The only record of Sportline caravans in the Sydney archives is the following classified advertisement from April, 1969:
SPORTLINE 15ft Aluminium, wrap-around windows, frig., gas stove, near new, as new annexe...
Assuming the description "near new" means the van is anything up to 5 years old, then the van in the advert is perhaps from around the mid-1960s.
The archives show that manufacturers from South Australia didn't tackle the Sydney market in those days. None of them seemed to set up agencies to sell their product, and as such it's a bit pointless trying to find information about brands such as Quest, Rowvan, Roadmaster, etc, and now Sportline. The occasional used van crops up in classified advertisements from time to time, but trying to put together a complete story is rather impossible. We might need to get a 'heritage order' put on lazza so that he and the wealth of information he has is well preserved
The SA caravan association is currently compiling a complete history of caravan manufacturers in SA from the 40,s 50,s and 60,s. Hopefully it will be completed soon . I have been doing my own research as well and will post what I have as soon as I have completed Regards Larry W
Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 18, 2010 22:03:23 GMT 10
On 29 March 2009, Urkel1965 wrote:
I knew if I waited long enough, someone would name my van. At the SA gathering in Murray Bridge last week, Lazza gave me some info, then went off to confirm it. Sportline is infact the brand with the manufacturer being Fred Schraeder who traded out of Regency Rd Croydon SA. As I told Lazza in a PM, someone mentioned Schraeder to me previously, cant remember where, but perhaps the Mount Gambier Nats. On ya Lazza!! Cheers Steve
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 2, 2013 19:32:59 GMT 10
Some more photos of Bubble's Sportline posted by him on 27 February 2013:
Note that this example of a Sportline van has a full-width three part front window and wider back window compared to Urkel1956's van which starts this thread. This indicates that Bubble's van is likely to be the younger of the two.
As at 2 March, Bubble's van was for sale on the For Sale section.
Post by blueheeler1949 on Mar 27, 2013 11:27:11 GMT 10
[img src="[/img]"] Hi everyone. Ive just bought this Sportline caravan which is unrestored but in very good condition. Strangely though the Rego papers list it as 1979 and silver and unknown make. Can anyone date the caravan for me? I think maybe that it was probably unreg for quite a while and a previous owner has registered it and put 1979 on the papers. does anyone know the date or year of the last caravans built by Fred Schrader. I seem to have trouble inserting a photo on this site. cheers
Hi Blueheeler Am unsure of the date, however I did see another Sportline a few years ago here in Pinnaroo, but was unable to get photo's of it. It was a 1972 model and from memory was about 11' long & about 6" wider than mine. It was white (anodised?) aluminium. It had the large back window like yours, but had two singles at the front, with about 12" between them. The interior was basically the same as yours & mine. Do you know if your fridge is original? Mine originally had an ice chest. Other than the different front/rear window overhangs, the basic shape is the same as mine. As it would have been unpainted aluminium, has the big rear window, and an electric fridge, I would have a stab ( a very uneducated one at that) at mid 60's. Am unsure when the last Sportline van was made. Regards Steve
Post by blueheeler1949 on Apr 2, 2013 17:06:52 GMT 10
Hi, Urkel thanks for the reply. Mine is white anodosed aluminium . The fridge is a three way and looks original but I dont really know what it would have had originally. Does any one know if there are any hidden identification plates or anything like that on these vans. Mine has one large 3/4 bed at the back and a narrow bed or seat at the front which converts to a table. All the cupboards are wood covered with laminate Cheers Wayne
Sorry Wayne, I can't help with proper dating of your Sportline (or mine for that matter). There don't seem to be many around. I am only going on what I was told. My date could be wrong also. I reckon not knowing adds to the fun of it!!! Looking at the overall shape and style of your van, I believe that the 'silver' on the old rego papers was correct (unpainted). Perhaps we could start a Sportline owners club...... Regards Steve
Hello. We have just picked up a Schrader 10' caravan. We believe its a 1959 vintage. Trying to post a picture but unable at the moment. We need some lessons using photobucket. Thinking of coming along at the end of May to meet fellow caravanners. Peter and Marianne
<font face="times new roman" size="4">Hello. We have just picked up a Schrader 10' caravan. We believe its a 1959 vintage. Trying to post a picture but unable at the moment. We need some lessons using photobucket. Thinking of coming along at the end of May to meet fellow caravanners. Peter and Marianne</font>
Peter and Marianne, Welcome Photobucket practice is on the home page ,forth one down. Will be good to see some photos as I have a Harris van ,which was also built by Schrader Have you seen "down memory lane" ? cheers Murray
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 12, 2015 22:06:12 GMT 10
Just to add to Murray's post, you can post photos of your van using the 'Add Attachment' button in the Create Post window. However, you can achieve better results (larger, clearer photos) by posting your photos from an online photo storage website such as Photobucket or Flickr. There are instructions on how to do it in the 'Forum Guidelines & Helpful Hints' section of the forum, and there is a place to practise your skills as Murray has said.
