Manufactured by Terrence (Ted) Creer Hart & Creer Pty Ltd Main South Rd, Richmond, South Australia
For a history of Adventurer caravans see Reply #12 below and following. Oct 25, 2005, feute: Here is a pic of an "ADVENTURER" Caravan made in Adelaide. This one was bought new in 1959 It is very similar to your dads, however it has not got a builders plate on the front. Maybe one builder made the shells and sold them to the caravan companies to fit out and plate it as their own...... Anyhow this fella did a lot of caravaning and his combination would have fitted right into your photo
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 25, 2009 21:19:34 GMT 10
This post refers to a post about an Adventurer caravan which regrettably was deleted by a former member of the forum.
There have only been a couple of references to Adventurer caravans on the forum, and they seem to suggest that they were South Australian built. This - being SA built - is also suggested by what I call the 'South Australian roof' on the Adventurer shown at the top of this thread.
As to the van you have discovered, given that 'Adventurer' is on the decal on the side of the van and not on a badge on the front or the back, my guess is that it denotes the model name of the van not the brand name, as in 'Viscount Adventurer', 'Franklin Adventurer' or whatever. That's my guess anyway. Others may think differently...
Google tells me that there are a few modern caravan manufacturers that sell models called 'Adventurer', but whether there is any link to the caravan you've seen...who knows?
[Later comment (7 February 2012): Information provided by Lazyacre (son of Ted Creer) below has confirmed that the van referred to in this post was an Adventurer, and this was the brand name not the model name. DR]
Post by beetlesbailey on Mar 27, 2009 15:10:24 GMT 10
Hi All, C.S.I. here. The wording reads Made by Hart and Creer South Rd. Richmond (thats S.A.) The supposed 59 that I looked at for a freind yesterday had the same wording in the same place and my memory cant recall the street number. This van we saw has ally windows, 13" pre H.R. Holden wheels,and that "south Australian roof" and is a bondy,.
On that point can someone please give me the definition of a bondwood van? I considered any ply or masonite van to be a bondy till yesterday when a few questions came to mind such as: Does it have to have a wood frame with ply? Can it have Masonite cladding? Or.. Does it refer to the 'RESIBOARD' that my Globey and Neill's Adventurer are made of? That is;3/8 resiboard sides with no frrame as such apart from around the window and door openings? Cheers Beetles
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 15, 2010 22:04:30 GMT 10
On another thread I have written about my meeting during the Mildura V V Nationals with Phil who has a 1949 Don he intends to restore. However, in his backyard he also has another vintage caravan which is most likely of South Australian origin, as indicated by its roofline, and 'Tudor' style ceiling. Like the Don the other van has also been collected from a farm in the vicinity of Mildura.
I have consulted with Lazza re the van's origins, and he feels there's a fair chance that the van is an early Adventurer. He is talking to some of his contacts re his suggestion. In the meantime I will post the pics here on the DHL Adventurer thread. One cue as to its origins is the stove alcove, the design of which is typical of Rowvans - so maybe it's a very early Rowvan?? Maybe somebody else has some ideas about the van's manufacturer.
The van is a fair size - 14-15 feet in length. The roof has been overlaid with galvanised tin, as has the lower front. Otherwise the cladding is bondwood. The layout consists of single bunks at the front and a dinette at the rear which folds down to a double bed.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 28, 2010 15:46:22 GMT 10
At the V V Nationals in Mildura I talked to Lazza about the origins of the intriguing caravan rescued by Reddo from Umina on the Central Coast (NSW) in 2009. The van has a number of the hallmarks of a South Australian built van - double cambered roof, canvas over canite roof, and tudor ceiling.
What makes the van especially interesting and unusual are the front and rear roof "overhangs", and the front and end curves of the van when viewed from the side.
Lazza's guess was that the van is an Adventurer, and so I am posting pics of the van on this thread, pending any further information. However, a possible clue to an alternative identity is that this van sports the same livery as some of the South Australian Clipper caravans shown here. The van also has the little lip where the front and rear walls meet the floor, and the rectangular wheel arches which are also typical of Clipper vans.
