Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 4, 2018 13:30:02 GMT 10
1963/4 NSW-built Viscount 13 ft 6 in, serial number N1393, listed for sale on the Viscount Caravan Owners - Australia Facebook page in September 2017:
The van is a 1964 model Viscount, but was reportedly built at the end of 1963 and sold in 1964.
The intriguing thing about this van is that while it is a 1964 model, as confirmed by both styling and serial number, the sides are clad with diamond embossed, log cabin style aluminium cladding above and below the central coloured panel, rather than the multi-strand cladding usually seen on this model. There was some discussion on Facebook about whether the van may have been re-clad at some later point, but the seller advised that the cladding all appeared to be original. This seems to be the earliest example by some years we have seen of a Viscount caravan clad in log cabin style cladding.
Recently purchased a 12ft 6 Viscount chassis 582...I didn't get any paperwork to reveal year but previous owner reckons it's 1959...signwriting suggests it is an Adelaide built "deluxe" ...also the wheels are 13" 5 stud but the pcd is 5" which eliminates ford or Holden....any clues
Post by twocutekelpies on May 25, 2019 6:20:02 GMT 10
I'd love to see some photos bara68 1959 is quite possible for that number, depending how many they were building each year. 630 has a delivery date of 10/11/60 for his and 645 was delivered 16/12/60 based on paperwork that the owner of the facebook page Do You Own a Viscount has. I can't help with the wheels I'm afraid but you could take one to your local tyre place, that way you'd know what it is for sure.
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 24, 2019 22:10:24 GMT 10
Forum member Impala has PM’ed me about a Viscount caravan that “followed her home” recently (as they do ), but it is a bit of a puzzle in terms of its identity.
The van has what appears to be a Viscount Duralvan serial number ‘A5114’, and has unpainted cladding with a racetrack flash on the side. Based on the serial number, the van is a late 1968 build, and is a bit unusual (but not unique) because it has unpainted cladding instead of the white acrylic cladding introduced in 1968. The van also has wrap around windows at front and rear, consistent with a Duralvan...
...but the van is labelled as an Ambassador Alumvan.
Impala has sent me some photos of the inside of the van to post, and I am hoping someone - Twocutekelpies for example - might be able to tell us whether the furniture and fittings indicate whether the van is a Duralvan or an Ambassador. What do you think?
Post by twocutekelpies on Dec 25, 2019 6:40:27 GMT 10
Ah, I'm having the same conversation with A1921 (date under table 4/12/67), wrap around windows, unpainted with racetrack but Ambassador Alumvan stickers. As far as I know, the Viscount Duralvans were their upmarket models and Ambassadors mid-range. For the most part Viscounts had the wrap around windows while Ambassadors only had the double hopper except during 1967 where I'm thinking they ran a special as a lot of Ambassadors came out with the corner windows as well.
I'd love to know more details too as I rarely see anything more than outside photos and was never in the industry.
Here are some photos of Ambassador Alumvan E8096 from 1968 from when she was posted for sale in mint original condition for comparison. (note the clock is different to most we've seen)
Hi all,the upmarket furniture was available in some models for extra cost,same as some manufacturers still do today. The two long cupboards with mirror slidin doors over the kitchen was available through all but the most basic of Viscounts,it could also include holland blinds and terrylenes clock,extra padding around beds and seats,Welsh dressers and a myriad of other extras that could be mixed and matched with any model.There must be thousands of variations out there that have yet to surface! Viscount would do any configuration as long as it didn’t compromise towability. Cheers Hughdeany
Last Edit: Dec 25, 2019 21:15:11 GMT 10 by hughdeany
Hi Don Ricardo, My wife and I viewed Impala's Viscount A5114 yesterday. It's a beautiful van in amazing condition. Yes, from appearance it looks like a Duralvan with racetrack flashes but badged as an Ambassador. Under the table there's an inscription indicating the chassis number and what that looks like a date to me. It appears to read as 3-10-xx but the last two digits are hard to define. I'm going with 69 but it's more of a guess than anything else. Cheers, Arthur
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 28, 2019 22:29:03 GMT 10
Hi Twocutekelpies, Hughdeany and Starburst,
That’s all interesting information in relation to A5114.
