Time to Roam Magazine Issue 9 - June/July 2014 - Page 8

| upfront news Time for National Caravan Museum Mark Taylor began collecting caravans in 1999. Back then he says it usually only took a slab of beer to pry a vintage beauty away from its previous owner. “At that time it wasn’t a very popular thing to do and old caravans didn’t have a lot of value. Nobody was all that interested,” he said. How times have changed. Today vintage caravans are highly sought after by collectors world-wide, fetching prices well out of range of beer currency. Mark Taylor has possibly done more than anyone else to bring about that turnaround. Not long after buying that first caravan the WA businessman set up the website vintagecaravans.com and soon after that added an online chat forum. It brought together a community of like-minded collectors and caravan history buffs, giving them a place to meet, share information and stories. It was from there the global movement really took off. Suddenly caravans that had been left for years sitting in sheds, or worse still, rotting away in backyards or paddocks were worth something. That huge level of interest today 8 timetoroam.com.au was obvious at the recent vintage caravan rally at Broken Hill, held to mark the 10th anniversary of the vintagecaravans.com forum. The long drive to the outback mining town didn’t hold back devoted enthusiasts. More than 100 vans and their owners made the trek – in many cases towing the vans with cars of the same vintage. Plans are already underway for the next rally, to be held in 2016 in northern NSW. Today Mark Taylor has a collection of 17 vintage caravans and cars from the 1930s through to the 1970s. He’s says he’s not sure what he will do with them eventually, agreeing the time may be coming to look at establishing a National Museum to celebrate Australia’s love of caravans., “I wonder if it’s a fad and whether it will be sustainable, but there is always interest in vintage cars, so judging by that, I’d say it’s here to stay,” he said. See Time To Roam’s coverage from the Broken Hill Rally on pages 21 to 24 and page 48. Vale Sally Berry Australia’s motor