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Changing times. Or not.


AlwynMike
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Yes, I know its a long time ago......

 

I came across a couple of brochures in my late Father's paperwork yesterday from 1970 and 1972

He had a Bessacarr 376/2 back around 1970 ish.

Big steel B&B chassis. No towing aids, not even auto reversing.

Quote: Selected hardwood and softwood framing, halved, glued and screwed 22swg stove acrylic finish aluminium exterior.

3/4" tongued and grooved flooring on 1 1/4" x 3" joists.

NEW flush framed windows.

Mahogany rubbing strakes (!)

Fitment of an optional refrigerator

Foot pump and exterior hose fittings for water as standard. (Cold only)

2 burner cooker and grill.

 

The centrefold of one brochure was a Bessacarr Acropolis being apparently towed by a Rolls Royce convertible.

 

The largest 4 berth, 5.1 metre body length has a MIRO of 915kg and MTPLM of 1283kgs

Conversely, the 3.2m and 3.8m vans have payload more similar to that which we currently "enjoy" of around 130kgs.

Back then, a car with a towing capacity of 1300kgs wasn't common.

Don't worry about the battery, there isn't one. Mains power is a long time in the future!

The more luxurious models had a fairing for the gas bottles.

 

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Recall when I was about 14 around 1967 my mate used to go caravanning with his parents. They had a Ford Zephyr 6. A big car which towed a fairly large caravan. I remember looking inside caravan & being impressed. Car was nice as well. We would both sit with his  dad driving  on the front bench seat. 

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About that time dad towed a Sprite Musketeer with a Vauxhall PB Cresta, but friends had a van, can’t remember the make, which had a door on both sides, perhaps a Royce but he towed with 4 litre Vanden Plas Princess limousine!! Looked majestic on the road…

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14 hours ago, Stagn8 said:

About that time dad towed a Sprite Musketeer with a Vauxhall PB Cresta, but friends had a van, can’t remember the make, which had a door on both sides, perhaps a Royce but he towed with 4 litre Vanden Plas Princess limousine!! Looked majestic on the road…

My father also towed with  VP 4 litre R. Sprite Alpine. The Bessacarr and maybe his Winchester but that may have been after the R was sold.

One of tge few cars I could sit in the passenger seat and put my feet up on the dashboard....shoes off of course.

Heated floors too, from the exhaust pipes running close under.

Hills when towing didn't worry him - he pulled the Bessacarr up Porlock Hill. In top gear.

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Great memories, they lived in Whitton, west London and Princesses were a bit of a passion I do remember at least once he used a stretched one with the sliding glass behind the driver and I think a speaking tube or similar, he wasn't keen on us kids mucking about in it though 😆

Funny you mentioning Porlock hill, my dad was well chuffed he got the Cresta and Musketeer up there, still remember him saying "going to need a bit of a run at this one" we were going pretty slow by the time we crested it! 

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Our first caravan was a new one in 1972 and it had one gas light.  I have a spare mantle somewhere. No 12v or 240v electrics although I fitted some. No fridge, no heater, no hot water, single glazed. Cold water to kitchen sink was foot pumped. No toilet but we had a PortaPotti for the toilet tent. We towed it with a Cortina. Our 3 kids loved it!

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3 hours ago, Stagn8 said:

Great memories, they lived in Whitton, west London and Princesses were a bit of a passion I do remember at least once he used a stretched one with the sliding glass behind the driver and I think a speaking tube or similar, he wasn't keen on us kids mucking about in it though 😆

Funny you mentioning Porlock hill, my dad was well chuffed he got the Cresta and Musketeer up there, still remember him saying "going to need a bit of a run at this one" we were going pretty slow by the time we crested it! 

My Father sold the R to a local builder who rarely attained the magnificent speed of 28mph, never mind anything faster! Some time later, I was given the job of taking the  car to an Auto Electrical place to have its dynamo control box replaced - the engine just never got any revs on it, so the points in the control box welded together. Young and foolish as I was, I was driving it with gusto, using the hold gears, rather than Drive. 83mph and time to change up to top (third!). The column change was a bit recalcitrant (and my foot was still buried in the carpet), so I pushed the nice Chrome knob in the end of the lever and gave it a good shove upwards. Through D and into R. And it went in! Obviously a huge lock up at the back. Handfuls of opposite lock and a firm downward motion of the lever and no lasting damage was caused amazingly. But a memory that will never leave me. FYX184C - Looks like it was last used 1977/1978.

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Mum and Dads 1st van a Thompson Glen 4. Would be around 1970. As above footpump for water. It must have had 12v lighting but also gas mantle.  No fridge or toilet 3 berths 4th made up of a canvas bunk bed. I inherited that van a good few years later and fitted electric waterpump and radio. No damp though even after 12 years.

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46 minutes ago, CraigP2005 said:

. No damp though even after 12 years.

 

On caravans of the 60s, 70s & 80s damp didn't happen.   We bought our second caravan in 1967, a Sprite Musketeer and we kept it for 17 years before selling it on.      Damp wasn't considered.   Had it been a problem,  it would quickly have become apparent on the white painted hard-board wall and ceiling panels.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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Posted (edited)

About 38 years ago we bought our first caravan. It had four berths with a toilet compartment, but no fitted toilet and was only 10 ft long. We had glass windows, cold water using a foot pump, a gas mantle and one electric light that needed the car hooked up to use.  It was better deigned than the Tardis and we loved it although it had to go when a fifth child came along. Our New Trophy Medallion had a 14 ft body and a maximum weight of only 14 cwt, no foreign weights and measurements in those days. We did get a hook up, electric lighting, a fridge but still no fixed toilet, heater or hot water. Took another caravan fives years later to get those luxaries. 

Edited by Wildwood
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Our first van was a Sprite Alpine, probably mid 80’s and the toilet was in the rear corner, it had a double door which when opened attached to the far side of the door doubling the space. Down sides of course no one could get out and perhaps worse if you forgot to lock the outside door the whole site would get a view of you on the throne!!

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