Any additional info on this van would be welcome.
To read the story of Reddo's rescue mission - entertaining as always - click here.
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 14, 2010 15:45:21 GMT 10
On 25 May 2009, Aussieambo posted the following:
"Hi fellow VV enthusiasts,
"Below is a couple of pictures of my wife's family camping in the Flinders Ranges in 1968. The caravan they bought from a family member and the father in law said it was a 'GALAH' brand as it had it written somewhere on the van. With no clear brand name showing, the curve roof could be indicative of an early Roadmaster. Anyway I will try and find out more and have put the pictures up for interest and comment. Cheers Graem"
Cropped versions of Aussieambo's photos are shown below. Comparison with Relmhayd's caravan in the post immediately above, reveals that Aussieambo's in-laws' van was actually an Adventurer. That doesn't explain the reference to 'Galah' though...unless 'Galah' was the model name? Or was the name 'Gala' perhaps?
The full versions of Aussieambo's photos showing the van in all the barren beauty of the Flinders Ranges can be found here.
Hello all, I have recently been given access to some original photos from a member of the Hart family, showing the workshop at Mile End and some various shots of their finished vans. I will post a couple after the Christmas break. Some more very interesting history from South Australian built vans. Bob
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 26, 2012 20:32:23 GMT 10
I'm looking forward to hearing what you can tell us about the Hart family and Adventurer caravans. We know a little bit about some other SA van manufacturers, but hardly anything about Adventurer...apart from the fact that it seems like they may have built vans which were then sold under other names (but then that applies to a few of the SA manufacturers).
Any light you can throw on the Harts and Adventurer vans will be very welcome.
My name is Phil Creer and I am the son of Terrence 'Ted' Creer who started Adventurer caravans. Hart & Creer Pty Ltd was a cabinet-making company established in the early 1930s originally in Roebuck St, Mile End (Adelaide) but when that site was burnt out (1948?) the business relocated to Main South Rd, Richmond. The company was begun by my grandfather Charles Creer & my great-uncle Clifford Hart. Charles died in 1955 (?) and my father bought out his shares and assumed full partnership. In about 1958 Clifford Hart sold his 50% to my father and subsequently retired, leaving my father as sole proprietor. Dad built the first Adventurer caravan in about 1956, an 11ft bondwood van on a wooden chassis. This was make specifically for our family and was named "Hilarity". Following considerable interest at various sites around South Australia, Dad began making the odd caravan to order as an adjunct to the company's main business of radio cabinets and church furniture. This was a transition time for radios as transistors and stereos were being sold so the radio cabinet business decreased dramatically but fortunately Dad had foreseen the future and threw the bulk of the company's focus into Adventurer caravans. By the very early 60s the vans were still bondwood but built on a welded steel chassis and the doped canvas roofs were replaced by the then-very-new fibreglass. The company manufactured vans in just about all sizes from 10ft up to 30ft survey vans used in the deep outback by the Commonwealth government. By the mid-60s Adventurer caravans ranked in the top five brands in Australia along with the all-aluminium Carapark and Viscount. Johnny Carr who founded Viscount, incidentally, served his apprenticeship with Dad at Hart & Creer Pty Ltd before moving to Liverpool in Sydney and establishing Viscount. Dad continued manufacturing Adventurers until the early 70s (1973) as well as being the major producer of church furniture in the Adelaide region, in fact many Baptist churches & a number of Lutheran churches today still have the original Hart & Creer furniture that was supplied in the 60s & early 70s. Adventurer caravans were sold in Sydney and Mildura by the Cluccas group and in Perth (Subiaco) under the name 'Ravan'.
