1980 - 1983

Swift become the first company to make major design advances by carrying out a more scientific approach to design and manufacturing. Wind tunnel testing linked to extended road tests and computer modelling lead to the launch of the Cottingham range, the first caravan to feature a built in aerofoil on the roof.

Increased demand also leads to further expansion of the factory to 80,000 sq ft.

Rear spoiler on the Cottingham, an aerodynamic first


A period of major expansion within the Group. In house GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) make Swift the only manufacturer to have this facility which will revolutionise product design.

The company designs its first motorhome prototype and then launches into the motorhome market with the coachbuilt Kon-tiki which is an instant success, not only in the UK but also in Sweden and Denmark.

The first Kon-tiki motorhome

1984 - 1985

During this period Swift also acquire Burstwick Transport, a specialist caravan and motorhome transport company. This gives Swift total control over the manufacturing and distribution of its products to dealers, another industry first.

An all new Challenger range, with dramatic new body style replaces the Cottingham range.

The new style Challenger in twin-axle model

1986 - 1988

The Corniche range sets new industry standards by becoming the first touring caravan to have full one-piece GRP mouldings for the front locker, roof and rear panel. The Swift Owners Club membership tops 1,000 and production tops 2,500.

The twin-axle Challenger range with blown air heating and optional air conditioning becomes the biggest and most luxurious modern tourer, again setting new industry standards.

New Corniche with one piece GRP roof


Swift acquire Cotswold Coachcraft, adding a coachbuilt luxury touring brand to the stable.

Swift ends the decade as the number two tourer manufacturer with production over 5,000 units, over 500 staff and factory space of over 212,000 sq ft.

Back to top