Central West Car Club | The stand out Sunliner

PROUD AS PUNCH: Laura and Michael O'Shannessy with their 1963 Sunliner caravan at the Central West Car Club's showing at Cooke Park in Parkes on Australia Day. Photo: Supplied.
PROUD AS PUNCH: Laura and Michael O'Shannessy with their 1963 Sunliner caravan at the Central West Car Club's showing at Cooke Park in Parkes on Australia Day. Photo: Supplied.

There's not much more iconic than a classic Holden and a vintage caravan, and I recently met up with Laura and Michael O'Shannessy from the Central West Car Club at the Australia Day celebrations in Parkes to check out their combination.

"It's a 1963 Sunliner caravan, 13 foot and three berth," Michael said.

"We bought it in Queensland in December 2018 and have recently finished a 12 month restoration of it to suit our likings and to complement the EH."

For anybody who knows Laura and Mick, they don't do things by halves - so a 12 month restoration meant that everything was pulled down, restored, replaced, updated or painted to complete what would surely be an elite level vintage caravan.

The Sunliner vans have quite a following and for the O'Shannessy's it's the light weight that was the tempter.

"We wanted something easy to tow that we could put behind the EH when we wanted to and that's exactly what the Sunliner was designed for," said Michael.

Sunliner caravans were designed and built on the NSW north coast at Forster by Bert Tickner who had previously run the Volkswagen dealership.

His intention was to design and build a full sized caravan that could be towed behind a VW Beetle - thus the fibreglass bodied Sunliner.

Mick and Laura have done an amazing job of adding a modern flare and hidden conveniences to their Sunliner without spoiling the vintage look.

There's USB ports and TV sockets with 240 volt and 12 volt power, but the clincher is the air conditioning unit cleverly hidden under the bed.

Rolling on 13 inch Holden rims, even with the modern conveniences the van still weighs in at 740 kg. To match the EH, the colour is Fowlers Ivory with Valley Mist green on the flash.

It's no show pony either - Laura and Mick have already been away camping in their Sunliner; turning plenty of heads along the way.

The EH Holden up front has a story of its own too.

"It's a 1964 EH Premier that was my grandfathers and I spent my childhood working on it with pop along with numerous other cars he owned, and he gave it to me on my 18th birthday," said Michael.

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