New in my shop, New Zealand’s Trekka utility vehicle.
I’ve included this Austin J2 Paralanian camper in my series of British Cars realising what it lacks in ‘car-ness’ it makes up for in Britishness – in van loads. Between 1956 and 1965, Central Garages Limited of Bradford hand-built these camper-vans, typically starting with Austin and Morris cabs and chassis. But here’s the best part – they were considered luxurious, the best money could buy. Such simple times aye? They sold for £1,400 give or take. Now, I’d have thought one might get a nice terrace two-up two-down in Bradford for less than that, well, anywhere possibly … but I guess real estate’s not really my strength so what would I know?
Central Garages was located in Parry Lane, hence Paralanian (see what they did there, those clever Brits, it’s nearly as good as ‘van loads’), a word that became synonymous with the British summer motoring holiday. When you think about it in this light, those old campers probably didn’t clock up many miles, the British summer only being two weeks long an’ all.