Chevrolet fans Lynda and Ian Gillespie with their 1952
Styleline camper van, created by Mr Gillespie on the
chassis of a Chevrolet car almost 40 years ago. Photo by
So impressive is Ian Gillespie's one-off camper van that
people ask the Chevrolet fan if it is the genuine article.
Even the badges look like they have come out of an American
General Motors plant, but the 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe
camper van with the personalised plate ''Chevan'' was built
by the Christchurch man in 1975 on a 1952 Chevrolet sedan
It was one of about 70 cars on display on Saturday at the
Oamaru Showgrounds for the Oamerican Car Show and Shine
County Fair, the conclusion to three days of events in
Ian and his wife, Lynda, were touring at Lake Ohau when they
read on Saturday morning about the car show.
''Out came the hose and we came down to see if we could get
in,'' Mr Gillespie said.
They did not know about the three-day show, the second to be
held, but would
return next year for all the events and possibly bring their
children, Matt and Tracy.
''I started the whole disease,'' Mr Gillespie joked as he
outlined similar camper vans owned by his children.
Tracy, who had a CF Bedford campervan, had the front cut off
and her father replaced it with a Chevrolet Silverado and
Matt had a camper van similar to that of his parents built on
a 1955 Chevrolet sedan platform
When it was built, the sedan chassis was stretched, prompting
Mr Gillespie to add another 900mm to his just behind the cab.
The result looked so good, that people believed it was a
model produced by Chevrolet.
Mr Gillespie's example started with a 216cu in (3.5-litre)
six-cylinder engine but now had a 265 (4.3 litre) V8, with
lpg fuel, he said.
When he built it, he was working as a fitter at the Addington
railway workshops, and was helped by its coach builders. Now,
the family operated an auto services business in Christchurch
that included ''muscle motorhomes'', along with general
servicing to street hot rods and customs.