Sunday, June 29, 2014

20k: Wizards of the Road: 1976 GMC Motorhome

With summer comes the slice of Americana known as the road trip...and today we aren't going talk about cars for a motel trip or camping, instead let's shine some light on the most fundamentally 'Merican version of the road trip car-- the Recreational Vehicle (RV).  Many options exist for the RV, but fewer are more awesome than the GMC motor home with Olds Toronado power.  Find this 1976 GMC Motor Home currently bidding for $19,879 reserve-not-met on ebay with about an hour to go, located in Lakeland, FL.

The GMC Motorhome, built from 1973-1978 as an in house project by GMC - unheard of in the day when most motorhomes were built on modified truck chassis by custom coach builders.  GMC used a very low basic frame with the powertrain borrowed from the Oldsmobile Toranado mated to the front wheels.  This setup allowed the RV floor to be much lower than most contemporary examples and the lower center of gravity gave it better road manners and a lower clearance.

This example is in remarkable condition for the age and looks like it was custom built for the Wizard of Oz or a family of Leprechauns.  The front seats swivel to allow the driver and passenger seats to be used when the vehicle is stationary. 

A sign above the stove/oven reads "Warning: It is not safe to use cooking appliances for comfort heating."  Honestly, if it wasn't for that sign, I would have never even considered using the range to warm up the passenger compartment at night...

See a cooler green classic ready for the open road?


  1. There are a handful of powered RVs that actually have some collector value and this is one of them. The rest seem to depreciate sharply until they are nearly worthless.

  2. Upon hearing "Olds Toronado power" I now remember a '66(?) Olds Toronado stretch limo, white with "Cherry Hill Inn" [NJ] graphics on the side. I believe it was an 8-door stretch model. It had dual axles in the rear much like this unit. This is a vague memory and I haven't thought about this vehicle for decades. It was, however, striking, in red graphics over white. Somehow, a very powerful automotive motive in the midst of the muscle-car era.

  3. Spies Like Us??? Anyone? Anyone???!!! Sigh......

  4. Two 25 gallon fuel tanks equate to probably a 400 mile range.

  5. These had a special rebuilder that would sell them after reconditioning to new. This has to be one of them.

  6. Stripes with Irish subtitles.

  7. nearly 2500 words in that ad, and yet it says almost nothing about the actual motorhome...

  8. I like the coke version on Pawn Stars


  10. Fleetwood T. BroughamJune 30, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    I love this for what it is, but have to question the logic of placing a tv 6 inches from a hot stove burner.

  11. Having lived through it there can be no doubt that all taste left America in the least Middle America taste. From wide white belted polyester jump suits on retired dentists and used car dealers to the hideous interior on this Clark Griswold fantasy, it's an error best left to the dimming memories of those of us sentient enough at the time to be thoroughly repulsed. Play some Leif Garret on the turntable after a little Captain and Tenille and throw up all over those excreable seats. Other than wheels!

  12. One of my favorite Hot Wheels when I was a kid. We lived in West Palm Beach.

  13. Two things:

    1) These RVs just speak of optimism. Can't help but think GM made these with a big smile on their face and that the buyers smile was even bigger. A home on wheels, the open road, 80 cent gas and the promise of clean-scrubbed family adventure. Like a child's dream....

    2) Tailgating - This RV needs to be marketed to well-off fans of the Michigan Spartans, Marshall Bison, Tulane Green Wave, Fighting Irish or any other team where GREEN is the predominant color. Otherwise, this emerald colored beauty is sitting on the sales lot for a LONG, LONG TIME.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.