Post by Don Ricardo on Aug 24, 2011 14:40:38 GMT 10
On 23 August 2011, Ranchliner wrote:
:)Hello what a wonderful site ! I had a client tell me about a German caravan that he had just bought. I told him that may dad made caravans in the early 1960's and he said i should google to see if there was any mention of them .I thought I had done this previously but to no avail . My father David Sharman made 'RANCH LINER ' caravans ay a small factory at Port Wakefield at the top of the gulf of St vincent one hour north of ADELAIDE. Dad named our farm on highway one at Inkerman 8 miles south of Port Wakefield 'The Ranch' - a couple of years later he found a 80 plus year old wooden sign in an old house ruins on the property with the words 'The ranch' ......what a coincidence. I have no doubt that this was the inspiration for the name 'Ranch Liner "I do not know what drove dad to make caravans, he was a jack of many trades, stock agent, grazier, ASCO ( ARMY STORE) MANAGER, inventor ( solar pergola 20 years before solar pergola !) car salesman, truck driver, cook,architect,builder and hotel manager- there were probably other jobs . He was a tireless worker with a great imagination and he was a stickler for quality and making things last- he was always immaculately dressed .I am not sure how many vans that dad made- mum told me that during the credit squeeze in the early 60's 2 caravan yards in Adelaide - sold vans and did not pay dad - this destroyed his business ( I would love to know who these blokes were ! ) - Dad was too trusting and this was not a good way too conduct business.Dad's factory was opposite the first 24 /airconditioned SHELL service station in SA -at Port Wakefield Possum Kipling who was a REDEX trial driver. dad was always interested in new methods , hence fibreglass which he quickly embraced .I remember dad would take the plywood forms to Adelaide to get glassed. One one occasion 25 miles from home at 60 miles per hour dad -looked in the rear vision mirror and saw me hanging on to the roof frame in the trailer -for dear life in the trailer ( lucky to be here). I remember as a kid playing in a plywood roof mould/frame - which must have been a casualty of the closure. I think dad was the second largest employer in our small town ( 7-8) employees. dad would have erred on the side of quality as he had great pride. i am not sure home many vans were made but i would hazard a guess at between 20 to 30 . I remember he made a whopper for the time ( 20 feet- but one only). I think dad traded as the Port Wakefield trading company . I am sure some in the district had a chuckle over dad's ideas but dad is laughing up there in heaven as my older brother Michael was the master's apprentice and has made our surname a house hold word with farmers with his farming inventions www.sharmans.com.au - you can see a Sharman grain silo/ OR Product in most farmers paddocks in SA. My brother and i also invented the large portable car display ramps which is used all around SA some parts of Aust. - None of this would have been possible with out dad's foray into caravan manufacturing. I am told that dad was one of the first people to make caravans in this modern shape - he loved aluminium, plywood and fibre glass and also quality fittings - he would have also tried to improve on traditional styles and thinking( water tank on the near side) .Who knows maybe my brother might make Ranch Liners again ( LOL) . No he is way too busy with his agricultural business ( go to google earth type in SHARMANS CALOMBA) and you will get an idea of his business.........a business that would not be possible with the love and pain of manufacturing caravans.there would be some old timers at Port Wakefield that know more - one lad's name was Russell Hissey ( he would be 55 now) he lost1/2 a finger in Dad's factory - but only good things to say about dad . I would love to see dad's old van one day. wE HAD BOXES AND BOXES OF FITTINGS - I wonder if anyone has them now?? My brother may know. I think that is all I know but feel free to phone me on 0408 877769 for any thing else - .....and me I would love a streamliner !!
Post by firefighter on Aug 24, 2011 15:38:52 GMT 10
I spoke to Derek today and he is excited about the info that has come to life about ranchliners....... and he only lives 30 km from Port Wakefield......he also knows of another ranchliner just near him in a padock
Tonight he is going to contact new member ranchliner......re the history of ranchliners and his van
Derek also remember the Ranch sign on the property near Port Wakefield
Post by ranchliner on Aug 24, 2011 21:32:11 GMT 10
Good work Don . I look forward to hearing from Derek . I think Dad made the vans from 1960 till 1964 .I hope to add more info in the future .It would be great if someone( in the family or worker) had the blue prints, I remember seeing them when I was younger.