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del_rey [2018/04/06 02:29]
del_rey [2018/09/12 20:25] (current)
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 +====== Del Rey ======
 +===== Manufacturer Information =====
  
 +{{:​delray:​delreyoffice.jpg?​500|}}
 +
 +Del Rey (Not Del Ray) started in Bill Overhulser'​s garage in the late 50's as "​Lil'​ Camper"​ and then later changed to "Le Safari"​. Airstream already had the name registered (Le Safari) so dad chose the name Del Rey, Spanish for "Of the King". Nicknamed the "King of Campers"​ and with the king's crown cutout on the magazine rack, the models were copied but never duplicated.
 +
 +Bill manufactured these behemoths back in the day and will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame August, 2016. This is exciting for us as a family! ​
 +
 +The picture/​caption below was in the Automotive Journal, April 7, 1969. Observe the long, crew cab overhang and the squat at the rear axle. Gas was 25 cents/​gallon. ​ The "​Chassis Mount" was the largest of the fleet and built on a variety of chassis.
 +
 +{{:​delray:​delrey.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +
 +===== Years built =====
 +1957 - Lil' Camper was started by Bill Overhulser and later morphed into Del Rey.  Lil' Camper seemed to limiting for the design of where he want to go with the line.
 +
 +1958 - The company was renamed "​Le'​ Safari"​. ​ It was when about 10-12 campers were produced that Airstream contact Bill with a cease and desist order. ​ They had already trade marked that name.
 +
 +1959 - The company was renamed "Del Rey" which is Spanish for "Of the King"​. ​ Bill was committed to the foreign, Christian mission movement and was well connected to missionaries in Mexico and Central America. ​
 +
 +1960 - Moved into the first building at 4008 Cassopolis Street in Elkhart Indiana. They manufactured towables, truck campers and custom built "​Chassis Mount" units on the customers frames.
 +
 +1963 - Moved into the 3910 Cassopolis St building. ​ The primary line was truck campers. ​ Towable ceased (except for a few custom units.) Chassis mount units were on a separate line using dealer provided chassis. ​ All of the major truck manufacturers supplied pickups in order to get them included int he advertising.
 +
 +1966 - Bill saw that the market was being saturated with the Del Rey truck campers and thought he would create a lower-priced,​ lighter unit.  "​Derby"​ was opened in Wakarusa Indiana and a second plant in Kansas. ​ These did not succeed like the Del Rey units; Derby was closed in approximately two years. ​ In that same period, Dell Rey was the largest producer of RV's in the nation. ​ Del Rey produced the first Class C motor homes on the Ford Van chassis, and they did not sell.  ​
 +
 +1969 - Bill sold the business to Gladding Industries who kept him on as a manager and consultant. ​ The next year was not a smooth one with the transition of management style as well as the increase of gas prices from .28 to .60/gallon. In 1971 Bill retired and went into full-time missionary work.  Coachman, Middlebury IN, rose to take that #1 producer designation.
 +
 +1972 - The manufacturing operations were moved away from Elkhart.
 +
 +1975 - It appears this was the last year for Gladding Del Rey.  ​
 +===== Models =====
 +
 +  * Sonora
 +  * Sky Lounge
 +  * Imperial
 +  * Sportsman
 +  * Tri Level
 +
 +
 +===== Brochures =====
 +{{:​delray:​delray_broc.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +{{:​delray:​delray_broc1.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +{{:​delray:​delray_broc2.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +===== Interiors =====
 +===== Standard Features =====
 +===== Unique features/​Options =====
 +===== Prices =====
 +===== Pictures =====
 +
 +1962
 +
 +{{:​delray:​62delrey.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +{{:​delray:​62delrey1.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +
 +Sky Lounge
 +
 +{{:​delray:​skylounge.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +===== Some owners =====
 +Brian McCool
 +
 +{{:​delray:​mccool.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +Ron Baumgarten 1964 Tri Level 
 +
 +{{:​delray:​ronbaumbarten.jpg?​400|}}
 +
 +===== Clubs/Links =====
 +
 +Del Rey Facebook Group - [[https://​www.facebook.com/​groups/​571469863000376/​]]