A HOME AND BUSINESS PREMISES ON WHEELS.
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A Remarkable Vehicle with Three Rooms and Family Accommodation Devised for Trading, for Living, and for Conducting a Pill-manufacturing Business.
AREMARKABLY well-appointed, roomy, and luxurious caravan body has recently been built by Eccles Motor Transport, Ltd., 7, 8, and 9, Gosta Green, Birmingham, to the special order of a family which intends to use the caravan as a home, office, and workshop.
The family, which consists of a man, his wife, and son, are engaged on the production and disposal of a certain type of pill. Accordingly, the rear part of the body is devoted to the kitchen, where the pills are made under the parents' direelion ; the largest and central portion is laid out as an office, sleeping, and living-room, whilst the third compartment is designed as the driver's cab and bedroom and is occupied by the son, who looks after the vehicle.
This body, which is mounted on an A.E.C. 4-ton chassis, is a most imposing and yet handsome-looking affair. The front, back, and roof are all bulbous-shaped, the pleasing effect being further enhanced by a specially-shaped polished aluminium radiator cowl and sloping bonnet, which harmonizes with the general lines of the design.
The whole of the construction is coachbuilt, hand-beaten steel panels Being fitted on the outside of an ash framing and a three-ply covering being used as a base for the oak finish of the interior.
Starting from the back, one enters the kitchen by climbing two steps (which can be folded up out of the way) and then opening the rear door, which incorporates a plate-glass drop light. On each side of this compartment is a fixed glass window, whilst immediately in front is a washing sink and draining board, under which are cupboards for aceommodating various culinary utensils. When not in use, the sink is covered by a, board, whilst a flap is hinged up at one end so as to increase the platform space.
For a In the left rear corner, facing forward, is a lavatory cabinet, and, balancing this, in the right rear corner, is a cooking stove, the walls adjacent to this fitting being lined with aluminium panelling for obvious reasons. Otherwise, all the furniture and walls are finished with polished figured oak, which presents a clean, light, and handsome appearance. The odd spaces in the roof (which is equipped with ventilators) are employed to house cupboards, into which three-ply boxes, each designed to accommodate some special utensil or store, are neatly fitted. Nor is the space underneath that portion of the body which overhangs the back axle neglected, for here is located a large zinc-lined storage box (or, rather, group of boxes, for there are five of them, each with its own door or lid, some opening from the outside, and one lacing discovered by raising the floorboards). These compartments, in which it is intended to carry
stores of vegetables, make up into a box measuring 6 ft. by 4 ft., so that the amount of accommodation provided in this manner is considerable.
In addition to these, boxes for carrying receptacles for petrol and water are arranged on each side of the body, being again approached from the outside. Coming now to the living-room, which forms the largest of the three chambers, one is immediately impressed by its clean and airy appearance. Two drop plate-glass windows on each side and a number of glass roof ventilators account for this pleasing impression, which is enhanced by the completeness of the equipment. On the right side is a 4-ft. chest of drawers with five drawers, above which is a bookshelf. Just ahead of this furniture is an anthracite stove, backed by aluminium panelling, whilst set athwart the division that separates the living-room from the driving compartment is.a, small piano! The left side of the vehicle, again facing forward, is devoted to a wardrobe, complete with full-length mirror door, and a 6-ft. 3-in. by 4-ft. double setteu bed, an article of furniture which, when folded down, forms a settee, hut, when opened out by hinging the rear of the settee outwards and over so as to reverse it, is converted into a double bed, under which are suitable drawers for storing the bedclothes. At each end of the room and fitted in the angle of the roof are lockers that have been specially equipped with boxes for the storage of china, whilst in the division below the front locker is a fixed window, through which a, view of the driving compartment and also of the road ahead can be obtained. To complete the equipment, a folding bath is located in the middle of the compartment, access to whicti can be obtained through a door from the kitchen, or else direct from the road through a door in the near side of the vehicle just in front of the wardrobe. All windows, it may be noted, are provided with two curtains—one white and the other gold.
A third door on the left side of the division leads into the driving compartment. This, too, is airy and light, for a pair of drop plate-glass windows is found on each side, whilst a large V windscreen, fitted with adjustable panels, provides an uninterrupted view of the road. The driver has his own private door located on the near side and three special lockers for his belongings are provided in the dome of the roof. His seat is designed in such a way that it slides with the back rest, and can be pulled out and extended in order to form a bed, which is located transversely • and measures 6 ft. in length by 2 ft. 3 ins. wide. The interior of this compartment is also finished in hand polished oak, whilst the whole of the floor space throughout the vehicle is covered with oakpanelled The inside measurements of the
body are as follow :—Length, 20 ft. ; width, 6 ft. 9 ins. ; and height, 7 ft. 6 ins. The total weight is about 2 tons, and the cost £625.
It is worth noting that all the
doors are provided with Yale locks and that similar fittings are found on the bonnet of the engine, so that the whole caravan can be locked up and left safely, should the owner desire to leave it at any time.
The exterior' which, owing to
the fitting of domed mudguards, valances, and rubber-faced running boards, somewhat resembles a giant saloon, is painted white, and carries lettering advertising the particular brand of pill which its owners manufacture on board. It is their intention to live in the vehicle and conduct their business from it while travelling the countryside.