new Thomson Glenrosa caravan is in a more luxurious class
than has been associated with the marque for some time. It
was announced as an 18-footer at £550 (ex works) and
it occupies an interesting place in Thomson's range for 1959.
The next smaller and the next larger Thomsons are the l6ft.
Gleneagle costing £440, and the 22ft. Glenlyon costing £580.
Caravans of Wembley co-operated in providing one of these
new models from their demonstration fleet for road test
purposes and review, and a long wheelbase Land Rover
was used as the towing car.
attractive the outfit looked at the kerbside . Long,
because of the proportions of the Land Rover and the
Glenrosa , but purposeful in a way that has great appeal.
Seeing the combination is to experience immediately the
urge to take the wheel and begin towing.
must have strong design features indeed if the eye does
not first appraise the windows before taking in the details
of the rest of the bodywork. It is so with the Glenrosa
. New, all-rounded-corner Percy Lane windows have been
incorporated in the design in the form of three panel-windows
where possible, and very nice they look. At the sides,
efficient guttering brackets the three separate panels
to make them look one window, while at the ends large
bays are made up of fixed lights flanking an opening
unit. Anti-condensation sills are needed, particularly
on the fixed units.
Body length of
1 9ft (1. 9in. makes for shapely lines. The new oil-rounded-corner
Percy Lone windows ore used to good effect, particularly
of the sides, where they are linked to fixed lights by
guttering to make triple windows
aluminium exterior is painted yellow-cream. The panel sections
beneath the bays appear to have been panel-beaten to shape,
but they are in fact three separate pieces formed to a single
radius, each having the lower edge swaged to simulate half-round
mouldings . Two doors give access to the interior, one through
the end kitchen at the offside rear, the other, glazed, from
the front about one third back along the nearside. The roof
vents are hinged, all four at the front, and therefore unidirectional.
the road the outfit towed well up to the maximum permissible
30 mph, but off the highway on a disused aerodrome the
towing speed could be raised to about 50 mph without
instability. Possibly the best touring speed with this
combination on the Continent would be about 45 mph.
interior of the Glenrosa is spacious, but on checking
the measurements it was found to be l8ft. 6in. long,
while the exterior body length including the bays measured
l9ft. 9in., curious measurements for a caravan announced
and listed as an 18- footer. Consequently it is even
more spacious than one expects, and it is one of the
few vans of this class tested in which one member of
the crew can cook while others wash, a point much appreciated
at the end of a day's driving. The example tested was
3½in. wider than the legal limit, due to projecting
Polished "milky" light
oak is the preponderance of colour and finish of the
interior, with the lighter toned hardwood edging doors,
cupboards and drawers to give good relief. Light
oak is used also for the walls of the living quarters.
The ceiling is broken up into panels with half-round
mouldings of wood to cover the natural breaks in the
panelling and the joints at the end sections where maximum
curvature occurs and plywood is used.
|Land-Rover and Glenrosa
-a purposeful locking outfit. The drawbar was long
not to impede tight lock reversing behind a square-ended
the end kitchen is the toilet, and hardboard is used to panel
this also. Borrowed space for the toilet is obtained by a
folding section of the door which when extended across the
side doorway to a fixed bulkhead makes
a fairly comfortably proportioned room. Light is obtained
at night via a glass panel from the gas light above the kitchen.
Daylight is obtained from a clear window and a Perspex roof
the inner toilet wall towards the offside rear corner of
the van is the B500 thermostat model gas cooker, set in an
aluminium4ined recess. The surfaces of the aluminium
have the well-known Alochrome finish to reduce the ' visible
effects of wear and scratching. Untreated aluminium
lines the interior surfaces of the flap which covers the
cooker and lifts up, swinging from hinges, to cover the wall.
cook's right there is a working top covered with red Soft
glow Formica. This area is fairly large and a good-sized
cupboard is fitted below which has two shelves, but
no floor vents are provided for ventilation. Soft glow also
covers the top of the flap over the cooker, and the flap
over the sink and drainer which comes along the wall to the
right of the working-surface-topped cupboard.
