Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 29, 2008 22:10:18 GMT 10
The 1956 edition of Keith Winser's Australian Caravan and Touring Manual contains a number of photos of, and advertisements for Flynn Caravans. This is largely because Winser and Flynn Caravans collaborated in building a caravan to Winser's specifications. An article describing the design and construction of Winser's Flynn Trans-Continental van is of interest because of what it tells us about the thinking and techniques of the early 50's. Winser's van was built in 1954:
This illustration from the front cover of the 1956 Manual shows the colour scheme for Winser's caravan described in the article:
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan & Touring Manual for 1956, pp 141, 143, 145 & front cover)
As Cobber has noted above, Flynn caravans of the era featured a "panoramic window", seen in the picture of Winser's van at the beginning of the article. However, they also featured a sort of 'Dormer style' back window as shown in the photo below of Winser's caravan:
A different form of the 'Dormer style' back window can be see in the photograph below, which is of an earlier model Flynn caravan also owned by Winser:
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan & Touring Manual for 1956, p 38)
Other versions of the Flynn back window can be seen in some of the posts above.
Further Flynn information from the 1956 Manual:
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan & Touring Manual for 1956, pp 142, 105 & 82)
Flynn Caravans supplied parts and kits to many home van builders. The panoramic window on a caravan advertised for sale by Deaytos in August 2008 seems to be be similar to the window on Winser's van:
The window on this home-built van photographed by Daggsey and Carrots in Bogan Gate, NSW, in June 2008 may also be a Flynn supplied panoramic window:
I wish to add to the ‘Flynn Tandem’ story that Cobber showed us in - ‘reply 2’ .. and Col’s picture in ‘reply 3’
The very same ‘Flynn tandem’ caravan in Col's picture (reply 3) is now residing in a paddock close to the Goulburn Valley Highway, Victoria, on the Yea side of King Parrot Creek.
It is the same van - The number on the front and what appears to be some weather damage on the front left corner are the same as shows in Col’s picture..
The picture I took - (shown below) and the enlargement showing details were taken about a week ago (Jan 2009), although Col’s teardrop (that seems to be peeking around the back) is nowhere to be seen in the same paddock.
(What’s the story with your picture Col? - there’s nothing in your post say where or when)
Next time I’m going up though Yea I’ll make the time to find the house on the property and ask if it’s ok to have a closer look - and maybe get some more pictures and a story.
Col says: I don't know what you would do with it though, it's pretty immense and I wouldn't fancy towing it on a trip anywhere.....nice source of bulk portholes though.... .
I dunno Col, I've been watching the little man swing the big 24 foot 1800 kg Airstream around over here in WA, and he manouvres it around like a pro ;D ;D Yesterday at Coogee I wondered how he was going to stick it in the tight bay next door to me , and he manouvred it like he's done it before ......no prob at all
Once the 'biggins' are on the open road, they're no drama provided the tow vehicle is right, as is Will's.
The 21 foot Flynn would be a great project, a magnificent old bondy to see back on the road .....awesome ....a two storey old bondy ......how goods that
Maybe the East Coast Vin Van restorers could form a 'team' to restore it, many hands make light work ......like those blokes did in SA who restored the Palace towed by the Fargo (the one we saw during the Morgan week).
Hi all, Don't know if this discussion is still alive, if so I'm Nigel Flynn, son of Jack, the maker of Flynn Caravans. I have many fond memories of the Flynn Caravan Port at 756 High St Thornbury, spent many hours there on Sat mornings refilling Porta gas bottles , did this at age 9, can you imagine OHS letting this happen now, mind you at 62 I still have many dead spots on my hands from Lpg 'cold burns'. Remember the double decker bunk van, slept in it many nights, I saw it in the paddock at King Parrot crk, on my way to the Yarrra Valley. Would love to track down the Intercontinental ,(Transcontinental I mean) (if it still exists, spoke to Barbara , Keith Winser's daughter, in the 80's, and she was having it restored. Keith was quite a character and a very generous man, he was well ahead of his time. I still have the etched Flynn stainless steel name plates as momentos of dads great vans.
