[tl:gallery index=0 size=103×155]Our Gentleman Jack Bancroft is an irredeemable motorcaravaning enthusiast. His family have been camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning since 1928. Jack and his wife Flora are now on their tenth motorhome, a 2003 Auto-Sleeper Pollensa on a Ford Transit base. They have toured extensively at home and abroad, including a period of full-timing. Here, Jack answers your motorcaravanning queries:
Q: I have recently become the proud owner of an LMC Liberty A560 motorhome. It is in beautiful condition, without even a scratch on the bodywork, and it has only 3000 miles on the clock. However, I haven’t been able to find any information about the company or how highly its ’vans are rated. Can you help?
A: [tl:gallery index=1 size=273×232]It’s difficult for me to give you any more information about your particular model of Liberty without the year of manufacture, which base vehicle it’s built on and whether it is a right- or left-hand-drive ’van.
However, I can provide some more information about the company. Motorhomes built by Lord Munsterland Caravans (LMC) are rare beasts in the UK, but I wouldn’t say that this is a disadvantage. LMC has a fine pedigree and it is mostly to do with fluctuating currency exchange rates that not many are sold in the UK. The following is a potted history of the company.
Two close friends in postwar Germany – one a designer called Austermann and the other a coachbuilder called Hartmann – were keen fishermen. At the weekends they used to load up their motorbikes with camping gear and go on fishing trips.
After one particularly wet summer they decided they would like to take along a caravan instead. However, these were in short supply (many were being used as homes because of extensive bomb damage to the housing stock) and so over the winter of 1950 they built their own – and very successful it was, too.
Spurred on by their success Austermann decided to build production models in his small company. He wanted something that was easy to tow and spacious on site. Thus the ‘expanding’ and fantastically popular Austermann Knospe was born in 1955.
In 1966 the company was sold to Wilhelme Saure from Herdecke and in 1986 they released their first coachbuilt ’van on the Fiat Ducato. They were imported into the UK in right-hand-drive format by Gordon Lamb Caravans of Nottingham and sold through a small network of dealers.
In 1991 they were taken over by Erwin Hymer, although LMC has been allowed to continue ploughing its own distinctive furrow. At present the company builds panel van conversions, low-profiles, overcab coachbuilts, A-class motorhomes, and touring and static caravans.
According to LMC’s publicity material, Geist Direct (Co Durham), Benz Bavariat (Derbyshire) and Camper UK (Lincolnshire) are current agents. Over the years LMC motorhomes have enjoyed a reputation of being well made and comprehensively equipped. The Liberty moniker has been attached to various types of motorhome built on at least three different base vehicles.
For more information visit the company’s website at www.lmc-caravan.com.