Builders plates were not fitted to the vans initially but the name & details of the manufacturer were painted to the left of the door at the lowest point. This painting was done by Art Erry (Richmond, Adelaide) who continued to do all of the sign-painting and logos for Dad from the mid 50s until the company closed in 1973. From the early 60s a construction number was welded onto the towbar, usually on the door side and towards the front. Numerous photos of Adventurer caravans can be found in my Facebook Album..www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4687342014789.2167779.1031079018&type=1
If there is interest I will write a history of the company.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2014 22:18:42 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Restored photos
Post by shesgotthelook on Feb 5, 2013 21:31:48 GMT 10
Welcome aboard Phil. What fantastic information & history you bring with you. I am sure everyone will be most pleased to have this 'straight from the horses mouth' record of the company. Feel free to post as many pics as you like.
At its peak in the late 1960s, Hart & Creer Pty Ltd employed over 50 men and its output was almost entirely Adventurer Caravans although this was also a boom time for church furniture. During the late 50s and early 60s Adventurer vans were sold under a number of other names but all of them came from the same premises, none were re-badged to other manufacturers. As I said above, Ravan was one name used in WA, also 'Crestour' in Victoria. Vans were delivered to Perth via the SAR/WAR trains across the Nullarbor but rarely arrived undamaged, unfortunately most of the damage due to theft by the loaders/unloaders at the terminals,(this has been proved) with the result that WA sales were purposefully curtailed. Dad was a pioneer in developing fibreglass for roofing, given the notorious penchant for doped canvas roofing to leak. He was also the first, to my knowledge, to incorporate perspex in curved front corner windows and to install aluminium windows instead of wooden frames. Steel chassis were manufactured to order in the Richmond area by Stratco & Son. Their premises were about a mile away and the chassis would be delivered to the factory by towing them under a trade-plate, no lights or mudguards fitted! This ceased very quickly after the local policeman (Cop shop was 2 doors down from the factory) had a quiet word in Dad's ear and after that the chassis would be delivered on the back of lorries, usually flatbed Austins as I recall. During the late 50s following the launch of Sputnik and the craze for Space (& fins on everything!), Dad built an experimental 'modern' shape for assessment, certainly at that stage the only one of its kind in Australia. Guess which van got stolen within a couple of days! Needless to say it didn't go undetected for long but the experiment in shape change wasn't pursued.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2014 22:20:50 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Restored photos
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 6, 2013 21:37:50 GMT 10
How fantastic to have you join us on the forum, and for you to tell us about your father's caravan building business. I can't tell you how excited I am when somebody in your position (a son or daughter or other relative of one of the pioneer builders) comes along. The history of some manufacturers has been a bit of a mystery, and so to receive some information about them is just fabulous!
In the case of Adventurer caravans we have been able to assemble some snippets of information as you can see from this thread and some other threads in the Down History Lane section, but some of it has just been sheer guesswork really! So it is great to have the opportunity to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Amazing to hear that Adventurer was fifth in production terms at one point!
One of the difficulties we've had with Adventurers is that when an unknown South Australian style caravan has turned up (tudor ceiling, canvas or fibreglass roof) we have often been told by people who know something about South Oz caravans that "maybe it's an Adventurer"! From what you've told us already, and the photos you've shown us, I think we can discount the vans shown in Replies #5 and #6 above, as being Adventurers? Is that correct? But by the same token it is good to confirm the link between Adventurer and Ravan.
You are most welcome to post as much of the history of your father's caravan building activities and photos of Adventurer vans as you like. We will be interested in it all. In the meantime, if I may ask a question? Do you know the link between Adventurer and the 'Galah' van shown in Reply #8 above? Was 'Galah' a model name perhaps?
Do you know the link between Adventurer and the 'Galah' van shown in Reply #8 above? Was 'Galah' a model name perhaps?
