Over the past few months this olelongrooffan has shared with my fellow Hoons how I ended up moving from the Birthplace of Speed up the next town north of The World Center of Racing to toney Palm Beach, Florida. Later I shared how I came about my minilongroof that I Hoon around south and central Florida to the tune of 1,000 miles a week. Yeah, since June 3 I have added another 9,947 miles to the clock of that 2006 xBox which was showing just over 200K when it came into my possession. 496 miles on Wednesday alone. My new position coordinating a bunch of folks installing stairs and rails in residential homes takes me from southeast Florida (think an hour north of that famous topless sobeach) to MickeyMouseLand, the bayfront area of St. Petersburg and south through Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples. Then a quick 90 minute trip through the Everglades across Alligator Alley and 40 minutes north and home.
When this olelongrooffan started up at my gig, I was in a thirty foot hole with a twenty five foot ladder and my entire professional life was putting out fires and my Hooniversal life was put on hold. I mean I was on Eisenhower’s Highway System and the money required to pass by the booth highways all day long. Usually at near top speed in my xBox. Life was destination driven and man, it sucks trying to Celebrate Life when things are that way.
Nowadays? I am proud, although not boasting, things are going smoothly as I have some great staff to work with. Sure there is an occasional glitch but when coordinating the efforts of over 40 grown men and women on multiple, remote jobsites, you are gonna have that.
Now this olelongrooffan can hear my fellow Hoons screaming what the h*ll does this have to do with all things Hooniverse? Well, the answer to that question is just beyond the jump. Care to join this olelongrooffan for an On The Road sighting? If so, please excuse the fogginess of the first trio of images. I was so excited about seeing this place that I didn’t let my air conditioned image taker acclimate to my humid south Florida weather.
As the fires I first encountered when I started this gig have been extinguished and life is generally a whole Hoonofalot better for this olelongrooffan, on Wednesday’s trip over to drop off some rail samples to a project in the home of the Ringling Museum, and even more important, the home of my daughter, TheSmartOne’s, college campus, I was able to keep off Eisenhower’s Highways and traveled through the backroads in the central southern part of the Sunshine State. Now this olelongrooffan knows the Hooniverse has shared many experiences of these machines, this olelongrooffan has never, ever seen something of this nature previously.
After I got off 710 and onto 70, I was entering Okeeechobee, Florida which surrounds a huge lake of the same name. I crested a high bridge and off to the left, this olelongrooffan spotted those GMC motorhomes in the first image after the jump.
Well, my fellow Hoons, I slammed on the stop pedal of my minilongroof and whipped a Ueee at the first available opportunity. Just in that moment alone this olelongrooffan had seen more vintage GMC motorhomes in one place than I had ever seen in my entire soon to be 54 year lifetime. (A Wednesday Happy Birthday to the Chief Blooger BTW)
I parked my minilongroof nose in to this sign, and between the lines BTW, and entered the front door of that establishment. There was a young lady sitting behind a desk and three dudes sitting around shooting the Bull. When that young lady asked me if she could help me, those boys stopped shooting and looked at this oxford shirt wearing olelongrooffan expectantly.
At this point in time this olelongrooffan said, “I travel all around the state with my job but this is the first time I have ever been along this route. I just have one question, ‘How is it this place ended up in Okeechobee, Florida?”
Well, the lead dude, TheGMCMHDude, quickly chimed in that back in the day, ‘his then 35 year old dad had to retire due to some serious back issues and moved his clan to this lakeside community. He had a local vehicle inspection station (back when Florida actually had such a process) and bought one of these GMC motorhomes.’
‘Dad got to tinkering around with them and soon became well known in the GMC motorhome community for his expertise. Dad shared with TheGMCMHDude the same knowledge and this place just kind of grew up around them.’
At the time TheGMCMHDude and this olelongrooffan were having a conversation between us as the others in that showroom continued chatting about some things unnoticed. He then mentioned I should head out back and check out what was there.
Seriously? WTF? My fellow Hoons must know this olelongrooffan well enough by now to know that invitation was not going pass me by unnoticed. And head out back I did. And I was d*mn sure glad I did. TheGMCMHDude has several GMC’s here on consignment and one of the renovated ones was unlocked.
Check it out? You can bet your Hoon *ss this olelongrooffan did just that. Turns out these things can be had in various states of condition for anywhere between a few thousand US dollars and a top of the line rehab for around $25,000.00. While brother Bus-Plunge knew that, other brother, thehorsefarmer, was surprised at the affordability, at least initially, of one of these rarities.
So, of course, after checking out the “For Sale” specimens, this olelongrooffan had to check out the rest of the ‘back lot.’ See the one third from the right with the bright brake light bulbs” Turns out TheGMCMHDude knew that one needed to have the brake light sensor replaced. Apparently a problem with these old road borne motorhomes. The one on the lift to the far right? Purchased by some dude in Michigan and undergoing a major rehab prior to him flying down and driving it home.
A tad bit later as this olelongrooffan was checking out the last rows of this lot, TheGMCMHDude came out to make sure this olelongrooffan wasn’t MurileeMartining any badging off his prized possessions. I can honestly admit to my fellow Hoons, this olelongrooffan did not even have a thought of doing so. As I was told in the showroom, of the 13,000 or so originally built, there are less than 7,000 remaining and the thought of a badge off one of these no being available to that loyal bunch would be unthinkable.
Anyways, TheGMCMHDude and I strolled back and he pointed out these things were multi-functional back in the day. Airport transport buses, rental car shuttle buses, a few ambulances, a NASA astronaut shuttle bus (something this olelongrooffan knew) and all were powered by a 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile Toronado front wheel drive drive train (something I also knew.)
Yeah, my fellow Hoons, this olelongrooffan has traversed a whole d*mn bunch of automotive boneyards but this GMC only populated junkyard is one I will never forget.
TheGMCMHDude shared with me that these beasts are aluminum constructed from the fiberglass lower panels up to, and including, the roof. A steel ladder frame with aluminum crossmembers to support the 1″ thick pressure treated plywood floors pretty much assure long term durability.
He also mentioned the front wheel drive system from that old Toronado makes for easy transfer from one unit to another. Yeah, shown above is the remnants of a GMC Eleganza 26 foot motorhome. And this olelongrooffan saw it live and the flesh in some obscure small town in the middle of the Sunshine State. Yeah, it is great to get off Eisenhower’s Highways and smell the exhaust fumes.
This GMCMH, a wireless access laptop and a PowerBall winning ticket would get this olelongrooffan cruising around these here United States posting all of the cool cr*p I could find to share with my fellow Hoons.
TheGMCMHDude did share with me the fact that this one is being converted to a 10 passenger limo complete with leather seating, a wet bar and water closet for some oil company to transport some high rollers out Dallas, Texas way.
And see that shell just second from the left in the above image? They cut the *ss end off it to and sent it Australia as one of these beauties that ended up down under was recently rear ended and needed a butt lift.
Yeah, my fellow Hoons, this olelongrooffan sometimes cannot believe what I stumble upon on an occasional basis.
And know this my fellow Hoons. I’m gonna keep on looking.
Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan