Monday, April 09, 2018

The Paralanian, ‘The Aristocrat of Camper Vans’

The Paralanian was the brain-child of Cliff Hobson, the Works Director at Central Garage in Bradford. Experienced in the design and build of cabin cruisers pre-war and fitting out motor torpedo boats during hostilities, he identified a niche in the market for a luxury motor caravan.

The prototype, produced in 1956, used a Morris Commercial/Austin J2 as its base. Rugged and reliable, the ‘cab-over’ layout provided plenty of space on which to build the luxury accommodation. The commodious bodywork allowed space for a cooker and fridge, with room to stand up straight and live in considerable comfort.

In 1958, their popularity was further enhanced with the fitment of a wardrobe, not a major step forward you might think, but one that exempted the Paralanian from the punitive Purchase Tax levied at the time. Dubbed ‘The Aristocrat of Camper Vans’ by its makers, production continued until the mid- ‘60s when Central Garage was sold to the Lookers Group. Its rather odd name came about because it was made at the Parry Lane works – hence Paralanian.

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