Tag Archives: danbury huntsman

Classic Fiat Motor Caravans. A decision made in the late 1970s

23 Jan


When my wife’s Uncle Jack died, being a bit of a hoarder, he left a file containing history of his motor caravan purchases. His first buy was selected from the copies of the brochures pictured here. His first purchase may have been a low roof model, later changing around 1983 for a Pandora


Knowing Jack very well, having spent three decades sitting with him chatting for a couple of hours before he ate his Sunday lunch we had prepared for him, he was a meticulous planner and deep thinker. He must have spent hours carefully going through the varying features and benefits of each of these models from Autohomes, Danbury and MCC of Hockliffe, Bedfordshire before purchasing his first venture into motor caravanning.

autohomes-pandoraautohomes-pandora-p2autohomes-pandora-p3autohomes-pandora-p4 Judging by the focus on the Pandora and if my memory serves me right, it was one of these that Jack and his wife settled on after their first trial purchase. They also studied the Fiat conversions from MCC:

fiat-motorhomes-p1jpgfiat-motorhomes-p2-farinafiat-motorhomes-p3-fiestafiat-motorhomes-p4Model names like the Farina and Fiesta with “Spacemaker” and “Lowline” roof systems. Anyone remember these? A low mileage 1983 900e model Pandora 4 berth sold recently on eBay for over £10,500. Jack’s records show that his choice of Pandora ranged from a pencilled in £6,650 to £6,991 so that’s an appreciating motor caravan if you can keep away the dreaded rustworm. Except for the fact that a pound today is probably only worth around a quarter of what it was then or even less. Jack’s research extended further into the Fiat base vehicle. The Fiat Citivan as it was known here in the UK.

It is worth clicking on and zooming in on the pictures. For example, the Citivan boasted of 34 bhp ! and “fully painted bodywork!”. Well, that’s a relief……… Compare that to my NV200 with 110ps and 6 sp box. The Pandora couldn’t have set the tarmac alight could it?

fioreno-p1citivan-p3citivan-p5fiat-citivan-p1fiat-citivan-p2The brochure covers the Fioreno, 127 based van plus the Citivan shown here. It started off with an 850 cc engine which grew into the 900 e version. The brochure from Fiat follows their 1970s standard, “British Racing Green ” cover. I have a matching version for the Mk I Fiat X19 that I was fortunate enough to buy soon after we married.

Jack and his wife journeyed far and wide in their little Fiat. Certainly Cornwall, many many times before they moved onto larger Fiat Ducato based van conversions. They had two versions of Citivan conversions, I believe and two Ducato based Autohomes branded motor caravans. Jack was delighted when I bought a Minnie Winnie and then an Autohomes Talbot Excalibur. I think he would have preferred to have seen us in a Fiat though.