Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan

By: Lisa Potter


Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan
Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan
Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan
Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan
Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan
Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan Retro-modern: Starliner Evolution 2016 caravan

From a city famous for the time warp comes the Caravamp classic: the retro modern Starliner Evolution 2016.

Brent Burne is a self-confessed perfectionist. He is also the first to admit this can make life somewhat complicated. But it is this same streak which sets his work apart from the norm.

So when it came to creating a fresh take on the classic Starliner caravan, Brent wasn’t prepared for anything less than perfection. The Starliner Evolution 2016 has been two years in the making and is officially road ready – and it’s a true retro modern delight.

Based around the original 1959 Starliner design, this little beauty remains doggedly faithful to original Starliner features, while discreetly embracing modern technology.

It is this unwavering attention to detail which sets the Starliner Evolution apart and makes Brent’s CaraVamp creations so distinctively his.

"I get bored really easily, particularly when I was just welding all day, whereas I can be really creative with this.

"Early on, I was refurbishing caravans how I thought people wanted them. Then I built one for my partner and did it exactly how I wanted it, and people loved it. I was absolutely blown away and ever since then have just stuck to doing the caravans exactly how I want them – it’s far more satisfying for me that way too.

A fabricator welder by trade, Brent worked on everything from milk tankers to intricate scientific designs before becoming an engineering tutor. He took on his first caravan project when he bought one as an outside room for his teenage daughter and was immediately hooked. He started his business CaraVamp five years ago, buying the Starliner brand to satisfy his love of authentic retro caravans.

"I like lots of chrome, I like the retro colour combinations and clean lines with a classic look. I guess you’d describe it as retro modern."

The humble Starliner caravan has a huge following of fans throughout New Zealand and has featured in television commercials and advertising campaigns where it is admired for its distinctive shape. Originally manufactured in Christchurch from 1959 to 1966, production came to an abrupt halt when fire destroyed the Starliner factory and nearly all the moulds.

The 2016 Starliner caravan has been a long-term top secret project for CaraVamp and the usually reticent Brent admits to being ‘hugely proud’ of the finished result.

"We worked for months with the workshop doors closed. I think some customers thought we had closed down," he laughs.

The Starliner Evolution is a credit to his skills. It is the ultimate embodiment of a 50’s pinup; generously curvaceous and aesthetically appealing, with a very strong sense of self.

Read the full article in issue #138 of Motorhomes Caravans & Destinations magazine (on sale now!). Subscribe here.

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