Thanks for dropping in, always great to hear from family members who have memories of their connections with the builders of these vintage caravans we love. It always amazes me that builders with such high standards in the vans they built were prepared to make available the complete kits of their vans to "'home builders'..... your father must have been a very generous man
I can understand why you would like to get hold of a 'Transcontinental' ( as it was called in the article above ) but if one was found I think you would have a bit of competition it must have been a loverly van.
One of our members 'Kingy' bumped into Barbara back in 2010, you can read his post if you CLICK HERE
Any other memories you have of the Flynn caravans, or photos, including the stainless steel name plate you would like to submit we would love to see.
Thanks Cobber, I'll look up some photos and post them. Here's a little known fact about Jack , he supplied all the caravans used as star dressing rooms for the films On the Beach, and the Sundowners. I have vivid memories of being peddled around Albert Park in some sort of tandem type bike, by none other than Gregory Peck. Apparently Dad and Robert Mitchum closed many of the pubs in Cooma several nights, during the filming of The Sundowners. One morning he was servicing Mitchums van , there was a note saying, '' Jack could you please supply better toilet paper, last night it tore and finger shot up arse.' Jack was also a distant relation of Errol. Nigel.
Unfortunately no, Part of the story from Dad , was that it was written on a specially fitted large makeup mirror ,in grease pencil, well he hoped it was grease pencil! In defence of the particular paper, Jack had bought a lot of it, and it was used in our factory till the early 80's with no further complaints.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 4, 2014 20:41:18 GMT 10
I'd like to add to Cobber's welcome to the forum. It's a special privilege for the rest of us when members of the families of some of the caravan industry pioneers such as your father come on to the forum and tell us about their family history.
Interesting to hear too about your contact with the Winsers. Keith was a great ambassador for Flynn caravans in his caravan manuals, with lots of photos of his Flynn and Studebaker illustrating many of the articles from the early 50's on.
It will be great to hear about your dad's caravan building activities and see some photos. I will be interested to know when your father started building vans, and what got him going. Did he start by building one for the family then realise that he could sell them if he built them?
Although there must have been a lot of Flynn's built, unfortunately there's only one on the forum at this point - Tubbygra51's van which is shown higher up this thread. There must be more out there just waiting to be found, don't you reckon?
Explanation of photos 1. Jack at work on a van, one of the few photos without a ciggy hanging off his lip, he smoked up to 80 a day, before giving them away in his late 40's. 2/3. Very early Flynn van. 4/5. Late 50's model with dormier window. 6/7. On holidays with the Winsers - Great ocean rd. 7/8. Jack Flynn and Keith Winser in a Flynn Kitcraft boat. Girl in photo is Barbara Winser - I think ! 9. Early Flynn horse float. 10. Mid 60's model, nearing the end of Jacks van building days.
Can't get the hang of posting photos and explanation at the same time.
Photo 1/2. Flynn Caravan Port In Thornbury. 3. CTIA float in the first Moomba parade, a Flynn van naturally. Jack was nominated as the inaugural president, but declined as he was almost totally deaf at this stage of life, he later had a ground breaking operation that restored 60% of his hearing, several firings followed of employees who would forget Jack could hear again! 4. View of the some of the Sundowner movie vans, the big van was imported from the states by Jack, it was a toilet/ shower block, nothing like this had been seen in Oz at this time.
Hello Cobber, The Cabin Car was designed to be towed by the smaller British cars of the day, it was a step up from the little caravanettes that had proved quite popular, as Australia became more affluent in the late 40's and early 50's, Jack saw a growing market for the family holiday van, the release of the Fx/FJ Holdens was a real shot in the arm for the industry. I used to rib Dad about the aerodynamics of the Cabin Car, saying he had built it back the front, he countered by claiming he'd built them shaped like a plane wing, so they'd be lighter to tow, he was never short of a come back! Nigel.
Post by Don Ricardo on Nov 6, 2014 17:36:55 GMT 10
I've been looking at your photos again. And very interesting they are too.
Are you able to tell us when your father started building vans? I see that the first information on Flynn caravans in the Winser caravans manuals appeared in the 1951 edition, so I'm guessing that may mean that started building vans in the late 40's. Is that right?
Did he come from a mechanical and/or motor vehicle background?