Twocutekelpies - I note that A5114 seems to have more upmarket fittings in the galley area, compared to A1921 E8096, with the scalloped face to the head high cupboards, and the mirrored sliding doors for the cupboards. Also A5114 has the two single beds at the rear, whereas A1921 E8096 has the divan/double bed. I’m guessing from the latter fact that A5114 is longer than A1921 E8096. Does that sound right?
Anyway, with regard to A5114 it seems that we have one of those little Viscount mysteries - the van is either a Duralvan which has had an incorrect Ambassador sticker applied at some point, or the van is an Ambassador which has been optioned up with higher level fittings and front and rear windows, but built on a Duralvan chassis. On balance the latter explanation seems more likely. You’d think the person ordering a Duralvan would notice and be unhappy if it had an Ambassador sticker on it.
Starburst - thanks for your comments after seeing the van. It certainly looks like a nicely maintained caravan. The date could be either 1968 or 1969. According to Twocutekelpie’s research there are several vans with serial numbers fairly close to A5114’s and with the racetrack flashes which have been identified as being built in 1968. But there also other vans with serial numbers either side of A5114’s and lightning flashes which have been identified as 1969, so who knows? Maybe more information will emerge over time that will help us solve the mystery. Hopefully it will.
At least these posts from each of us provide some info for Impala, if not a definitive answer.
Twocutekelpies - I note that A5114 seems to have more upmarket fittings in the galley area, compared to A1921, with the scalloped face to the head high cupboards, and the mirrored sliding doors for the cupboards. Also A5114 has the two single beds at the rear, whereas A1921 has the divan/double bed. I’m guessing from the latter fact that A5114 is longer than A1921. Does that sound right?
I didn't post any photos of A1921, the photos above are from Ambassador Alumvan E8096 for comparison with the Viscount Duralvan
Here are some photos of A1921 -
Mirrored sliding doors above dining area -
They are on Instagram as @thisfridaylife for anyone wanting to follow their reno journey
The date could be either 1968 or 1969. According to Twocutekelpie’s research there are several vans with serial numbers fairly close to A5114’s and with the racetrack flashes which have been identified as being built in 1968. But there also other vans with serial numbers either side of A5114’s and lightning flashes which have been identified as 1969, so who knows? Maybe more information will emerge over time that will help us solve the mystery. Hopefully it will.
Based on increased numbers and dates found on the register now, I'm wondering if we should change the year on those 1968 ones to 1969 with the implication that the racetrack models ran later than we thought. They seem to have been advertised together (photo courtesy of Jenet Schofield for the Viscount Owners FB group).
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 2, 2020 22:55:50 GMT 10
Oops, sorry, I missed the line about E8096 in your post! I’ve amended my post accordingly.
Your suggestion about the vans with the unpainted cladding and racetrack flashes that have previously been identified as 1968, may be a 1969 build, makes a lot of sense and helps explain the anomalies in the serial number register. However, I note that some of the owners of some of the racetrack vans have found a 1968 date on the internal panels. I’ve thought about it and have come up with a couple of possible scenarios...
Scenario 1: The change from the multi-strand, unpainted cladding to the acrylic white, log cabin cladding was quite a significant one, and Viscount may have anticipated that there would be a strong demand for the new style vans. If that’s the case, then maybe Viscount started building the log cabin clad vans in 1968 alongside the unpainted cladding vans so that they could build up a stockpile of the new style ready for the eager buyers.
