This small item appeared in Australian Modern Motor, July 1, 1961.
I couldn't find any reference under Gypsy or Carapark threads to the acquisition so I'll post it here...
Good evening VV'ers,
Back in 2011, Griffin posted the above magazine clipping from July 1961 stating that Gypsy Caravans had been acquired by Carapark Ltd, and that henceforth Gypsy products would be available through Carapark outlets. We do not know a great deal about Gypsy caravan history after that, beyond the fact that the Gypsy Caravan name is now (2011) owned by G & L Caravans in Guildford, NSW (see the post higher up this thread). Very few actual examples of Gypsy vans from the 60's decade have turned up on the forum, apart from photos of a handful of Gypsy Thirteen-Two's from the early 60's, several of which are shown on this thread.
Given the above, the following entry for a little Gypsy caravan from the 1967 Winser caravan manual is rather intriguing:
(Source: K Winser, Caravan Manual & Tourist Park Guide, 19th edition, 1967, p 72)
The blurb says the van was "produced by Homebush Caravans of NSW", and reference to the list of manufacturers and models indicates that the 10 ft 6 in van was the only Gypsy available. Page 173 of the 1967 Winser reveals that Homebush Caravans were the (a?) Sydney sales and service centre for Millard caravans. So, the question is whether this Gypsy is a descendent of the previous Gypsy Caravan Company taken over by Carapark? And if this little Gypsy is a direct descendent, why was it being produced by Homebush Caravans? One possibility arises from the fact that the Carapark caravan 'empire' was broken up and sold off in bits after a financial collapse sometime after 1962. Various sections of the empire were acquired by former Carapark executives and dealers. So perhaps Homebush Caravans acquired the Gypsy caravan name and or business during this process? This is just a suggestion - I don't have any evidence for this, but maybe this little van is the last remnant of the Gypsy range of aluminium clad caravans mentioned in the clipping posted by Griffin?
Something a bit more concrete is a photo of a caravan posted by Led in April 2014 here, which he had been 'told by a fella', and was in fact previously registered as a 1965 Gypsy:
There were some suggestions made at the time of Led's posts about alternative origins, and the idea about his van being a Gypsy seemed to be discounted. However, a close comparison with the Winser photo seems to indicate that Led may have been on the right track, and that his van is indeed one of the little Gypsys. Incidentally, the 10 ft 6 in Gypsy shown in the 1967 Winser was still being listed in the 1969 Winser, and was still the only Gypsy model available.
Does anybody have any information about a connection between the Homebush Caravans' Gypsy and the earlier Gypsy caravans?
Further photos of, and discussion about "Homebush Gypsys" can be foundhere.
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 19, 2016 23:08:34 GMT 10
Four items featuring Gypsy caravans posted by Roybeth in November 2016 here and here:
Cover of the December 1951 edition of Outdoors and Fishing magazine showing a Gypsy 10, with a family relaxing in the great outdoors:
Page 111 of the magazine tells us that the photo was taken by Noel Hickey of Sydney showing "...just what a family holiday out-of-doors could and should be". So remember, if you want your next caravan holiday to be what it should be, make sure you take a couple of rifles!
The same caravan and family in a different pose was used for an advert in the same edition of Outdoors and Fishing:
(Source: Outdoors and Fishing, December 1951, page 96)
The coloured photo above was later used as the basis for a Gypsy Caravan Company advert - see here. Interestingly Carapark also deployed some rifles in their caravan adverts in the early 50's as a way of showing a family having fun, and of course the Don Caravan Company incorporated a gun cupboard in its 14 ft 140 model, so Gypsy was not alone in appealing to the hunting crowd. Not sure where the rifles got stored in the 10 ft Gypsy!
The December 1951 Outdoors and Fishing also included this photo of a Gypsy Gem to accompany an article on hiring caravans:
(Source: Outdoors and Fishing, December 1951, page 142)
Believe it or not, I read the caption 'Three Gypsies make a halt..' and then examined the photo in detail for ages trying to find the other two caravans...then it dawned on me that apart from the Gypsy caravan, the other two gypsies were the two people, one of whom is a rather fetching young lady. Doh! No, I'm not slow - or caravan obsessed!
And finally, an advert featuring a Gypsy 10 from October 1955 promoting Gypsy's use of metal window frames and Alply cladding in their 1954/55 caravan range:
(Source: Modern Motor, October 1955, page 52)
This indicates that the Gypsy Caravan Company was a relatively early adopter of both metal window frames and Alply. It isn't clear whether the window frames were steel or aluminium - my guess is probably stainless steel back in 1954/55. Perhaps someone with a Gypsy with this type of window frame can tell us?
Thanks for posting these items, Roybeth. Very interesting. Hope you're ok with me copying the above items to the Gypsy thread.