4 February, 2010

Swift’s Special Restoration Project

Swift Group may be working flat out on its latest models for 2010 but a little corner of their giant plant is devoted to a very special project – the restoration of three classic caravans.

Chairman, Peter Smith has owned the classics for some years but with the Eccles celebrating its 90th birthday in 2009, it seemed a good time to get the restoration project off the ground.

eccles_1938 Oldest of the three caravans is the Eccles President from 1938 which made its debut at the 1937 Motor Show. The Eccles has spent most of its life under cover and was used for many years prior to the second world war. The caravan is complete with its original crockery pots and pans including egg cups and sherry glasses.

It has amazingly high specification with 12V lighting, built in water tank and wet cell radio, a table that has a cover for card games and a mat on the other side for letter writing. Thankfully some things have improved though as it was challenging to tow, max speed 25 mph and the nights were freezing.

To the get the Eccles back to its former glory, looking exactly as it did when it left the factory, the President has been stripped back to its shell and has been painstakingly brought back to its original condition.

Being worked on alongside the Eccles is one of Swift's originals, a 1964 Clubman Ten – which is having new upholstery, curtains and carpets to match the originals. Thanks to the skill of the time served craftsman, this 45 year old van will look as good as new.

The third classic project is a Safari Minor from 1948. This two-berth caravan was one of the first Safari caravans to be built and is again getting new soft furnishings in addition to body work repairs to return it to its former glory.

The three classics will be centre stage on the Swift Group stand at the NEC National Boat, Caravan and Outdoor Show 23-28 February 2010.


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