WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF SOMEONE OUT THERE COULD DATE OUR 12'6" FRANKLIN VAN. WE THINK OUR GRANDPARENTS PURCHASED NEW IN THE 60'S IN THE CROYDON VIC AREA. WE BOUGHT IT OFF MY MOTHER FOR 20 CENTS IN JANUARY THIS YEAR. AS FAR AS WE KNOW IT'S ORIGINAL. ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS REPLACE THE AXLE AND GIVE THE INSIDE A COAT OF PAINT
Hi robc and welcome to the forum. I don't suppose your Mum has any other 20c Franklin caravans she wants to get rid of?? (...not that I'm all that fussed about Franklin caravans, mind, but if she's trying to get rid of them for 20c then I might be interested... )
The best guess I can make for your van is that it is a 1964 Franklin Caravelle, when they were first introduced to the market as a 12ft 6ins model. These were 6ft 6ins wide, so perhaps you can measure yours to see if it matches this width. The external cladding profile (the appearance of the ribs) also confirms a time period before 1965 or 1966.
By mid 1967, Franklin were using the new fully painted white aluminium cladding, so your van is certainly before that.
The only question mark is that later models of the Caravelle had the moulded spats covering the wheel arches, so I wonder whether yours is supposed to have them as well.
All in all, your van is a pretty ordinary example of a Franklin and I think your Mum ripped you off when she charged you 20c. I think really the best thing for you to do is to bring it round to my place and I'll dispose of it "thoughtfully" for you free of charge! ;D ;D ;D ;D
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 12, 2009 16:08:16 GMT 10
Hi Robc and Franklin1,
I'm a bit intrigued by Robc's van because it has full width front and rear windows. Most of the pics of Caravelles on the Franklin thread in the Down History Lane section have split front and rear windows, except for the van shown in Reply #17, which has been identified by the owner as a 1966 van. The 1966 van actually has two different profile aluminium sheet on it, neither of which matches the sheet on Robc's van, but I am guessing that the sheet on the lower half of the side of the 1966 van replaced what was already there. The 1966 van is also painted, which I presume is a later modification as well. However, the wheel arch appears to match Robc's, although the angle of the pic makes it a little hard to judge.
I guess what Robc's van and the 1966 van show is that early Caravelles had full width windows front and rear? But does the different profile of the aluminium sheet on the two vans (excluding the later sheet on the 1966 van) also help us to date the vans more precisely? What do you think Franklin1?
By the way Robc - a great investment of 20c! You'll certainly get your money's worth many times over as you get out and use the van. Happy traveling.
Crikey, DonR...Sundays are for SNOOZING, not for thinking!!
But now that you've woken me out of my afternoon nap, let me see if I can make sense of your questions...
But before I do, did you hear the rumour that robc paid his Mum with some old 1 and 2 cent pieces that he had stashed away in a jar? Seems his Mum thought they were still legal tender...until she went to pay her overdue electricity bill at the Post Office. Luckily I can poke fun at robc now, cause he's me best mate (even though I haven't met him yet ) and he's got an old Franklin I can borrow!! ;D ;D
But I digress...! Back to your question...
There's still quite a gap in our collection of information about Franklin caravans, particularly up to the mid 1960s. My best guess about robc's van was based purely on one advertisement, from September 1964...
There's no mention of Franklin, and the word Caravell is different to Caravelle with an 'e', but I never found any other Caravell(e) van in the archives other than Franklins, so I figured this advert related to Franklins as well. It is also the only time that the 12ft 6ins size is mentioned in that part of Franklin history. Yes, the cladding is a different profile to later vans, and yes the full-width windows seemed to have been changed to single ones later. I guess we'll have to sit back and wait for more of these old treasures to come out of the sheds so we can be more confident of being able to date them, or at least see what the differences are between them.
One of the things about the 'evolution' of cladding that I've noticed is that in the early days of profiled cladding, it was manufactured in short length sheets, which meant the sides of the van was clad with two sheets screwed at the joint (as per robc's van). Then at some point around the mid-1960s the major manufacturers switched to longer lengths of cladding to cover the sides in a single length. I've found the sheet length to be more of a help in dating a van than the actual sheet profile.