Scenario 2: Maybe Viscount were unsure about how the new style vans would be accepted by the public, and wanted to keep some of the older style vans in production so that they could offer buyers the option of either style. That would mean that they might have begun production of the log cabin vans in 1968 and kept both styles in production for a while. This scenario would explain the sales brochure with both types of van shown.
All this is speculation of course. One day we may uncover what was going on, eh?
Post by twocutekelpies on Jan 4, 2020 6:23:17 GMT 10
I need people to look for their build dates and let us know! I've recorded that the 1968 vans have found dates stamped, not written as such meaning that it could be just the date on the plywood, not a Viscount date. And we know log cabin production started as early as October 1968 from written build dates found, if not a little earlier. Both of your scenarios are plausible so we await more information to come to light
Post by Don Ricardo on May 24, 2020 13:25:14 GMT 10
Welcome to the forum and thanks for telling us about your new van.
I gather you may have tried to post some photos with your post? If so, you need to do it via a photo storage website such as Flickr or Postimage. There are instructions on how to do that in the ‘Forum Guidelines & Helpful Hints’ section of the forum. Or you can email your photos to me at email@example.com and I’ll post them for you.
If you can show us some photos one way or another, we’ll certainly be glad to help you if we can. It will be great to see just what “Marvin” looks like.
Post by Don Ricardo on May 24, 2020 21:59:27 GMT 10
I’m not sure if you saw my previous reply to you about your van?
I’ve had a look at your Instagram photos, and as Twocutekelpies said, we can only see the rear of your van, and really need to see side and front views to tell you anything. The serial number of the drawbar will help too. With that info we should be able to tell you when the van was built and where. Twocutekelpies is the resident Viscount expert on the forum.
Sorry you’re having trouble posting photos, but if you’d like to email me some more photos of “Marvin” I will very happily post them for you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Post by twocutekelpies on May 26, 2020 9:16:11 GMT 10
Any luck with a chassis number on the drawbar, probably start with V followed by 2 or 3 numbers?
The shape is quite similar to this one on page 4 of this thread, dated 1959-61, Victorian build (CrystalGrace's Viscount). Also similar to this one (link will only work if you're a member of the Viscount Owners group on Facebook). Same dogbone tail lights as well.
Edit: Based on newspaper articles, it looks like the Victorian factory opened Aug 1961 (source) so Crystal Grace couldn't be 1959/60.
Edit: new photos added of Marvin on Insta show the iconic V under the front window confirming Victorian build.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jun 1, 2020 15:32:03 GMT 10
A couple of interesting adverts found while I was looking for something else, which tell us a bit more about the Viscount story.
The first advert was published in the Melbourne Age on Friday, 29 November 1957 (page 19):
The advert is for 4-berth Viscounts and Ritter-vans. The latter were built in Adelaide. However, the interesting thing is the phrase ‘bondwood or aluminium’, which indicates that at least one of them - and quite possibly the Viscounts - were being clad in aluminum as early as 1957.
The second advert was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday, 21 February 1958 (page 17):
This confirms that in February 1958 Viscount was producing at least their 12 ft 6 in and 15 ft vans clad in aluminum, and suggests that it was probably the Viscounts being offered for sale in Melbourne the previous November that were the aluminum vans being advertised.
This next advert was placed in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, 8 August 1959 (page 39):
The point of interest here is that it confirms that in 1959 Viscount assigned model names to their vans based on size. So there is the 12 ft 6 in Airflow, 15 ft 6 in Royal, 18 ft Supreme, and the 21 ft Tandem.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 20, 2020 20:35:58 GMT 10
1960’s brochure for Adelaide-built Viscounts:
Thanks for permission to post the brochure to the Do You Own a Viscount Facebook page and Twocutekelpies.
The Viscount caravans shown in the Adelaide brochure have a distinctly different look to the NSW-built Viscounts. At the same time the Adelaide Viscounts have a very similar, if not identical, look to the Vogue caravans built at the Adelaide factory just prior to and after the connection with Viscount was dissolved. That’s a story for another day.