Type 25 - 1984 - Caravelle

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Its a Caraveele This sides better Cab
Back! Inside Engine

Having decided to sell the T25 Panel Van (on Ebay) for a Caravelle we needed to find one. Not so easy in the price bracket (under 1000) we were looking at. Plus Caravelles are quite rare as the initial purchase price made the Caravelle an executive vehicle! We finally tracked one down through the Just Kampers Chat Forum which was only 60 miles away in Southport. The owner e-mailed us a number of pictures and told us of the few faults so the following Sunday with the Wives in tow, we set off for sunny (not) Southport for the day and the rest is history. People say that you should not buy the first one you look at but the price was right and we never like to go home empty handed.

Well what's it like you are all asking? Compared to the panel van its very smooth and quite and feels much more powerful. The body is in not as good condition as the Panel Van. It has been treated (I could not think of another word) to a re spray in a slightly darker blue than it was originally which has made the appearance quite dull. The quality of the re spray is only average but typical of the sub. 1000 vehicle. The rear tail gate and the sliding door will need to be replaced at some time as rust has started on the inner panels but they are more than road worthy.

Mechanically its very good. The sale came with a receipt for a reconditioned engine and a reconditioned 5 speed gearbox, all in the last 10k miles. The engine is a DG serial number 1900 Wasser Boxer - 78 horsepower. The engine is very smooth and powerful. It has no problem pulling 5th gear from below 30 MPH and will cruise at 70 MPH with no problems. The gearbox is un-conventional in that it has a dog leg for 1st gear which takes a bit of getting used to. This is no problem as first gear is really only a crawler gear and the van pulls away in 2nd gear with no problems. The gear linkage was in a real mess when we got the van. All the joints in the linkage had been changed the week before we bought the van so I new it had been causing problems.This took a lot of fiddling to get the right gear movement and is still not 100% right. Maybe another 2-3 hours will have it sorted. Since we have been using the van, it has used no water in the last 2000 miles and around a pint of oil, so things look good.

So what's the difference between a Caravelle and a panel van. Well to drive, they are like chalk and cheese. The van was very dark inside, noisy and slow. The Caravelle on the other hand is the opposite. Its very light and airy inside and much quitter. I am not sure if this is down to extra sound proofing or the different engine (DF vs. DG). Its appointed very well with 7 velour seats, all with arm rest, head restraints and seat belts. The 2 middle rear windows open and the front windows have opening quarter lights. The heating is better as it has more control and the dash gets the added benefit of an analogue clock! Such luxury.

As an everyday vehicle, the Caravelle is hard to beat. With the middle seat removed (5 minutes) it has all the room of a van. Its now no problem to take my sister kids out, with their bikes plus our 2 dogs. Try doing that in a car. Even the wife does not complain. We recently went up to York carrying nearly 3/4 of a tons of cycle parts inside for a cycle show (work). The journey was no problem and quite relaxing. We covered 290 miles on 40 of fuel - 25 MPG which is not bad fully loaded. Mark and myself also used it to ferry parts to the ALL Types Show on the North Wales coast. It handled this with no problems.

This is where the problem lies. The Caravelle has bitten me. Now I appreciate how good it is as a concept, I want a better one to keep! I am quite interested in finding a really good condition Caravelle that I can keep and improve (LPG!). The colour of the Caravelle now just does not go for me. Its just too dark but until I can find a replacement, I am more than happy to be seen in it.