Caravan World — 17 March 2012

WE SEE A LOT of vintage caravans in our travels, and they all evoke memories of the past.

Many are restored to original condition and show what caravanning holidays were like in the 1950s and 60s. But people in that era weren’t just taking holidays. They were discovering rockabilly music, doing rock 'n' roll dancing, and having a lot of fun.

Many of these other aspects of mid-20th century culture have been incorporated into this eye-popping rig, which we saw in Tanunda, SA. It belongs to Lori Earl and Bazz Rohrlach and consists of an FJ Holden panel van and a 1968 aluminium Franklin caravan.

Lori and Bazz are enthusiastic rock 'n' roll dancers and they wanted their rig to reflect this interest. So the FJ has been chopped and modified for added attitude, and the Franklin has been fully decked out with rock 'n' roll memorabilia.


Outside the caravan there is a collection of Coca-Cola umbrellas and towels, retro bicycles, old Eskies and picnic sets, a gumball machine, flamingos, sunflowers and much more. Painted flames along the sides of the van match the paintwork on the tow car. In addition, there is an air spoiler at the rear and a painted sign which confirms that “Old Skool is Kool”.

But all of that is just the start. When you step inside, you are completely surrounded by 1950s memorabilia and icons. Lori is a major fan of Buddy Holly, whose face adorns the fridge and there is even a life-sized Buddy mannequin sitting at the dining table.

Across the table sits Betty Boop in a red-sequinned miniskirt. The van is filled with Buddy and Betty collectables, Coke goods, pictures of 1950s movie idols, and black-and-white check designs to match the lino on the floor.

If anyone suggests that we might find a more spectacular rock
'n' roll van out there somewhere, all we can say is, “That’ll be the day!”

WORDS AND PICS Keith and Susan Hall
Check out their blog here

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vintage vintage vans retro retro rigs rock n roll

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