From 1973 to 1978 GMC produced the ONLY motorhome made by a major auto manufacturer. They made 12,921, of which as many as 9000 are believed to be still on the road.
While most motorhomes then, and now, are stick and staple boxes on narrow, top-heavy truck frames, the GMC was designed from the ground up as a motorhome....
While most motorhomes then, and now, are stick-and-stapled boxes on narrow, top-heavy truck frames, the GMC was designed from the ground up as a motorhome.
A Toronado FWD transaxle attached to an Olds 455 pulls the 12,000 aluminum box down the road with power and grace, as opposed to conventional motorhomes that lumber down the road like a fat drunk.
As great as the GMC motorhome was, it failed in the market place. The public just could not get their head around paying $21,000 for a beautiful, well-designed, well-engineered machine when for about $8000 they could get a top-heavy, poorly-designed, butt-ugly piece of crap.
Apparently the company lost money on every unit sold until they finally gave up in 1978.
But that was just the beginning of the story.
Nearly 40 years later the GMC is going strong thanks to the most devoted owners group of any machine anywhere.
Through local FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) chapters, a vigorous web forum, and some devoted vendors, and an informal but highly effective roadside assistance program the GMC motorhome remains one of the best supported RV's on the road.
They have solid vendors on each coast specializing in the GMC motorhome.
There is a symbiotic relationship between the vendors and the community on the forum. They contribute generously to the discussion without ever pitching their services.
If you've got $20-70,000 you can find one of these fine machines with a lot of upgrades and new parts.
If you've only got $3000 you can find one that's driveable and restore it yourself.
There's an army of dedicated folks ready to help you.
GMC Motorhome Links:
The Forum: http://gmc.mybirdfeeder.net/GMCforum/
On the East Coast- GMC Coop, Orlando, FLOn the West Coast - Applied GMC Fremont, Ca