Post by Don Ricardo on May 28, 2009 21:50:13 GMT 10
Photos of Sunshine 9 ft van posted by Mark T on behalf of Anne in the For Sale/Wanted section on 27 May 2009.
The serial number plate is located on the back wall of the caravan.
The owner made the comment that Sunshine vans were built by "Sunstate Caravans, Kessels Rd, Upper Mt Gravatt, Queensland", but the nameplate states 'Built by Sunshine Caravans'. The basis for the reference to 'Sunstate' at this point is unknown.
Hi everyone, We've been reading your forum for the past year and have decided it's about time we introduced ourselves. I'm Jim and my wife is Tricia. We had been looking for an old van and found a Bondwood Sunshine Caravan in the front yard of a house here in Toowoomba. The van had been left out in the weather for a long time and the roof and ceiling have had a lot of water damage, but the main body is still rigid and sound. We bought it home in February 2008 and have had it under a tarp since then. We've just finished the restoration of our tow car, a Morris 1800 sedan, so now is the time to get stuck into the bondy. We had to take the body off the chassis to get it into the garage, and have stripped the ply off the ceiling. The van is 9ft 6ins long, and was made about 1962- 1964,( we're yet to find a builders date of manufacture, and probably never will) and sits on 13in. Holden wheels. Last registered in 1989. The body no. is 96201. Thanks to Cobber for his posting 25-4-09, on an advertisement on Sunshine Caravans. Cheers Jim and Tricia. ps. Sorry but can't sent any pictures at the moment.
G'day Jim and Tricia, and a BIG welcome to the forum! ;D ;D Sorry for taking so long to welcome you, but there's been a lot of excitement on the forum last few days with the discovery of a 1928 pop-top caravan, and we've somehow missed your post.
Love to see some photos when you can master the Photobucket challenge. I see the serial number on yours is almost 100 more than the other one pictured above. Both have the 96--- prefix. Do you reckon that would relate to the 9ft 6ins size you say yours is? But then again, the other one above is supposed to be only 9ft long, so maybe that ain't the case. 9ft long x 6ft wide maybe?? The 96 has got to mean something!
Not sure if I would say your van is as late as 1964. Most major manufacturers had made the transition to aluminium cladding by that time, so anyone still making bondwoods would have been at a marketing disadvantage. Still, some of the smaller makers might have been persistent with timber.
Great to have you with us, and look forward to seeing a few photos.
Hello Al, Thanks for your reply. Regarding the size, infact the 96 on the body no. could be 9ft x 6ft. As the add above states the model is a Super 9, so you could be right. Our van has the larger front windows like the one in the add, but the rest of ours is the same as the one posted by Mark T, in May 09. The van in the add has no roof overhang over the front and rear windows. It also has a barn door. I've just measured the body and it is 9ft 5 1/2 ins. long by 6ft 4 1/2 ins wide on the outside. Iv'e showed photos of our van to an carpenter who worked making Sunshine Caravans in the early 60's, and going by the rego no. still on the van, he thought it could have been made as late as 1964. So I don't really know exactly when it was manufactured. I know that Sunshine were making bondwood and aluminium caravans at the same, and were phasing out the old bondwoods by the early 60's, as you said. Cheers Jim.
Hi Jim, We have just purchased a Sunshine Caravan from a friend that is serial number 96210. He had owned the caravan for about the last 20 years and he bought from the original owners who lived in Ipswich. The van has always been in a shed and was in pretty good condition but I am trying to get the gas fridge repaired and do a bit of a resto job on it. Do you know of another 9 foot Sunshine vans around and I look forward to checking your van out one day.
Hi Bruce, have just found your reply on Sunshine Caravans, sorry I didn't see it sooner. The only other Sunshine van that I know of is in Brisbane which was posted on the forum by Mark T on the 28th may 2009. I don't know who owns it now. Good to hear of another one that has survived. Do you know what year yours was built? Jim.
Post by evanthesunshine on Mar 21, 2017 18:42:31 GMT 10
Good Evening Everyone.
A short introduction first. My wife and I (particularly the wife, who has a great interest in caravans and has been looking religiously for at least the last 6 months) have recently purchased a 1962, 15' Sunshine caravan, which appears to be in amazing condition, when compared to some of the "Before" conditions we have seen in the forums! We are very new to the Vintage Caravan scene, but have already fallen in love with our purchase.
