Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 19, 2008 22:00:56 GMT 10
REPORT BY KRIS B ON OVERLAND STYLELINER CARAVAN "Hi, Yesterday we went to Springvale to look at a van that has to be moved quite quickly, it is in the way of a new water tank installation.The owner, Ian, has had it under a carport roof beside his house for ages,it was last used 20 years ago for his son to study in ;D "It is a 14ft Bondy, made by Overland Caravans,Oakleigh, looks to be about 1958 ish.The inside is mostly undamaged,but it does have 20 years of dust,have a look at the table, but I am sure that with only a clean the whole inside would be like new. "It is a four berth, double with table at the front, and double settee/bed at the rear, although these cushions are missing. "Ice chest is all there, stove has been removed, and it has some unusual features like a pull out chopping board and some small drawers for cutlery, etc. "Lots and lots of cupboards everywhere, and double wardrobe fitted out with drawers "The exterior is in very good condition, it certainly doesn't look like an abandoned van, more like one that has been looked after. "Has Vanguard wheels, don't know if they hold air to tow, and it has never had brakes. "Now the bad bit---Ian was most upset to find that water had been getting onto one corner at the rear, this has caused some damage, but it is localised and repairable, especially as Ian is quite happy to give this van at no cost to anyone who wants it. "Here are a couple of photo's, would have taken more but the battery went flat."
(source: posted by Kris B, Nov 7, 2007)
This Overland caravan is now owned by Smiles. For further information and photos of its restoration click here
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 16, 2013 20:05:44 GMT 10
On 15 December 2013, DC3Td posted a link to a 1957 Overland 14 ft caravan listed on Ebay:
Seller's description (edited):
This caravan was built in Oakleigh Victoria (see pic with makers plate) I purchased it about 4 years ago from the man who bought it new off W.J.Blackledge. It was used once or twice a year for the family holiday over many years, it was always garaged in a big dry shed when not in use, and the outer skin is testimony to that care (NO ROT!) The interior at some stage in the 70's was tickled up with some new floor covering and curtains and a new fridge. The floor, as already mentioned, was re covered, I painstakingly removed the lino to reveal the original blue and yellow tiles, which came up a treat, they have some marks but still look fantastic. The seat material is original, its been steam cleaned since the pics were taken and they too have come up quite well for their age. The paint finish inside is original, there are marks and some discolouring but its original! The fridge was removed as it didn't work, so you could place what ever type you like in the hole provided. The stove and oven were retro fitted when it was new, as the owners wife liked to cook and she needed the oven, so its period to the date. The internal cabinetry has been craftsman built, well finished and built to last. I have stripped the paint with a heat gun and hand sanding, both sides, front and rear, the roof, I haven't touched as its got a canvas glued to the skin and painted over the top.The window frames have been removed, these are all aluminium and are in excellent condition, along with the rain gutters and chromed brass side strips.There is no broken or cracked glass, the Perspex corners on the bay window are also in excellent condition... On the same day, Don Ricardo commented:
Thanks for posting that link. That's an interesting caravan - an Overland fitted with a Flynn bay window. We haven't seen one of those before, although to be fair, Overlands aren't all that common - from memory we've only seen three on the forum. This makes four.
I wonder if the Flynn bay window was a standard option, whether it was a one-off for the original owner of the van, or whether it was an after market addition. It seems from the description that the owner added a few little modifications of his own for the comfort of his wife or himself, so maybe the bay window was after market.
It doesn't really matter one way or the other - I quite like the look of the bay window and it seems to suit the Overland shape.
Don Ricardo And Smiles responded:
Great to see this Overland. We also have an Overland & its very similar to our 14ft in all details except for the bay window & the sharper curve on the wardrobe near the door. Ours has a lovely curving corner. But I'm amazed to see the cushions! When we got our Overland with help from Kaybees in Melbourne in 2007, there were no cushions in the van, & very little info in DHL to go on. So I made cushion covers out of woven navy striped ticking! How's that for a coincidence hey?
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 16, 2013 20:16:56 GMT 10
I've posted the photos of the Overland on Ebay and the subsequent discussion on this DHL thread (see above), and will also reply to your comments here.
It's interesting to see the differences you've identified between your Overland and the one advertised on Ebay. The Ebay van is listed as 1957 and yours was estimated by Kris B as 1958, but I guess we don't know which van actually came first...unless you've discovered where Overland recorded its serial numbers (if they used them)? I note another difference between the two vans is that yours has a water filler on the nearside behind the wheel arch, whereas the Ebay van doesn't. That and the cupboard differences you mentioned make me think that your van is possibly the younger of the two, but I'm only guessing.
You must have had a sixth sense about the upholstery! It's really nice when we get things like that right just by serendipity and good luck, isn't it?
I've realised that many forum members won't have seen your van (shown in Reply #1 and here) since it was restored! Following is a pic I took of it (and you) at the 2012 Vintage Caravan Nationals at Cowra:
Some time back Boblor gave us a photocopy of an article from Australian Caravan World magazine dated 1976. It included a photo of an Overland caravan as an example of a "van from the mid fifties". The features of the van in the picture were identical to the van currently on Ebay, ie front bay window, double towel rails, water filler below right of door, aluminium windows, original jockey wheel same as our van BUT the big difference is that the van is named Overland Stylemaster rather than Styleliner. Initially I thought the Stylemaster must be the top of the line Overland model with the bay window, a very popular feature apparently after a particular caravan show.