Using Photobucket is as easy as any way, if you haven't already got your photos stored on one of the other websites. It takes a little bit of effort to work out the process, but it's worth doing.
Good luck and let us know if you have any difficulties. In the meantime we'll look forward to seeing photos of your van. I'm intrigued to know whether its branded as a Sportline or Harris or something else again.
Hello everyone. Here are some pics of our little baby. We think she is fairly original. Chassis number389. We will be travelling to Tanunda in South Australia tomorrow to catch up with other vintage caravanners. Peter & Marianne
Hi Singer It is a shame I could not make it to Tanunda. You have a Sportline caravan. Our vans are very closely related. Yours is chassis no 389, mine is 385. I would love to see more photos inside and out...even see it in the flesh one day!!!! Cheers Steve
Post by Don Ricardo on Mar 21, 2015 10:54:12 GMT 10
Great to see some photos of your Sportline, and also to see the Schrader manufacturer's plate on it which we haven't seen before.
I don't think we've ever resolved one interesting question about Sportline caravans and that is: Was 'Sportline' Schrader's own brand name or did he build them for somebody else who owned the Sportline name? We know that he built vans for Harris, and we know who Mr Harris was, but who was behind the Sportline brand? Anybody got any ideas?
Looking at the pics of Singer's van reminded me of a Sportline that we saw in South Australia during a tip in 2012. (Not saying where, because I might want to use another photo for 'Where's this' at some stage. )
This van has the same sharp edge to the roofline at the front and back as Bubbles van above (as opposed to the square edge on Singer's and Urkel1965's vans. It also has the white enamel finish to the cladding mentioned by Blueheeler1949 above, so I'm guessing that it's the youngest of the vans shown on this thread?
(Note to Urkel: Sorry for not showing you this photo earlier - I know you would have been interested. I forgot I had it until I was looking at Singer's photos. And no, I didn't get the serial number... )
Don RicardoADDENDUM - August 2021:
When I photographed this caravan in Moonta, South Australia in 2012, I identified it as a Sportline based on its shape and size. By coincidence the same little van was listed for sale on the Vintage Aussie Caravans Facebook page in July 2021. In correspondence with the vendor, it emerged that the van bears ID plates for both Fred Schrader and Harris Vans, something I had failed to observe in 2012
On the face of it this seems to suggest that the van was sold as a Harris Van rather than a Sportline. It also suggests that Schrader may have supplied the same or similar models to both Sportline and Harris. For further discussion and photos, see here.
That's fine that you are hiding piccies from me Don!!! Larry Weeper (Roadmaster) advised me that Fred Schrader made the Sportline brand. So that is all I have to go on. Bubbles van and the one you just posted are both painted and have a larger rear window. Singer hasn't shown the rear of his, but I assume he has the small rear window like mine and of course both are unpainted other than the central waist band. Steve