Auto-Sleepers is our longest-established volume converter of motorcaravans. As with many marques, it started off as a DIY exercise. Former steel company director Calverley Trevelyan converted a Morris J2 to take his family on a touring holiday in France.
The conversion featured a canvas rear annexe tent that folded upright for travel. Included in that family foray to foreign fields were his sons – Anthony and Charles – who between them have had a major influence on the esteem in which the marque has been held over the years.
On returning home, Calverley decided to sell the converted Morris J2 to Henlys of Bristol. They were so impressed, they ordered five more, this time on the Austin version. As soon as the five had been completed, they ordered another 12.
This couldn’t be fulfilled as a DIY project, so Calverley joined forces with local builder Bob Halling, bought an old building in Manchester for £99, and Auto-Sleepers began production shortly afterwards. They quickly ran out of room and relocated to the Cotswolds, where they remain today. Auto-Sleepers’ own-design solid-sided parallelogram-lift elevating-roof soon became a highly regarded feature on all Auto-Sleeper campervans.
If you’re looking for a more modern ‘van, take a look at our guide to the best campervans, where we share our top picks, including a more modern Auto-Sleepers model.
Overall length: 4.32m (14’ 2.5”). Drivetrain: forward control, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (42bhp) driving the rear wheels via a manual four-speed gearbox
If you’d like to see other entries into the Practical Motorhome Hall of Fame, take a look at these:
- Gentleman Jack takes a look at the Swift Kon-Tiki, a van that became an instant design icon and remains so today
- The Auto-Trail Seminole on Talbot Express Al-Ko deserves its place in our Hall of Fame for two reasons, as Gentleman Jack explains
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