No connection at all, Don. The van in the pix above IS an Adventurer but they certainly never used the Gala or Galah name. Speaking of names, Adventurer was marketed in WA as Ravan but this is not the 'Rowvan' brand mentioned above. Rowvan was a separate company with no connections to Hart & Creer P/L. Dad also marketed under the name 'Crestour', in Vic, I think.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2014 22:24:57 GMT 10 by Don Ricardo: Restored photo
Post by Surf Tragic on Feb 7, 2013 21:50:47 GMT 10
This has been terrific reading for us, such a precise account, no more guesswork, the photos are especially great. If you have any photos of vans in factory production phase it would be of special interest for me, & for many others too I would think.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 7, 2013 21:52:40 GMT 10
Thanks for your response to my question about the 'Galah' name. Maybe 'Galah' was just the name Aussieambo's in-laws gave their van?
I presume you agree that the vans shown in Reply #5 and #6 are not Adventurers?
I have some more questions which I hope you won't mind me asking? I'll ask them one by one so we (I : won't get confused about what we're talking about.
The first relates to whether the following caravans are Adventurers:
The first was sold under the 'Hawthorn' brand name in Victoria, and the second as a 'Castle Windcutter' in NSW. I have worked out that they came from the same manufacturer, and most likely a South Australian manufacturer because of the design, but I haven't been able to work out who that was. Did they come from your father's factory? There is some similarity to the Adventurer caravan shown in the first post on this thread.
PS I've corrected/added to a couple of the posts above based on the info you've provided, including deleting the reference to Rowvan.
That Crestour is a nice van, love the flash on the side, and one of those was begging to be towed with a Cresta I see it is hooked up behind a pretty smart looking 1957 Velox, and there's an older model across the road and what appears to be an F Victor directly behind. The good old days when they made British cars.
I presume you agree that the vans shown in Reply #5 and #6 are not Adventurers?
Correct, neither are Adventurer or Hart & Creer products.
whether the following caravans are Adventurers:
The first was sold under the 'Hawthorn' brand name in Victoria, and the second as a 'Castle Windcutter' in NSW.
Don, both of them appear to be early (pre 58 ) Adventurers both going on the side sash on the first pic, the painted V indent on the rear of the second and the use of a porthole ahead of the door. The second van gives me some doubts because of the tail-light layout, (I don't recall that arrangement although given the relative newness of the folding picnic set in the photo it's highly likely that the van has had its electrics upgraded), and the first van doesn't have the scalloped wheel arch overlays. ( These may have been removed to fit different wheels) Adventurers came with Holden 13 inch steel wheels but adapter plates were fitted to the hubs to allow the use of purchaser-choice wheels and given that that van is being towed by a Morris which had 16 inch wheels the trims may have deleted to provided clearance. These would have probably been 11-footers and they had a single bunk running across the van to the left of the door, sink, ice-chest and petrol stove opposite the door and a double bed across the van in the rear. The rear hinged hatch lasted a very short time, Dad went to the horizontally raising hatch very early on.
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 12, 2013 21:49:40 GMT 10
Thanks for the responses to my questions. The pieces of the Adventurer puzzle are beginning to fall into place, which is very exciting!
It's great to have confirmation that the Hawthorn and Castle Windcutter I showed you were built by Adventurer. I should have provided the links for the vans I showed you so that you could look at some more photos of them for identification (and nostalgia!) reasons:
Regarding the lights on the Windcutter: This van has been refurbished by forum member Samson, so you are correct in saying that they are not original, and hence why you do not recognise them.
From the evidence we have on the Castle thread in the DHL section here, Adventurer built the Windcutter models in a range of sizes from 12 ft to 15 ft, or possibly more. In 1961 there appears to have been an aluminium clad Windcutter which looks to be the same as the one shown under construction in one of your photos.
My next question is whether this Hawthorn was built by Adventurer?
There are some more pics of this van on the Hawthorn thread I gave you the link for.
Based on the design, this van is South Australian built, and has some similarities with the Hawthorn I showed you above, but it also has some differences. In addition, I think it was built in the early 50's, which would put its build date before your father started his caravan business. So, my guess is that it wasn't built by Adventurer, but I would be interested in what you think about it. (Just by the bye, this van is currently for sale.)
Thanks for the info you are providing Lazyacre. I look forward to reading your next post.