Bet that got Reddo's attention ;D. I was at Mum's for Mum's day and got talking VVs and I have been after her for a while to find the photos of a teardrop - a "caravanette" they bought second hand in 1948 along with a brand new Ford prefect ute that they put all their worldly possessions in along with my two older sisters and headed north from Victoria (Dad had just left the Navy) to Gods country - Queensland and warm weather. Talk about pioneering - at the Moomby Range there are three hills that the Prefect couldn't get up so Dad had to unhook the teardrop, go to the top unpack the ute with Mum and the girls, go back load the ute with the teardrop contents, back to the top, unload back for the teardrop, to the top and reload everything - for each hill!!!! Two months after getting to Qld the diff in the Prefect died - I wonder why . anyway Mum is looking for the photos and I will post ASAP but does anyone know of a "Caravanette"??
Take a look under "runs and events" - Morgan 2006 - vintage caravan nationals. There is a few photos there of a caravannette. Not so much a teardrop but a van that was hinged at the back and the front lifted up to a hieght that allowed access through a side door near the front. It has canvas sides that tuck in. Graemes Caravanette actually has a metal script badge that states "Caravanette".
They also get a mention in a few of keith winsers caravan books
The ad says 'ideal for small cars', but perhaps that meant 'ideal if totally unloaded' - no equipment, no passengers. ;D ;D ;D
However, looking through the forum, 'caravanette' is a bit like 'clipper' and 'ambassador' - it's a name that has been used by a number of different manufacturers over the years. There's a 1966 advert on the forum for a Cargill Caravanette built in Edithvale (I realise this is well past your parents' era, and that you're talking about a teardrop): vintagecaravans.proboards30.com/index.cgi?board=chat&action=display&thread=2008
But as Firefighter said, Sportsman had a model called a caravanette, as did Supa-lite apparently. And I remember that my parents in the 50's used to refer to any teardrop (as we now call them) as a 'caravanette'.
Sounds like you'll have to get your mum and sit her down in front of the computer and look at a few pictures.
By the way, Reddo mentioned Graeme's Caravanette which was also on show at Mount Gambier, and which actually looks a lot like one of those modern Eco-Tourers. I talked to Graeme a bit about his van, and if memory serves me correctly, he told me that his van was a 1947 home-build (and beautifully done at that!), and I think he also told me that he had put the 'Caravanette' name plate on because it seemed like an appropriate name. I am open to correction on this - my memory may be off beam. Retro1 should be able to tell us, because he is a friend of Graeme's. There's a good pic of it on the following thread (Sutcac's Reply #1, 5th pic down): vintagecaravans.proboards30.com/index.cgi?board=runevent1&action=display&thread=552 The restoration and period style modifications Graeme and his partner have carried out have to be seen to be believed. It's a real show piece (like many others on this forum).
Post by Don Ricardo on May 19, 2008 13:20:32 GMT 10
Makes sense, Leigh, and certainly fits in with the way my parents used the word in the 50's, as I said. I can distinctly remember on one occasion asking my mother what the little caravan was that I had seen and being told it was a caravanette. But there were other references to caravanettes as well over the years.
Makes Tony's job of identifying the type of van his parents had a bit harder though, doesn't it?
The door and opening window look identical (including their placement), the quad along the side over the joins, and the placement and angle of the Sportsman badge above the door. Your folks' van also appears to have the pushbutton door handle Sportsman1 mentions in his post.
Maybe you won't have to trawl through too many pics on the forum with your mum...
Hi tonyh, over in the "Teardrop - general" thread in the History section, the following information might shed some light on the term "caravanette"...
"After World War II, teardrop trailer fever spread around the world. From down under, here are plans for a wooden tear-drop trailer for two - a 'caravanette'.
This article was originally published in The Caravan & Touring in Australia - 1948 Year Book of the Australian monthly, Motor Manual. Although the article does not state the fact, it is derived from plans published in the September, 1947 issue of Mechanix Illustrated."
The 1948 article is titled: "PLANS FOR A LIGHTWEIGHT CARAVANETTE"
It seems that 'teardrops' were also referred to in USA as 'Cabin cars', and in Oz as a 'Trailer for Two'.
Tony, great pics, thanks for sharing. Gotta love the way a family of four could safely travel the country back then. Wouldn't contemplate it now, scarey enough being on the road with the kids in the car in their fangled safety seats and things. Nothing wrong with my driving, but amazes me how on long weekends and other peak holidy times how some people tend to leave their brain at home.
Great touring outfit too, although (obviously from the busted diff) the 'ol ute was a bit overloaded.