Post by Don Ricardo on Sept 4, 2021 22:27:17 GMT 10
Great to see the photo of your Sportline and to hear about the serial number of 421.
Unfortunately we haven’t been able to put together much information that helps us date Sportline caravans at this stage. As you will have seen if your have read through this thread, various Sportline owners have reported serial numbers ranging from 356 to 456. Of course we don’t know what the starting number for serial numbers might have been. It might have been number 1, but it may also not have been, Fred Schrader who built the Sportlines, also built vans for Harris, and may have used different series of numbers for the two marques.
Looking through the posts on this thread there are also comments about Sportline vans having been built as early as 1959 and as late as 1979. I think we can discount 1979 quite easily because the caravan industry had changed significantly in the late 60’s and 70’s and by the late 70’s was dominated by a couple of big manufacturers. Most of the small manufacturers, particularly those that hand built caravans, had gone out of business by the late 60’s because they couldn’t compete against the mass production techniques of the big manufacturers.
One aspect of your van, and the other small Sportlines like it, that may help with dating is the multi-rib cladding on the side of the vans above and below the coloured panel. As far as we have been able to establish, the multi-rib cladding started to be used in 1964. In addition the coloured panel between the windows was a styling feature that was used by a lot of manufacturers - including Franklin and Viscount - around 1964+. I think that indicates that the Sportlines like yours were probably built in 1964 or a year or two after that.
I hope that helps a bit? I know it’s a bit vague, but until someone comes up with an original receipt for a Sportline which will allow us to tie a purchase date together with a serial number (and that does happen occasionally), that’s as much as we can say.
You also asked about cleaning the aluminium. Paramount49 may answer, but otherwise try entering ‘aluminium polishing’ into the ‘Search’ function, or have a look at the ‘Technical Enquiries & Advice’ section of the forum.