Post by Observatory on Oct 20, 2010 22:22:29 GMT 10
Trying to date my newly purchased Viscount. After combing these listings thoroughly I have an idea that the date is around 1966-7. Looking forward to giving this old girl (the "Observatory") a restoring new sparkle. The chassis number is D919 and was originally sold by Croydon Caravans - Sydney. The original paint work was bare aluminium with two thin blue streaks on each side.
The Viscount brand is proving to be one of the most difficult brands of the 1960s to accurately identify the age of them. What confuses things is that they were made in three factories in SA, Vic, and NSW, and it's possible there were different models from each factory, with different chassis numbers between the three factories.
Are you saying the wide blue painted band on your van is not how it was originally? If it had a stripe near the top, and another stripe underneath the windows originally, then it is likely to be a 1965 model.
The other thing about your van is that it looks like an Ambassador model that has had the wrap-around windows put into it (maybe as a special build?). I only say this because the shape of the cabin body at the front and rear lower sections is more like the Ambassadors of the time than the Viscounts.
If you look at this newspaper advertisement from the mid-1960s, the two Ambassador models have a more rounded lower front, and the two Viscount models have a sharper curve at the lower front (and rear)...
I haven't collected enough Viscount chassis numbers to know where your number of D919 fits in to the whole scheme of things. At the moment it's mainly guesswork with this brand, but I do have advertisements trumpeting the new Viscount models in 1965 having a "new dynamic twin flash!" on the sides. The painted band as showing on your van is typical of vans in general from 1964.
ps. You'll probably find the Moderators of the forum will shift your thread over to the Members Photo Album section.
Post by Observatory on Oct 22, 2010 11:41:36 GMT 10
Thanks for the hearty welcome Franklin1 and for the lightning quick response as well. What a great forum this is! ;D
Thanks for posting the Viscount ad - fantastic!
About the paint work: yes it has recently been re-sprayed by the previous owner. I examined the inside of the door/screen and found remnants of the original paint; which is a stripe near the top, and another stripe underneath the windows as you suspected. I love the ad quote: "new dynamic twin flash!" (I've also been enjoying re-discovering all the shiny chrome metal fittings that were painted over during the interior re-paint).
Spot on too about the shape of the front and rear being more rounded - does seem to suggest that this model is an Ambassador model. The metal cupboard and drawer fittings seem also to suggest a 65 model; as cars like the holdens and fords still had a metal glove box back then.
Post by Don Ricardo on Oct 22, 2010 21:12:53 GMT 10
Hi Gypsycaravan and Franklin1,
Al - do you know the date of the Viscount advert you posted? The reason I ask is that while the Ambassador models seem to match Peter's van in a number of respects, I note that the bulkhead above the front window on Peter's van is very rounded. In contrast on the vans in the advert the bulkhead seems to be squared off with well defined edges.
My impression is that the squared off bulkheads were later 60's. Am I correct? Do we know what the bulkhead on the '65 model looked like?
The Viscount advert was repeated throughout 1967 and 1968. When I was researching the Sydney archives, I found I coudn't trust the Viscount company advertising for accuracy in relation to the models for a particular year. It seems they would have an advertisement made up, and then run with it for a long time, even though the actual models had changed during that time period.
I see what you are saying about the shape of the bulkhead. One of the other Viscounts I have in my collection shows a bulkhead that's even more curved than Peter's van...
As I indicated to Peter in my post above, the wide painted band is typical of vans from around the 1964 mark, but I have no information about the van in my picture to say what year it is from.
Here's a Viscount advertisement from September 1964, which shows the bulkhead you describe as "squared off". It also shows a body shape identical to those depicted in the later 1967/68 advertisements...
I've resigned myself to realising that the only way we'll make sense of the whole Viscount era, is to collect chassis numbers and try and put them into some sort of pattern. With three different model names - Viscount; Valiant; and Ambassador - , and apparently three different factories, it's too complicated for me to work out what is what.