The Franklin wheel arch shape has quite a distinguished shape about it. If you look at the pictures in the DHL thread, every Franklin wheel arch you can see, from 1958 up until 1968, has that distinct forward tilting shape about it. It's usually the first thing that grabs my attention when looking at old van photos.
Post by Don Ricardo on Jul 12, 2009 19:38:05 GMT 10
I went looking for photos of your Caravelle today when I was thinking about Robc's van. The only photo I could find was a side view from some distance away (or maybe it was just a small photo). Have you posted more pics of the Caravelle at some stage? If so can you point me to them please? Thanks.
There is a 12'? franklin like this,white in colour, under a tarp, that I have spotted in narrabundah in canberra. If any one is interested i can make some enquiries. Looks like it has not moved for a long time but Ok all the same jennison PS - maybe that no : 5 - 1968 in the franklin history thread. I will have another look
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2009 21:47:32 GMT 10 by Jennison
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HELP PEOPLES! I'M NOT SURE IF I'M CORRECT BUT MEASURED THE VAN AT 12'6" FROM THE BALL TO THE REAR EXTRMETY. FOR AL.----- THE VAN IS 6'6" WIDE AND IS A 3 BERTH (4'0" X 6'3" BED AT REAR WHICH CONVERTS INTO LOUNGE AND THE TABLE END CONVERTS TO A SINGLE. THE DRAW BAR HAS THE FIGURES 201-7 WELDED INTO IT AND THE WHEELS ARE 10". THE FRONT HAS AN ALUMINIUM FLAP WHICH COVERS THE WHOLE WINDOW. DONT KNOW IF IS ORIGINAL OR AN ADD ON HOPE THIS EXTRA INFO ASSIST TO ID THE VAN
Hi robc thanks for the extra info. I reckon your van is the same as the van I owned in my original foray into vintage caravans - even before this site was invented. Mine was what I call the egg shaped 10'6" (cabin length) van, had 10 inch wheels and the goucho bed too. WIll try to find some holiday pics of it and post them. The cladding on yours is the same as mine was from memory.
I ended up replacing the whole axle and put 12inch Datsun rims onto it, and it looked so much better and in proportion. You don't really have enough clearance to add bigger rims than that.
I see you still have the original fridge in it, open the back vent and find the electrical tag on the fridge - that's how I dated mine. It was a 1962 or 1963 model from memory. I loved that van and for a while was looking for another one even. I travelled all the way to Cairns, across the back developmental (250kms of dirt road) to Hughenden, Winton, Longreach etc and it never missed a beat.
You will have fun with that van!!
Last Edit: Jul 13, 2009 11:02:12 GMT 10 by Roehm3108
Hi DonR, yes the 1966 van in the DHL section does look like a Mini, doesn't it? We never did find out who the owner of that van is/was, did we?
Bear in mind I'm still only guessing that robc's van is a 1967 Franklin Mini. They were the only Franklin I found in my history searching that had a cabin length of 10ft 6ins, and robc's van matches that. The 1967 prediction comes from what I think the 201-7 chassis number stands for (based on Foxy's 1515-7 from August 1967)
It almost seems like the early Mini models were made out of bits of cladding from the spare parts bin. The 1966 one in the DHL thread has different cladding profiles on it, and is different to robc's van, and yet both are possibly only months apart on the production line.
The windows are also another intriguing feature. The 1968 photo of the Moscow Circus vans, in the DHL thread, show the Minis in the foreground with split windows like the Caravelles had. And yet robc's and the other 1966 one have full width. Maybe they started off with full width, and then rationalised the windows to use the same as the Caravelles. Somewhere in my archive collection I've got a news article about how Franklin did a complete overhall of their production line. I think it was in mid-1967 when they switched over to fully painted cladding. The demand for caravans was increasing rapidly, and Franklin were keen to streamline their processes so they could meet the demand. So perhaps from mid-1967 onwards, Franklin produced various models using a lot of common parts between them. The Mini looks like a shortened Caravelle anyway, don't you think?