posted by Roehm3108, Dec 23, 2007: According to my references, Highway Caravans were on River Street South Yarra in the early fifties - perhaps they moved from there at a later date. Their advertised vans were a 14ft Princess and 16ft Roadliner. The Princess looks very much like a Don, with the rounded bum.
Photos showing nameplate and commercial lettering...
(source: posted by minicamper, Oct 14 and Dec 23, 2007, who wrote: This van hasn't been used for over 30 years according to the previous owner. He was told that it was a home made job. Can anyone help ID what year it might be? Its sits on 6x16" wheels. ... at the same time, several keys appeared, including one that fitted the orignal door lock, tucked in behind the cladding in the wheel arch. I have always believed that this was a homemade van, but i discovered the original handle for the rear "legs" and the Highway Caravans nameplate. ...the van is 11ft long (not incl drawbar). Its set up as a single berth only, with no table or seats for that matter. The colour is not original, it started as red, then yellow, beige and then green. I found some old papers that would suggest it may have been an on-site van at some stage in Bendigo. ...The rego sticker in the window is actually a compliance plate for the fitment of electric light and 1 power point. The diamond aluminium cladding must have been original as the side walls are 15mm thick ply but the front is only 3mm behind the aluminium and was never painted or sealed There was some sort of canvas like material, called caralastic on some joins and at the door frame. ...I'm running the pressure washer over the bubbled paint and lo and behold numbers started to appear, being 4B - 212. In degunking, i also found a CRB plate on the chassis.)
reply by Don Ricardo: I note that the SLV photo shows that the van like yours is a CRB van, ie Country Roads Board, which - if memory serves me right - was responsible for non-metropolitan roads in Victoria in the 50's and 60's (and possibly before and after that).
A number of caravan manufacturers built vans for government entities, including Don and Gason (see Down History Lane thread for each of these brands).
reply by kaybee: Hi minicamper, have a look at the bottom lines on this brochure.
Post by surfingyogini on Nov 14, 2010 20:12:20 GMT 10
Hmmm... The pics from the 1961 mag are (exactly) the same as the ones on the SLV website dated July 1958... I wonder if this was their most popular van so they kept making it the same and simply added more vans to the range? The 1956 manual only has them making two - the princess and the roadliner...
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 7, 2017 17:12:39 GMT 10
Reviewing our information regarding the Highway caravans built by the Victorian Highway Caravans company recently, I became intrigued with the story of one van that has been revealed in several different threads by several different owners, and I thought it worth pulling the story together because it rather nicely illustrates the life story of some of our caravans. I've posted the story on this thread, because although the van has been much modified and updated over time, the photos show the original internal layout and furnishings, and perhaps the internal paint colour.
The Highway caravan in question was identified at some point as a 1958 model. As such it would have been fully clad in bondwood. However, at some point, the van had been fully clad in white acrylic aluminium with a blue flash, and a new aluminium door, and that is how it first appeared on the forum here in January 2009 when it was purchased by forum member Highway:
The inside of the van required some tidying up...
...but the colour of the paint on the cupboards and the colour of the cushions may possibly be reasonably original.
Forum member Highwayset to and cleaned up and repainted the interior:
Forum member Highway also added some further of his own touches by changing the colour of the flash...
...and thinking about adding some new 'Highway' signage...
...which never quite made it into reality.
At some point not too long after, forum member Highway sold the van to someone in Queensland, who in turn then sold it to forum member Surfingyogini, who posted some photos of the van here in November 2010 as she acquired it:
Surfinyogini and her family decided to carry out a major restoration/refurbishment of the van, and to attempt to bring it back closer to its original state. First to go was the aluminium cladding on the sides...
...which revealed what may have been the original livery (see below) and colours...
...but also some of the reasons why the van may have been re-clad in the first place:
The cladding was also taken off the roof, the bondwood replaced, and the roof resealed:
The restoration revealed the changes of decor which had been applied over the life of the van:
As Surfingyogini told us at the time: 'Some paint coming off the cupboard doors: three layers of white enamel, followed by tan, algae green, mission brown, bright orange, pastel green, peach and, of course, an undercoat.'
The restoration also revealed that at some point some of the side windows may originally have been larger.
After six months of work, the restoration was almost complete:
It is interesting to note that, while the brown and white livery found under the aluminium cladding - and reproduced by Sufingyogini - is unusual, it matches how at least some of the Highway caravans were painted in the late 50's and early 60's, as shown in this publicity from 1961:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual, 1961 edition, p 138)[/quote]
Sadly, in March 2017 the Highway van was sold once more. As Surfingyogini posted at the time: 'Our little family has grown (as children do) and we no longer all fit in!.
What a story that van could tell! Hopefully it will turn up on the forum again at some point so we can hear the next instalment...