(source: posted by Mark T, Aug 24, 2004, who wrote: The Cutting family from Victoria sent me some pics of their recent purchase & restoration project, an early sixties "Classic" caravan. The victorian rego No is very close to the rego No of my "Joker 11" !!!)
Hi all, Classic caravans was a caravan repair business in Murrumbeena that was taken over by Hardings in the late 80s or early 90s,then moved to Bayswater as you would know,Don. They made custom built caravans in the quiet times and sold them from the forecourt or direct to customers.They were quite distinctive,some having a roof like Roadmaster or Greythorn,later ones looking more "standard''.Wonder if they bought the name from an earlier manufacturer? Cheers Hughdeani
Hi all, Classic caravans was a caravan repair business in Murrumbeena that was taken over by Hardings in the late 80s or early 90s...Wonder if they bought the name from an earlier manufacturer? Cheers Hughdeani
Some time ago I had the good fortune to speak to a chap who worked for Classic Caravans in the 50's. As he explained it to me, it was all the same company. Classic produced their own caravans from the late 40's or early 50's until they could no longer compete with the "big boys" who were mass producing vans (the early 60's??), and then became a caravan repair business which, as you say, was later taken over by Hardings.
Interestingly enough the chap who has recently taken over Hardings from the Harding family was the manager of Classic caravans in Murrumbeena for a time after it was taken over by Hardings. At a later point he moved out of the industry but has now returned to it.
As it happens, Classic Caravans did a couple of little updates on our van in 1982 that we now don't talk about. [...replaced the icebox with a fridge, added a 240v transformer to run the 12v lights, and added a couple of power points...]
Classic Caravans from the 1961 Caravan & Touring manual....... 30 Models to choose from !!!
Cobber. Editorial comment - August 2020:. Looking at the photo in this post the writing on the front of the van seems to say Wayfarer, and the caravan is almost identical to a Wayfarer model. This raises questions about whether this is an example of mixed up photos (not unknown in the Winser publications), or whether Classic had begun to sell Wayfarer caravans, or possibly that both Classic and Wayfarer were sourcing vans from the same third party. Don Ricardo
just picked up a classic brand caravan from a deceased estate exactly the same as the top one in the 1962 caravan and touring guide in your look up your van section (classic brand) allthough it looks a lot earlier than 1962 i was thinking early 50s has a curved roof on corners like a greythorn ,anyway its in top condition inside with all original fittings nothing touched since new as well as all the original seats and cushions in imacculate condition vinyl on one side and material on the other.it needs a few small repairs on the outside and has original conventional tyres with matching spare,has been stored up on blocks in shed for about 20 years. towed it back from 2 hours away and sat on 100 kms the whole way no problems. i am not into caravans and will be selling it shortly hoping to get about 5 grand if anyones interested i am in diamondcreek 20kms northeast of melbourne..peter ph 0477 943 636 thanks..
Post by Don Ricardo on Feb 7, 2012 21:09:22 GMT 10
Classic caravan referred to by Benwho427 in the post above:
This van has a South Australian style double cambered roof apparently covered in canvas or fibreglass. Benwho427 commented in his post that the van reminded him of a Greythorne, which were built by Roadmaster from the late 50's through to the late 60's. The front of the Classic - particularly the front windows and the bulkhead above the window - has a number of similarities with this 1962 Roadmaster, although the Classic is smaller and probably a bit older than the Roadmaster shown. But perhaps Roadmaster built vans for Classic?
My little what I thought so called Franklin is actually a 'Classic' caravan after looking at the signage on the early vans. My front and rear signage is identical and the chassis number I have is 984 and if not a 'Classic' then it is a Franklin sold by Classic. Any help please Franklin 1.
Post by Don Ricardo on Apr 23, 2012 22:15:36 GMT 10
Additional photos of Benwho427's Classic caravan shown in Reply #8 above:
In Reply #8, I suggested that this Classic caravan was likely to have been built by Roadmaster. However, more recently I have seen photos of an Adventurer caravan that seems to share a number of common features with the Classic:
The shape of the front below the windows on the two vans is different, but note the following similarities:
Shape of the front from the windows up.
Configuration and construction of the galley cupboards and drawers, allowing for the modifications for the frig in the Classic.
Shape of the splashback, including aluminium edging.
Sliding bench top over stove.
Design and construction of the dinette seat beside the cupboards.
The unusual shape of the 'shelf' underneath the front window (inside view).
The same supports under the rear divan (as far as can be seen from the Adventurer photos).
Some of the features may have been common for vans of that era (early 60's?), but taken together they may possibly indicate that the Classic van came out of the Adventurer factory. There seems little doubt that both vans have a South Australian origin because of the double cambered roof and tudor ceiling.
There are more photos of the Adventurer caravan here.
These photos of "Classic" caravans come from the 1962 Caravan & Touring manual. They show a distinct similarity with "Rowvans" and "Zestline" don't you think .
Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop... (And I'm talking about me, not Cobber!)
Cobber posted the above Classic caravan photos in 2009, with the comment that the van at the bottom had some similarity to a (Carapark) Zestline. Then in 2013, Lazyacre - son of Ted Creer, one half of the Hart & Creer duo who produced Adventurer caravans - posted the following photo of an Adventurer van of somewhat radical design...
"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."
I only made the connection between the two vans last night - only took me eighteen months! (Hence the comment about taking a while for the penny to drop. )
This provides further confirmation of what has been suggested higher up this thread that in the late 50's and/or early 60's Classic caravans in Victoria began to source its vans from Adventurer in South Australia. The first of the photos posted by Cobber is also Adventurer-built.
Lazyacre's comment suggests that the van didn't go into production, but the Classic info from the 1962 Winser indicates that if production didn't proceed it was at least seriously enough considered to start publicising it.
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 4, 2014 14:43:55 GMT 10
1962 Classic 14 ft 6 in caravan, listed on Ebay in June 2011:
This caravan seems to be a larger version of the van shown in the advertisement from the 1962 Winser posted on this thread by Cobber in 2009 and quoted in the post immediately above, and as such was 100% certainly built for Classic by Adventurer in South Australia. It also looks to be an earlier version of Benwho427's caravan, also shown higher up this thread - earlier because this van has just the two separate front windows instead of the wrap around front windows, and the straight front instead of the bulkheads above and below the front windows, as seen on Benwho427's van.