of place in the centre of the nearside wall is taken by a
handsome sideboard, neatly divided from the sink and drainer
by a reeded -glass screen. Cupboards at each end of the sideboard
have large reeded -glass panels to match the screen. These
cupboards have two shelves each, but space in the base of
the forward one is somewhat restricted by the wheel
arch, which by the way is not insulated.
drawer section has two drawers at the top, two deep ones
below, and a drop front at the floor covering a certain amount
of space around part of the wheel arch. This sideboard is
very nice indeed. A desirable finishing touch would be towing
security clips for the drawers; the test team found it necessary
to wedge them with paper before towing.
View towards the
rear end kitchen shows the C-shaped
bulkhead between the three -seater dinette
and the toilet room.
the sideboard is a three-panel window, and this, like all
the windows, has a pelmet and curtains. In size and quality
the curtains leave something to be desired, but the upholstery
is of brighter materials than have been customary from
Thomsons in recent years. Above the pelmet over the
sideboard is a roof shelf on which are set two good-sized
roof lockers. One of these contains an attractive twenty-piece
set of china. On the other side of the interior above corresponding
windows and roof shelf are two more roof lockers. Between
these is fitted one of the gas lights, but light is prevented
from reaching all of the table below by the shelf. Two
other lights are fitted, one at the front, and one in the
kitchen but an oak-lined van of this size could do with
more light, and it would have been nice
to see No. 2 burners, or perhaps the new Falks Orchid lights
fitted in place of the Bijous.
gas locker is below the drainer and is reached from outside.
A hand hole through which the gas can be turned off at
night and a floor gas point for a fire would be improvements.
Using the rest of the space below the sink and drainer
is a larder, separate from the gas locker, comprised of
two shelves. The gas locker is ventilated, and there are
wall vents in the larder but no floor vents to induce through
currents of air.
table opposite the sideboard though shielded by the roof
shelf at night is well lit by day by the offside windows.
Towards the rear side of the table is the large seat of
the three -seater dinette double bed. Behind the seat is
a partition forward of the rear door and screening the
toilet. Forward of the table is the single seat. The mattresses
are deep, with deep blue walls, maroon uncut moquette one
face and the other face in blue tapestry weave with silver
longitudinal lines and cross lines of yellow and red.
Similar colours are used for the mattresses of the two
single beds in the front. The table between the single
beds and that of the three -seater dinette are light oak.
space generally is good, but the writers would prefer more
unrestricted space for bedding. Drawers to bedding lockers
are very desirable and are often a feature of luxury vans,
but in this van they waste some space. The offside single
bed, which has top access, is the only one with reasonable
storage space. Drawers in the double seat of the dinette
and the single bed which extends across the forward door
on the windows. Towards the rear side of the table is the
large seat of the three -seater dinette double bed. Behind
the seat is a partition forward of the rear door and screening
the toilet. Forward of the table is the single seat. The
mattresses are nearside are so shallow that they will not
take comfortably pillows, sleeping bags, or quilts ; they
will take neatly folded blankets, two each at the most.
Much space behind the drawers is inaccessible and therefore
The nearside sideboard is exceptionally
Beyond it is the wardrobe with
interior shelves dawn one side.
Out of sight is the independent sliding
space is very good. There are two wardrobes, opposite each
other, one at the foot of the offside single bed, the other
just rearward of the nearside door. The light oak wood and
the well-made double - sided doors give these wardrobes an
excellent finish. The offside one has hanging space for suits,
the bottom being taken up with a set of four shirt trays
or drawers. The nearside wardrobe has full-length hanging
space and shelves down the side; there is nothing to keep
things on the shelves when braking. As compensation
for the use of wriggle nails in some lockers it was
good to see that continuous piano hinges of very good quality
are used on the wardrobes, and, a good point this, a partition
is not formed from the wardrobe doors to close off the front
end of the van at night. This task is performed by an entirely
separate partition, a nice piece of workmanship, marred only
by the lack of positive securing to prevent the partition
sliding across when on tow.
main criticisms of this van, bedding stowage, absence
of a gas point, and the lack of provision for water stowage-are
points which possibly could all be attended to without
altering the price seriously, if at all, and certainly
without altering a basically suitable design of caravan.
