aristavan was the name given to the 9FT model but it seems that's not the case as we have a picture of a 9FT with the name Aristacrat. Also I have seen many Aristacrat vans, always MK2 and never a MK1, including a MK2 with a very similar shape to the Carapark toaster style models. All of them have been completely aluminium unlike the Aristavan with ply (?) sides. So the question still remains, is there a MK1 ?... As for the C & W, I was told from someone that also has a mini Aristavan that they have always believed it stood for Country & Western...
Mine appears very similar to both Trev's and Willyn's although like Trev's both the front and rear windows are fixed on mine where as it appears Willyn's can be opened ? On 11 September 2014, Firefighter posted an advertisement for Caravanland from the Winser's 1967 Plans for Caravans as part of the discussion about Aza's Aristavan:
(Source: K Winser, Plans for Caravans, 12 edition, 1967)
Note that the advert refers to 'Caravanland' in Scarborough Beach Road, and then lists the factory as being 'Caravan Industries' in Collingwood Street. My reading of this is that they were all part of the one enterprise. Also note - no mention of 'C & W'! Later the same day Aza replied:
Yes, thanks for posting the add for us firefighter. I had wondered if the stripe on the side of my van was original and it seems it may well be... During the discussion that followed Firefighter's post, it was noted that the Apache model referred to in the advertisement was not an Aristavan or Aristocrat model, but an imported camper trailer sold by Caravanland - see here
I think I can help with this thread as my father was the factory manager for C&W Industries in their heyday. He now has dementia so it may take awhile, I'll glean as much info as I can, now that I know it is of historical interest.
What I do know is that we owned the very first little Aristavan, as my father dreamt up, designed, prototyped, personally built and road registered the very first one. I'm fairly sure my mother can find photos. We had it for years and I'm feeling very proud of my father over people's interest in these cute little vans and that there is forming an historical reference to them.
I'm fairly certain that the W in C&W Industries is for Woodhead, the surname of two brothers who were part of the ownership. One was John Woodhead, I can't remember the other brothers name and I presume the C in C&W was the surname of the other partner but I forget and only remember John, as he was a close friend of our family. More too come...
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2020 14:28:47 GMT 10 by wambo: Grammar corrections
I thought important to add the name of the person who dreamt up and created this particular caravan concept, Robert Alexander Graves McKenzie of 7 Croker Road, North Innaloo, Perth Western Australia, factory manager of Caravanland, C&W Industries. This is our old address at the time in the 1960s.
Last Edit: Apr 23, 2020 14:26:49 GMT 10 by wambo: Added more info
I renovated a 1962 C&W van recently. I’’d upload a pic if I could figure out how.
At the time I enquired about the manufacturers with a guy at Northside in Wangarra WA and he was terrific. He knew the history - the C & W stood for the two owners surnames. (Can’t recall, could be Cooper and Woods - but don’t trust my memory) He said the company with this structure was only around for a few years and then went broke.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 2, 2020 13:05:02 GMT 10
Hi Lil 062,
How great is that - to have connected with someone who could tell you a bit about the history of C&W. In a post higher up this thread Bella2012 wrote that C&W stood for Cummings & Woodhead. Does that fit with what you were told?
It will be great to see the photos of your van. There are instructions on how to post photos in the ‘Forum Guidelines & Helpful Hints’ section of the forum - just go to the Home page. The most effective way to post photos is via a photo storage website such as Flickr or Postimage.
An alternative way of posting photos is by using the ‘Add Attachment’ button. There are instructions there for that too. However, I see you are posting on the forum using your mobile phone, so if you are wanting to use ‘Add Attachment’ please note that you need to scroll down to the bottom of the ‘Create Post’ window and click on ‘Desktop’ which will then allow you to use ‘Add Attachment’. (That works with an iPhone and I presume on an Android phone too?)
If you’re having trouble posting photos, let us know and I will try and help you. (Or you can email your photos to me and I’ll post them for you.)
Sorry if it sounds fiddly, but don’t give up. We really would like to see the photos of your van.
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 3, 2021 17:31:16 GMT 10
Mid-60’s (?) Aristavan listed on Gumtree in July 2020:
The large, single piece, full width front window gives this Aristavan a different look to most of the other Australian caravans of the time. It bears some similarities to New Zealand or English caravans.
Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 18, 2021 21:32:11 GMT 10
Unfortunately we don’t know as much about Western Australian caravan history as we would like to. But we do known that WA had a thriving caravan industry from the 1930’s on, with a number of state based manufacturers producing a range of caravans which had designs quite different to the other states.
Fortunately, one of our WA forum members Aza has developed a business rescuing vintage and classic caravans which he then refurbishes and/or passes on to new owners. Many of the caravans he rescues are posted on his Just Retro Caravans Facebook page. Some time ago he gave me permission to copy photos from his Facebook page to the Forum.
One of the WA manufacturers in the 1960’s and 70’s (and perhaps earlier) was C & W Industries who built caravans under the names of Aristavan and Aristocrat. One of the interesting caravans Aza has rescued is this van which is branded as C & W Industries and may predate the Aristavan and Aristocrat names:
(Source: Just Retro Caravans FB, April 2016)
The shape of the van suggests late 50’s, but the aluminium cladding suggests the 60’s. However, we don’t really know enough about some WA caravans to be able to accurately date them.
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 29, 2023 21:22:22 GMT 10
As is the case with many of the Western Australian caravan manufacturers from the Vintage era, we are quite a way from fully understanding the history of Aristocrat and Aristavan caravans. From what we've unearthed so far, these vans were initially built by C&W Industries Pty Ltd and sold branded as 'C&W' caravans. We have been told (see posts higher up this thread) that 'W' in 'C&W' refers to John Woodhead and that the 'C' may refer to someone named Cummings or Cooper. At some point C&W Industries seemed to have been transformed into (or taken over by) Caravan Industries Pty Ltd. This change seems to have occurred after 1962, because we have photos on this thread of two similar aluminium clad caravans, one of which has an electricity inspection certificate dated October 1962, and the other of which is simply branded 'Manufactured by C&W Industries Pty Ltd'. At some stage - apparently after the change to Caravan Industries Pty Ltd - the brand names Aristocrat and Aristavan were adopted, but the vans were still branded as 'C&W Aristocrat' and 'C&W Aristavan' as shown in the logos on the vans higher up this thread.
Unfortunately there is next to no information that I have been able to find using the National Library's Trove archive about John Woodhead, C&W Industries, Caravan Industries, or Aristocrat and Aristavan caravans. The only document I can find is the following extract from the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 60, page 3677 published on Thursday, 6 July 1967:
This extract tells us that 'Caravan Industries Pty Ltd, WA' had been contracted by the Postmaster-General's Department to supply caravans at a cost of $34,164. Other suppliers at the same time included Pathfinder, Franklin and President. The reference to 'Hygeia Dissolvenator', so Trove has informed me, is to a 'self contained sanitation system' - so not a caravan, but possibly useful for caravanners, or not, depending on the size of the unit.
This extract confirms that C&W/Caravan Industries was still operating in 1967, which we already know because they were advertising in the Winser Caravan Manuals in that year.
It should be noted that the addition of 'WA' in the above listing of 'Caravan Industries Pty Ltd, WA' is important because the company manufacturing Chesney caravans in Queensland at the same time was also 'Caravan Industries Pty Ltd'. Just to add to the possible confusion, the manufacturer of Brighton caravans in New South Wales in the 1950's and 60's was another 'Caravan Industries Pty Ltd'. There may possibly have been a legal or business connection between the companies producing Chesney and Brighton caravans (operating in adjoining states at a time when caravan company amalgamations were occurring), but it seems unlikely that there was a connection between those two and the Western Australian manufacturer of C&W caravans.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 20, 2023 20:37:09 GMT 10
In the post above we saw that in 1967, Caravan Industries Pty Ltd contracted to supply some caravans for the Postmaster-General's Department. However, this was not the first time the company - or more accurately its predecessor company, C&W Caravans Pty Ltd - had supplied caravans for government use.
The following extract from the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 38, page 1851, published on Thursday, 11 May 1961, tells us that 6 years earlier C&W supplied a 'three-berth aluminium sheathed caravan' to the Department of Civil Aviation at a cost of £474/2/-:
I am thinking this aluminium clad caravan may have been similar to the C&W caravans shown in the photos from Aza and LIL 062 higher up on this thread. LIL 062 has dated his van as being built in 1962 and appears to be three-berth, and the Civil Aviation van is from around the same time period.