Sunliners of Melbourne

6 04 2017

I stumbled about this beauty yesterday during a visit to Melbourne: A T2b late bay window Volkswagen campervan, probably from between 1976 and 1979 (see the engine lid hinges), in what could be Neptune blue (L50K). The campervan conversion is from Sunliner, a company based in Melbourne and still active, but nowadays converting various non-Volkswagen buses. Here is a link to a beautifully restored Sunliner late bay camper we spotted in 2015 in Geelong. This bus here comes with roo bars in the front and rear, spare wheel on the front, a pop-up roof in the rear with a luggage section above the driver’s cabin, and nice wooden furniture, with the kitchen block with gas cooker and fridge behind the passenger seat and a compartment for the gas bottle behind the driver’s seat. Funky 1970ies white and blue stripe design on both sides.

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This van seems to be parking in this spot and in the harsh Australian sun for a while already. The lining of the driver’s door is peeling off from the heat, the plastic glasses of the front indicators have gone blind, and there is extensive rust on the roof. Usually you will never see this type of surface rust on campervans in Germany. With the long German winters with salt on the roads, the buses have rotten away from rust in the wheel houses, the sillboards and the complete underfloor, years before any rust on the roof can develop. The wheel houses on this one, however, are in an amazingly good condition. It is a bit of a sleeping beauty and will need some work to fix all the little problems and conserve it for the future. But great to see it has survived so long, in probably pretty much original condition!

Jumping two decades forward in time, another Sunliner parked just around the corner. This one a campervan based on a Mazda E2000 van, probably from the mid- to late-1990ies. It also comes with a roo bar with spare wheel on the front and a small bar in the rear. Here the gas cooker and fridge are placed behind the driver’s seat while the sink and a microwave are behind the passenger seat. Fiamma awning on the left side, solar panels on the roof. And the long wheel base allows for a large bed in the rear that turns into two opposing benches and a central table. Not the coolness factor of a Volkswagen kombi, but also a very nice campervan.

 





Back in Australia!

10 11 2015

We are back in Australia! Thanks to the generous German parental leave laws we are spending three months in Geelong, visiting family and friends. Beautiful climate change, from the beginning autumn in Berlin into an Australian spring or early summer where temperatures have already been above 30°C in the last few days. And there are still so many more Volkswagen buses on the road here! I saw the green beauty below a few days after our arrival at a local supermarket. I talked to the owner: It is a 1978 Sunliner campervan with the 2L engine. Recently restored with a new paint job in the original color (may be Manilla Green, L63Y), with beautiful details. Sunliner stickers and lines reproduced by a sign writer to fully recreate the original appearance. Heavy Australian roo bars at front and back with spare wheel on the front. Pop-up roof and nice wooden interior with the full campervan kitchen set-up. What a beauty!

PS: Click to this older post for another beautiful Sunliner campervan and some more information on this Melbourne-based Australian campervan maker. Sunliner Motorhomes do not seem to convert Volkswagen buses anymore, but on the “Company/Our Story” site of their web page the founder of the company is portrayed in front of a blue bay window Sunliner kombi.

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Australian Sunliner Campervan

29 12 2011

Here is a VW T2b campervan from a company called Sunliner Campmobiles. Seems to be an Australian equivalent to e.g. Westfalia in Germany. They still exist (here is their webpage), are based in Melbourne and have started in 1974. Which would roughly coincide with this T2b campervan we saw yesterday in Foster in Gippsland, South Victoria, just north of Wilsons Promontory. Beautiful condition. Some interesting features: Stable and more modern looking bases for the wing mirrors. External electricity inlet in the back right corner, above the air inlets for the engine compartment. Have seen this already in other buses in Australia, but not yet in Germany. Massive bull bars front and back. I saw another Sunliner in April 2011 in Melbourne, click here and scroll down to the end of the blog entry for some pictures of that one. Features the same bull bars, but not the stable bases for the wing mirrors.