Sunliner Gracemur caravans return to Bundaberg

Iconic caravan made next to Bundaberg Brewed Drinks during the '60s

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Sunliner caravan
Warren and Sue Burggraaff's Sunliner Caravan. Warren says they are an Australian icon with the Gracemur model (not shown) built in Bundaberg.

A caravan labelled an Australian icon that was made in Bundaberg during the 1960s is returning for the Sunliner Gracemur Rally.

The inaugural Sunliner Gracemur Rally is being organised by Warren and Sue Burggraaff from Rockhampton, who both have a passion for the stylish caravans, and will be held 11-15 September 2019.

The Sunliner caravan is known for its curvaceous and lightweight build and was touted as one of most sophisticated and stylish Australia caravans of its era.

Warren said there was a special reason why they chose the Bundaberg Region for the first Sunliner Gracemur Rally, and that was because Sunliner’s Gracemur model originated in the area.

He understands Gracemur caravans were built by Tom Murray in Bundaberg under a licence from Sunliner during the 1960s; the vans were the namesake of Tom's wife Grace Murray (Grace-Mur).

Sunliners became the first Australia lightweight fibreglass van, which Warren said made it perfect for smaller cars during the ’60s to tow.

Warren said Sunliners made three models of caravans and they were very popular across the east coast of Australia.

Sunliner Gracemur caravan
A caravan labelled an Australia icon and that was made here in Bundaberg is returning for the Sunliner Gracemur Rally.

Factory besides Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

He said the Gracemur caravans were made in a factory on Bargara Road, right beside Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, and the Gracemur had a distinguishing difference from other models of Sunliner caravans.

“I think there was only about 120 made and they had an extra window at the front,” he said.

“Other Sunliners had two windows and the Gracemur has three.

“The caravans made in Bundaberg were popular with the local Queenslanders and the other Sunliners were more popular in the south.”

Warren said one of the main differences between the Sunliner caravans and the average caravan made today was that Sunliners don't have corners or joins and were made from one fibreglass shell.

“Sunliners are very watertight and very unique,” he said.

“The thing that made Sunliners a one-off van was the egg-like shell.

“As far as caravans go, they are very iconic and highly sought after these days.”

Sunliner Gracemur rally details

Sue expects between 17 and 18 vans to attend the rally, with people travelling from Cairns and New South Wales to attend.

She said the group will be staying at the Burnett Heads Caravan Park and will venture to a number of local attractions, including the Hinkler Hall of Aviation and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks after they checked out the original site of the factory, during their stay.

“We have been planning the rally since February and really want to show people a lot of Bundaberg while we are there,” Sue said.

Anyone interested in viewing the iconic vans shuld contact Warren on 0400 041 934 or join the Facebook group for more information.

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