However Keith Winsers book of 1955 (pictures at start of this thread) shows vans with wooden windows & interiors of 14ft Styleliner with curving cupboards same as ours but with slightly different kitchen cupboards. Our van also has mini continuous towel rail under the cupboards unlike the Stylemaster on Ebay which doesn't appear to have mini rail although a previous owner may have removed it at some point. So it seems as though our Overland Styleliner may be the last of the Styleliner model in 1956-57 (but with aluminium windows) before being replaced by the more upmarket Stylemaster model with the fancy Flynn bay window in 1957 OR the other possibility is that Blackledge had 2 models in his Overland range by 1957, the basic Styleliner & the fancier Stylemaster. I think that Blackledge most likely introduced the Stylemaster with improved features in 1957, in a desperate bid to sell vans in a very competitive market, especially with competitors such as Don also in Oakleigh who had changed shapes by 1955.
Overland vans were really well constructed by kitchen cabinet makers & although simple in design were also very classy. The only modification we have made to our van has been the addition of electric brakes. We use the ice chest & it works well.
Hopefully someone will buy this van on Ebay & appreciate it as much as we do our Overland! It has so many great cupboards & storage space it's almost impossible to fill it. We love it!
Post by Don Ricardo on Dec 17, 2013 21:26:55 GMT 10
That's some fascinating information and observations you have provided about the Overland Styleliner and Stylemaster models...
...which sent me scurrying for my Winsers, and in the 1961 edition I found the following pictures of two different Overland Stylemasters, both of which sport the bay window or "Special Overland 'full-view' front" as it is termed (so now we know it was a standard fitment):
(Source: Keith Winser, Australian Caravan and Touring Manual, 1961, pp 145 & 146)
The first advertisement mentions both Stylemasters and Styleliners, and the list of Australian Caravans elsewhere in the Manual (p 91), lists the Styleliner as being 12 ft 3-berth, and the Stylemaster as 14 ft and 4 -berth. So that confirms your second proposal - that both models were available at the same time, and that the Stylemaster was the fancier of the two. It also confirms that the van currently on Ebay is a Stylemaster.
I have included both the pictures from the 1961 Winser because they are clearly of different caravans. Note the placement of the override lights, the wire door on the first but not the second, the different shapes of the wheel arches and the fact that the first van doesn't have a water filler spout behind the nearside wheel while the second one does. After staring at the two vans for a while I fancy that the first one may be longer than the second, eg 16 ft and 14 ft respectively, but I'm not entirely sure. The alternative is that one is earlier than the other, which is possible - Winser used to carry over photos from one edition to another.
The other thing I've noted is that the Stylemasters in these pics have a more modern style of livery than yours. Note that these just have a simple straight flash along the sides, and also that in the first photo you can see Overland signwritten under the bay window. In contrast the 'full surround' flash on your van with the changes in height and the little 'V' shape at the front is more characteristic of caravans built in the early to mid-50's, and can be seen on many brands of caravans from around then.
Going on from that observation, the livery on the van on Ebay has some similarities with that on the 1961 vans, including the signwritten Overland under the front window. So what I take from that is that your van is definitely earlier than the Ebay van. If I can get my hands on some other editions of Winser we might be able to narrow down the possible build dates for your van.
I note Winser's editorial comment under the second photo: "Overland vans are well furnished and one of the best built units." From what I've seen of the build quality of your van I can only agree. The finish on the cupboards, etc, is superb!
Looks like the Ebay van has helped us find out a bit more about Overland vans, eh!
Wonderful sleuthing! Rob thinks that because Blackledge added a separate screen door to the Stylemaster model currently on Ebay, then he had to square up the wardrobe & eliminate the curving side so the screen door could close back neatly. smiles
...Rob thinks that because Blackledge added a separate screen door to the Stylemaster model currently on Ebay, then he had to square up the wardrobe & eliminate the curving side so the screen door could close back neatly...
Rob's suggestion makes sounds logical to me. I note that the interior of the 14 ft van in the photo which commences this thread has the rounded corner on the wardrobe, and I think (as much as you can tell) the same layout and fit out as yours, except that it has the Bosse & Eunson style wooden frames windows (the ones with the rounded inner corners).
The photo comes from the 1955 Winser, so that suggests that Mr Blackledge retained that style and layout for the 14 ft van for a while, just adapting as needed to accommodate changes in trends. Your model van got the aluminium frames windows when they became available (1956 or thereabouts), and the Stylemaster got the squared off wardrobe to fit the wire door.
While we're on an "Overland roll" so to speak, I thought I might post some pics of a 12 ft Overland being restored by Craig a staff member at Swift Caravan Services in Melbourne (previously Hardings) - the cream van on the right in the first photo:
The layout of this van seems to match up pretty well with the 12 ft van also shown in the 1955 Winser:
(Source: K Winser, Australian Caravans and Touring, Book 7, 1955, p 131)
However, one difference is the front window. The Winser van has a small double paned window at the front reminiscent of the older van in Reply #3, whereas Craig's has a larger single paned window. That suggests to me that Craig's van is probably a bit newer than the Winser van. Interestingly neither the front nor the rear windows in Craig's van are openable. I can't tell from the pic in Winser whether the front window on that van opens or not. Another difference is the fancier open shelf above the bunks in Craig's van.