Vintage Vans: Retro Supalite with Breakfast Bar

Susan and Keith Hall — 2 April 2011

THIS 1955 SUPALITE is a real blast from the past with its retro rounded shape, red side stripe, white wall tyres, Holden hubcaps and wheel spats. But inside it has a little surprise.

Owners Steve and Mary Ann King decided they wanted a breakfast bar along the front of the bondwood rig, with bar stools to sit on. The result is a striking blend of retro and modern styles, with overtones of a 1950s milk bar.

This novel dining arrangement is stylish, informal and admirably compact. It provides a great perch for gazing through the window while eating or drinking. It’s almost like taking a slice of the Cappuccino Strip along with you while travelling.

CARAVANS OF THE PAST were built with fairly predictable dining furniture. Most had two simple bench seats either side of a table. In some, the table folded down, either to create more space or to convert the table into a double bed. Many also had storage areas built into the bench seats.

Most vintage vans we see in our travels have kept their original dining configuration, usually freshened up with new upholstery and maybe a coat of paint. But this Supalite presents a refreshing rethink on how the dining area can be used.

Steve and Mary Ann are currently doing the big trip around Australia, towing their vintage Supalite with an EH Holden. They certainly get around – we met them in Mildura, Vic last year and ran into them again recently in Perth, WA. For a caravan that's over 55 years old, it's still putting in plenty of miles.

Susan and Keith Hall are regular contributors to Caravan World.


retro rigs retro vintage supalite from the road interior


Susan and Keith Hall