Post by Don Ricardo on May 23, 2010 16:12:49 GMT 10
Manufactured on a non-commercial basis by Alfred Saw Bentleigh, Victoria
Mr Saw later moved to Aspendale, and produced some caravans which he named 'Spendal' (from Aspendale - see post from Cobber below). During the 2010 Vintage Caravans Nationals at Mildura, Cobber met the descendants of a man who produced Bentleigh caravans in the 40's and 50's (and 60's?). As very commonly occurred in Victoria, the caravans were named after the suburb in which they were built.
The person Cobber spoke to was able to provide some photos of Bentleigh caravans, and we were able to scan two of them and take pics of the rest.
The first two photos show what appear to be identical vans, and may possibly be the same van in different livery:
This photo has "Washing - Scarborough Qld 7/50" written on the back, indicating that it was taken in 1950.
An interesting point in this second photo is that it shows that the van has two hatches - one facing forward, and the other facing backwards - which is an unusual feature, and will be of particular interest to one of our V V'ers. (Humpty are you there? )
Following are three other vans which were built or owned by the "Bentleigh family":
Hopefully Cobber can tell us more about the builder of the Bentleigh vans, and the history of the other vans.
Very interesting Don. Same general style, but they both have steel drawbars and look like they could have been built in ply as there is no jointing strips which was a must for masonite. I note they have the same door handles but their doors open opposite to Janorma. I think they are 2 different vans by looking at the height of the joint strip at the front of the van........but keep looking we'll find it one day.
Fibreglass fantasia!....a Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)... 52 homemade plywood and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name (might be Skyline?) ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
All these 'vans were made by Alfred Saw..... he did not make a career of it.... just did it because he could.
The lady who showed them to me ( his daughter) said the darker coloured Bentleigh 'van was the first one built in 1949 she reckons by the age of the little boy (her brother). The light coloured Bentleigh was the second one built again in 1949 or 1950.
The next two photos she is not sure what relevance they have..... but she thinks they were made by her father, that is her mother standing beside the annex.
The last three photos are of a 'van again made by her father that he called “Spendal”...... derived from the fact that at the time they were living at Aspendale The first of these three photos showing the bloke waving to us all is of the gentleman and his new bride setting out on their honeymoon in the new “Spendal” caravan dad made for them. They are the same couple who showed the photos to me. This “Spendal” was the last caravan the father made, that was in 1956. The other “Spendal” with two separate front windows was made prior to 1956.... not sure what year, the bloke standing beside the EH is the above mentioned Alfred Saw, so that would have been after 1962...... so he must have kept that one.