Its bright, cheerful, comfortable interior with plenty
of carpeted floor space make it an attractive
caravan, and all in all, for those who don't want to
explore the back lanes, a good clubman's van for first
class gran furismo and roomy
entertaining on site.
|Price : £550.
Dimensions : Length body 19ft. 9in. inc.
bays, shipping 22ft., interior l8ft. 6in. inc. bays. Width
overall 7ft. 9½in., interior 7ft.1½in. Height
overall 6ft. approx., max. headroom 6ft . 11in. Floor height
Weight : Ex works 25 cwt. ; nose weight
Undergear : Sketch not to scale. Boden
welded steel chassis. A 3½ x 1½ x
?in. channel, boxed at spring perches and points of max.
stress, B 2½ x 1½ x ?in. angle.
Axle 2in. round, straight. Springs 6-leaf underslung 33 x
2 x 5/l6in. Girling ML side-pull brakes cable-operated, compensating
pulley and turnbuckle. Tyres , Dunlop 6.00-16, 6 PR, truck
type. Boden coupling. Telescopic jockey wheel. Four brace-operated
Body construction: Meranti
hardwood framing, halved and screwed. Exterior panelling
aluminium , all metal mouldings ; interior hardboard ceiling
(ply at ends), walls polished oak-faced ply, hardboard in
toilet and kitchen. Walls and roof Rocksil insulated. Floor
4in. t. and g., painted. Two stable doors, 68 x 24in. glazed,
and 66 x 24 plain. Percy Lane No. 40 polished alloy windows,
all-rounded corners, 20in. deep; three 30in. wide, two 36in.,
opening; four 26in., four l2in., two 20in., fixed. Four hinged
Perspex roof vents 6 x 54 ½ in. Wall and floor vents
to external gas locker, toilet and larder. Four grab handles.
Equipment: Two single beds 6 x 2ft.,
one shortening to 4ft. by day; top access offside, one
drawer nearside; three- seater dinette double bed 6ft.
x 3ft. l0in., one bedding drawer, one top access locker.
Spring interior mattresses 7in., two-tone reversible.
Light oak-faced furniture, contrasting light visible
framing. Two hook-on tables, 37 ½ x 27in., 33
x 24in. Centre-hinged door cupboard, extends larger table
by 18in. Man's wardrobe 21 x l9in., 42in. hanging
space, four shirt trays ; full length wardrobe 27 x 19in.
hanging space 58in.; shelves at side and hat shelf at
top. Sideboard, 6ft. 6in., drawers, glazed cupboards
and floor locker. Five roof lockers (one fitted with
20-piece china set), various roof shelves, wall mirror.
Sliding and hinged partition. Formica counter. Cooker
B500T; Perspex sink and drainer; Formica topped, aluminium
-lined lids; Formica work area. Two shelved cupboards,
one ventilated as larder. External gas locker. Toilet
compartment, ventilated, 51 x 27in. max. Fitted
carpet. Three bijou gas lights. Twin side and tail lights,
number plate and light.
Layout: A seat
extends to B for single bed C single
bed; D cupboard; E hook-on
table ; F roof and bay window shelves ; G roof
shelf; H roof locker; J man's
wardrobe; K three- seater dinette; L counter; M toilet
room; N cooker; P working
surface ; Q gas locker; R sink
and drainer; S sideboard; T full
length wardrobe with shelves U.
Towing car for test: Long wheelbase Land
Rover, Series II, 1958, weight 36¾ cwt. inc. two
crew and baggage. Makers: Thomsons (Carron) Ltd.,
Carron, Falkirk, Stirlingshire.
|"Reproduced from an article in
the February 1959 issue of The Caravan"