SUM­MER 1968

Many a mo­torist hitched up a 1960s car­a­van to their wheels for some sea­side fun, Welsh style

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - 6-page Nostalgia Special - Richard Gunn

Ah, the joys of the great Bri­tish car­a­van­ning hol­i­day – stay­ing in a box, next to lots of other iden­ti­cal boxes, af­ter a long jour­ney that would have gen­er­ated much frus­tra­tion from other road users be­cause you were very slowly tow­ing a box. Ac­tu­ally, the Bay Car­a­van Park – still op­er­at­ing in­ci­den­tally, on a re­ally rather lovely bit of Welsh clifftop over­look­ing the Bris­tol Chan­nel – was pre­dom­i­nantly a static site, with boxes (sorry, car­a­vans) al­ready in place. Which was just as well, be­cause we’re not en­tirely con­vinced about the abil­ity of many of the cars here to tow any­thing be­yond a very small trailer.

First of the ‘Let’s not try to tug any­thing too much’ mo­tors here is the 1965 Wolse­ley Hor­net MkII, which at least ben­e­fit­ted from a larger 998cc en­gine than most of its lesser Mini sib­lings. An early ex­am­ple of the long-lived Viva-based HA van is next – use­ful for lug­gage, es­pe­cially with its roof-rack, but not much cop for pas­sen­gers. We’re into the realms of real econ­omy mo­tor­ing with the Ford Pop­u­lar 103E. The neigh­bour­ing Singer Gazelle is rather more up­mar­ket; the roll-over tail fins pin­point a 1959-on ex­am­ple. Mov­ing on, we have a Mini Su­per MkI, Austin A30/A35 van es­tate con­ver­sion, Austin A55 Cam­bridge MkII, Ford Cortina MkI and a rather sorry-look­ing Ford Pre­fect E493A that looks aban­doned and robbed of its head­lamp glass. The ad­ja­cent Rover P4 is a 1952-1957 ex­am­ple, judg­ing by its front end, af­ter which there’s a Mor­ris Ox­ford Se­ries II, Austin A40 Fa­rina, Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe and the only over­seas in­vader in our pho­to­graph – a two-stroke Saab 96. A Stan­dard 10 and Rover P6 2000 com­plete the row.

Strangely, no­body seems to be ter­ri­bly in­ter­ested in the in­dus­trial load of Kar­dov flour – a pop­u­lar brand in Wales – that has turned up via a Ford D-se­ries truck on the left. It must have been one of the high­lights of the day…

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