There have been many weird and wacky Mini conversions over the years, but few can match the Caraboot. Built by Euxton Coachcraft Ltd in the village of Euxton in Lancashire, it combined an 850cc Mini van, a caravan / camper and a boat! Watch the amazing Pathe video from 1964 below to see just how it worked!
By means of a crank handle at the rear of the Mini van, the camper body moved rearwards along grooves attached to the Minivan. At a stroke, your mini was now considerably longer than when you left home - about 15ft all in and a fully fledged campervan. There was allegedly enough room to accommodate four in comfort, with four beds, a sink and stove.
The roof of the converted van itself, could be unscrewed and used as a two-man dinghy - watch to the end to see it on the water.
We're not sure how many were converted but at a "few hundred" pounds it sounds like a bargain! At least one still survives in the UK and was for sale a few years ago.
We can't imagine what the roadholding was like, or how you negotiated any sort of hill with the 850cc Mini engine powering this massive conversion, but it sure looks like fun!
We also tracked down this fabulous account of what it was like to take the Caraboot on a holiday in 1969!
Amazing. Not quite sure how long it would take to get any distance in it, or fuel consumption for a longish journey.
But then again, life is all about the journey so it is said.
If one could be found today I dare say it would be more expensive than when built in the 1960's.
Quote: Originally posted by pnefan on 21/11/2017
Nice to see Astley Hall, Chorley in tne back ground. The written account in the link says they picked up the hired Caraboot in Preston. I wonder if it was made in the area. Anyone know?
The article states where it was made, in the village of the same name as the company - Euxton, in Lancs.
First time that I have seen one of these. Astonishing ! The idea is actually very clever. I wonder how the concept would translate to a modern, more powerful and economical base vehicle? I have sometimes toyed with the idea of carrying a canoe or preferably a small lightweight boat but it's not easy with a campervan with a caravan in tow.
Got to re-blog this one. Thanks for posting. Sometimes UKCampsite really turns up something very exceptional.Inspirational !
I remember a Mini being converted with a slide out back to give decent sleeping accommodation,think it was called a Wildgoose. Any one track that one down with a picture,converters used to have imagination back in those days.