Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 17, 2010 21:23:56 GMT 10
1960's Skyline sighted in Bairnsdale, Vic, in January 2010:
Apart from size, this caravan was identical in design and construction to a larger Hilandale van which was following it. It was evident that the two vans came out of the same factory and were an example of badge engineering.
For further information about this van and its origins click here (see Reply #10).
Skyline did distribute Sunliners and had their name on them....got pics here somewhere.
Fibreglass fantasia!....a Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)... 52 homemade plywood and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name (might be Skyline?) ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 19, 2010 21:21:56 GMT 10
Let me help you out!
The above example of a Sunliner branded as a Skyline was offered on Ebay in June 2009:
Don Ricardo Additional information - September 2017:
Photo accompanying a Sunliner advert from the 1962 Winser Caravan Manual:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual for 1962, 14th edition, page 170)
The caravan in the photo is branded 'Skyline', and the text tells us that Sunliners were assembled in Forster, NSW (by Mid-north Coast Moulded Products), and Auto Assemblers in Geelong. It seems reasonable to think that the Skyline branded Sunliners would have been sourced from Geelong. However, not all Geelong built vans were branded as Skylines. At least some were sold as Sunliners - see here.
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 11, 2010 21:56:38 GMT 10
Skyline Junior advertised on Ebay, July 2010:
The advertisement for the 1957 model Skyline Junior in Reply #7 above shows a caravan with wooden window frames, whereas the Ebay caravan has aluminium windows. This indicates that it is a later model van.
I received a PM from Cruisindoug requesting information from the 1959 Keith Winser Caravan and Touring manual regarding “Skyline” caravans. Not sure it will help you date your 'van Doug but it is interesting to see the difference between the 1957/58 and this 1959 model....it seems to show that 1959 was the year aluminium windows were introduced on the side window although aluminium curved front windows were on some models in 1957.
Post by cruisindoug on Dec 23, 2010 11:39:09 GMT 10
Thanks for that Cobber I really appreciate it, unfortunately I agree in that it doesn't show our van. I found it interesting though that the advertisment states on page 145 that "Scout, Rover, and Chief are the models manufactured by Skyline Caravans". Could this be the year that Skyline started both making vans as well as "badge engineering" from other manufacturers such as Franklin. The shape of our van certainly says Franklin, and the chassis number seems to fit as Al said, but none of the advertising from 1957 through to 1963 that I have seen shows our van - I wonder if this is because Skyline were still making vans and would rather sell their own than a rebadged van? The closest to our van that I have come accross is the 1960 Ad with its front treatment, but the roof profile is wrong at the front, the shape of the front below the window is wrong, its aluminium, and has a step - but the actual front windows look to be the same, and the logo might be the same can't really tell.
Whats also interesting is that in the 1957 ad they mention the "curved corners" aluminium windows but have wooden windows pictured (note the same photo is used in '57 and '58).
Oh well, its a good summary of how the paint schemes have flowed but it doesn't appear to have been followed through to the badge engineered versions as the 1960 van and the 1963 Sunliner / Kennedy vans seem to be the "odd VANS out"
I have added Ads from 1961 (thanks Alan (Austin125)) - interesting that there is a misprint for Skyline (unless there was a brand called Sklyine ; and that they are listed as NSW rather than Vic - they revert to Vic again in 1962 - another typo??? Must have been a long lunch if it was for the Secretary!)
and 1963 (thanks Graem), is this the first appearance of a rebadged Sunliner / Kennedy (still without the "corporate" paint scheme)?
Thanks again for those that have helped out! Cheers, Doug.
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 8, 2011 21:37:47 GMT 10
On 9 February 2011, Freedom wrote:
Hi, I'm a new boy on the block. I'm in my early 60's and my first job was working for Skyline Caravans at the Highett Factory in early 1965. I worked there for a few years. I was employed as a painter. It was a great place to work. Jim and Keith Cheetham ran the place. Jim's son Bruce worked there also. Bob was the head painter, Ken the cabinet maker, Basil, John and David were the caravan builders. I would like to know if anybody still has a Skyline that was made in 1965 or 1966 at Highett. Does anyone know if the people above are still around? It's great to see the old vans, again thanks to this website Freedom Cruisindoug replied on 10 February 2011:
Hi Freedom and welcome to the forum. We have a Skyline van but think it was made a few years before your time, our van's story as far as we know it is here:
From our discussions with Franklin1 we think that Skyline rebadged other manufacturer's vans, ours for example has a strong resemblance to the same era Franklins...
Does this seem right to you??? ...
Cheers, Doug and Tracy To which Freedom responded later the same day:
Hi Cruisindoug, Yes some of the Skyline's were rebadged. The original Skylines were built in Caulfield and Highett but some shells came down from Ballarat, the home of Franklin. We painted and fitted them out and badged them. On 13 February 2011 Freedom wrote:
...Skyline also had a factory around the corner from their Nepean Hwy location in Reserve rd Cheltenhan where i worked also. These vans seem to be desinged by the head honcho of that factory,His name was Cid ,he was brought down from Ballart to build a cheaper version for SKYLINE to put on the market. Now they had a bit of a franklin look. Cruisindoug had a photo of one that looked like one of the ones that were made at the Cheltenham factory with the coloured stripe top and bottom on the sides all these vans were badged SKYLINE. Regardes Kevin.
Hi All I have a photo I have taken of a Skyline/Sunliner with a plaque stating,- Manufactured by North Coast Fibreglass- Foster and assembled by Skyline at an address in Geelong region of Vic. These are not the exact words as I am doing this from memory, but the message is here, --Skyline only assembled. One would assume the same applied to the Franklin/Kennedy vans. Cheers boblorPhoto of Skyline nameplate referred to above (including a nice selfie by Boblor himself ):
For further information about the Skyline-badged Sunliners click here. Don Ricardo
Post by Don Ricardo on May 13, 2016 18:44:37 GMT 10
On 21 February 2014, I posted an extract of a brochure produced by Skyline with photographs and details of a range of Sunbeam branded caravans (see higher up this thread). The 1958 Winser manual tells us a bit more about the Sunbeam caravans:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual, Book 10, 1958, pp 144, 145 & 143)
It is evident by comparing the photos of the Sunbeam and Skyline caravans that the two ranges are essentially the same designs, just branded differently. The first advert above refers to the Sunbeam as being 'Outstanding for Value', which suggests that the Sunbeams may have been an economy range from Skyline. This seems to be confirmed by the following extract from caravan manufacturer specifications table from the same publication:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual, Book 10, 1958, p 87)
In each case the 12 ft 6 in and 14 ft Sunbeam models are both about £150 less than the respective Skyline vans.
This suggests that for a while Skyline tried to run a two-brand sales strategy, which was later successfully used by Viscount with its Viscount/Ambassador/Valiant branding. There have been no examples of Sunbeam caravans being shown on the forum however, so perhaps Skyline's strategy was less successful than Viscount's.
The extract from Winser indicates that the brochure I posted in 2014 is probably dated around 1957/58.
As an aside, it is nice to see that the specification table includes one of Winser's characteristic typographical errors - the length of the Sunbeam 10 ft model is given as 16 ft (fifth column from the left). I bet there are a lot of manufacturers that would like to know how to fit a 16 ft van into a 10 ft model! Expandavan and Propert seem to have got closest to this magic trick.