In addition, it turns out we have bought the caravan from the son of the original owner, who as it happens is actually the builder of Sunshine Caravans, and between himself and his brother, owned the Sunshine Caravan business! I guess that means we have good provenance for our little van, but it gets better. We are naming the van "Evan", in honour of the original owner, who has now gone into care. Judging from the interactions with his son and family, they are wonderful people, who have agreed to share photos and stories of Evan, and their family adventures.
My wife and I were very lucky to find Evan, and indicated that as far as possible, Evan would be kept in original condition. The owner went so far as to drop the price of Evan significantly to enable us to take the van, as he felt the van would remain loved and cared for in it's original condition with us!
I just need some advice as to how to go about ensuring Evan is completely safe and roadworthy, while keeping the original features safe! Would it be more appropriate to start a new forum devoted to our little project? As I have said, the actual van is in amazing condition, meaning we are only intending decorating the inside to our taste with mattresses and curtains. It really is in that good condition.
Photos will follow, once I have worked out PhotoBucket!
Post by shesgotthelook on Mar 21, 2017 21:15:21 GMT 10
Hello & welcome Craig. Your van sounds wonderful & to have direct links to it's history, even better! We look forward to your story & photos. Here's a little tutorial on photobucket I put together. Easy enough on a computer, I'm not so savvy on a phone or an ipad. Cheers, SGTL
Hi A friend of mine has an old caravan that has been sitting in her yard for over 20 years. She is elderly now and someone has asked to buy her caravan for $500. she has asked me to research for her the worth of the caravan . I have iddentified it as a 1950's early 60s sunshine caravan built at Mount Grattan . It is not in great condition but considering age is all original with all internals still in place cuboards fridge ( Astral) stove sink etc original light fixtures flooring cushions . The door is a barn door style so you have to place the top of door up so becomes like an awning ( I just bumped my head into it ) Door is in two parts . Does any one have any idea if this caravan is rare or collectible or common and easy to find . Any Information would be appreciated Eva
Post by shesgotthelook on Jan 20, 2021 21:28:03 GMT 10
Hello & welcome. It sounds like a wonderful & historic van. We don't do valuations on here, but old vans have been making very big money through Covid. If you search 'Vintage Caravan & Retro Caravan on Gumtree, EBuy & Facebbok Marketplace you will start to get an idea. Regards, SGTL.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 20, 2021 21:43:41 GMT 10
Welcome to the forum.
Sunshine caravans are quite rare - they were built in an era when many small manufacturers hand built caravans in small numbers. There were never large numbers of Sunshines around I don't think, and so from that perspective they are not common or easily found.
All vintage caravans are collectable, but there are some brands which are eagerly sought after and other brands which are not, and what is eagerly sought after can change over the time according to fashion and fads. Unfortunately for your friend, Sunshine caravans are probably not in the 'eagerly sought after' category. That means that the buyers who are likely to pay the best price are people whose parents or grandparents had a Sunshine, and for whom the brand triggers lots of happy memories and who would love to have a Sunshine similar to the one they remember. In the case of vintage caravans rarity does not necessarily translate into a high price.
Regarding value, we have a policy on the forum of not discussing prices to avoid the possibility of potential buyers talking down the price, or friends of potential buyers talking up the price. In the case of a fairly rare brand it is very difficult to offer a price guide anyway. However, in the end the value of your friend's Sunshine will depend on its condition, and how much they are willing to sell it for, and a buyer is willing to pay. Assuming that the van is in a half reasonable condition for restoration, I will say that it's quite a long while since you could pick up a vintage van for $500. So it all depends on how much your friend wants to get rid of the van, and how much a few hundred dollars one way or the other mean to them.
If you have some photos of the van, you are most welcome to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them for you. We may then be able to give you an assessment of the vans condition which may assist with bargaining. And of course we would be interested to see the van ourselves out of interest as well.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jan 21, 2021 16:59:29 GMT 10
Thanks to SGTL for posting the photo of the Sunshine van you posted about. It's great to see a pic of the van.
The style of the van looks very much in the mould of the Sunshines shown in the 1962 advert shown at the beginning of this thread, so my guess is that it is from around 1961 to 1963. The style of the flash on the side suggests a date around then too. The advert states that the vans are available clad in either Rescote (ie bondwood or ply) or aluminium. The vans in the advert are shown as being painted, so I’m thinking that they are probably examples of the Rescote clad vans, whereas your friend’s is one of the aluminium clad vans.
The van looks as if it’s in reasonable condition externally. However, sometimes there can be hidden problems in the frame, or there have been water leaks internally. Are there any internal photos you can show us?
As I said in my earlier post, it is quite a few years since someone could pick up a reasonably complete and fair condition vintage van for $500, and having seen this photo I’ll stick with that comment.