Quantcast

Home » All Things Hoon » Currently Reading:

Truck Thursday: A Truly Surprising GMCMH Experience

LongRoofian August 8, 2013 All Things Hoon

IMG_1453

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.

IMG_1437

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.

IMG_1438

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.

IMG_1439

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)

IMG_1457

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.

IMG_1440

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?”

IMG_1441

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.’

IMG_1442

‘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.

IMG_1455

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.

IMG_1456

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.

IMG_1444

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.

IMG_1445

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.

IMG_1446

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.)

IMG_1447

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.

IMG_1448

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.

IMG_1449

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.

IMG_1450

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.

 

IMG_1452

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.

IMG_1443

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

Currently there are "46 comments" on this Article:

  1. dukeisduke says:

    I've been a fan of these since I was a kid. In the picture taken in the shop (next to last pic), I spy three Toronado diffs on the end of that pallet, and it looks like the whole pallet is stacked with Toro transmissions and diffs. I wonder how they hold up in motorhome use? Toronados were heavy cars, but not that heavy.

  2. dukeisduke says:

    Oh, and I like the old Dodge/Travco motorhomes, too. But not as much as the GMCs.

    <img src="http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/travco-1963.jpg"&gt;

  3. stigshift says:

    I would do many unspeakable things to finagle my way into ownership of one of those glorious vehicles. The term motorhome insults them. I hereby request that be be known as Driver Yachts.

  4. Van_Sarockin says:

    There really is a heaven. Thanks for finding it for us, Roofie!

  5. I_Borgward says:

    As a 12-year-old hoon, I actually requested and received a glorious multi-page GMC Motorhome brochure by mail back in the mid 70's after seeing an ad in my Dad's Scientific American. I so wanted him to ditch our 15-foot travel trailer for one, and had it all picked out from the various chassis options, color schemes and floor plans available. I spent hours with that brochure… what a little geek I was!

    They are still one of the coolest motorhomes out there, and $25K sounds perfectly reasonable for one that's been fully restored.

    • Felis_Concolor says:

      Indeed. After seeing how well sorted some full restorations and customisations have been, I'd happily push the bill past $75K for all the modern comforts in one of these low slung machines.

  6. MVEilenstein says:

    Thanks again for flipping a Ueee. I've seen a handful of these in my day, but never this many, and never in one place. Incredible.

  7. Van_Sarockin says:

    That was a great GMC truck, but not quite the greatest:
    <img src="http://lignup.com/images/stories/collecting/gm-futurliner-1950.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • FЯeeMan says:

      Must be the perspective, but that looks 4' wide and 32' tall. Could make for an interesting ride…

      • longrooffan says:

        While I'm not sure of the dimensions of that Futurliner, it is Huge.
        http://www.futurliner.com/

        • Van_Sarockin says:

          It's not narrow. And it's not short. Sadly (or not) they all seem built just to be rolling exhibition stands, that can drive cross country.

        • Robert says:

          From Wiki:

          Built By:GMC Truck and Fisher Coach & Body.
          Number built:12
          Built: 1940
          Overhauled: 1953
          Retired: 1956
          Height: 3.5 metres (11 feet 7 inches)
          Width: 2.4 metres (8 feet)
          Length: 10 metres (33 feet)
          Wheelbase: 6.3 metres (20 feet 8 inches)
          Weight: 13 tons (30,000 pounds) (approx)
          Fuel Capacity:340 litres (90 gallons) (2 45 gallon tanks)
          Powertrain(1940–1946):4-cylinder diesel/manual transmission
          Power Train (1953–1956):GMC 302ci 6-cylinder /4-speed Hydramatic plus 2-speed manual gearbox
          Top Speed:65 km/h (40 mph)

  8. mac350 says:

    Wow! $25K is nothing in the motorhome business. I had no idea you could get one at that price. I remember when they came out the local dealer in Dallas had a comercial where he had the GMC run across 2×4 lumber in the parking lot to show how great the suspension was. I wanted one really bad. I didn't know they made so few of them. Great job on the story, BTW.

  9. GTXcellent says:

    Eleganza!!!!!! What a name. What a badge. It just oozes class and sophistication – if I'm ever in need of purchasing a recreational vehicle, damn right it's gonna be an ELEGANZA!

  10. windbuechse says:

    We have a '74 23' GMC. It's a great handling MH with the FWD and air bogies in the back. After putting 3 sway bars and a track stabilizer to the rear bogies, it handles curves very well. The curved windshields afford a commanding view of the road and scenery but act as a greenhouse in the California sun – heavy and strategically placed tinting helps. I need to get out and replace the CV boots on mine, otherwise it's ready to go. ~11 mpg on premium is a significant cost with the Olds 455 and Quadrajet. Interior is 6'6" with a low step – easy ingress/egress. Engine noise is high with the class A configuration – a loud stereo is in order.

  11. busplunge says:

    Longrooffan…. put up a pix and story of the Mobilux Land Cruiser…

  12. dead_elvis says:

    Kinda-sorta relevant… and Jim White's a Florida guy (from somewhere in the panhandle, I think):

    [youtube i-cP7Fc_wf0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-cP7Fc_wf0 youtube]

  13. Felis_Concolor says:

    Were I to go that route, I'd definitely attach some 500 inch Cadillac power to the TH425 and humble some hills with its gargantuan torque well. I believe the current world record holder for fastest motorhome has his GMC Motorcoach powered by Cadillac – and he only needs to crank up the turbos to yank the title back whenever some other purpose-built rig takes it away from him.

    And the Ultravan is a very close second on my very short list (only 2 long) of motorhomes I'd buy.

  14. R.L. Elliott says:

    This is the kind of writing that makes me LOVE Hooniverse!! I get to read about and "experience" the exploits of which I long to do, but know that I will never be able to trundle down all of the forgotten roads, or ramble through long forgotten junkyards! :-)

  15. Jim B says:

    Love my GMC! 11mpg aint bad for a class A. What does your F150 get? 18? and can you take a "time out" in it? 455 has enough power and is a workhorse. I don't find it loud. Get a GMC specialist to do any major work. There aren't very many. $25K is very optimistic for a useable coach. Happy hunting!

  16. Ronald Pottol says:

    You should have had a link to them, I believe that is the Co-op Motor Works, with an entertaining blog at http://www.gmccoop.com/dailypose.htm they restore all manner of vintage RV, with a focus on the GMC. The nice thing about the GMC is there is a large and active community, there are no unavailable parts (if no longer made, there are either replacements that if anything, are an improvement, or they are things that are easily salvaged and are not wear items, such as the end caps and driver and passenger upper side windows). If you need a part, http://www.appliedgmc.com can overnight it to you.

  17. Ken Henderson says:

    Go to http://www.gmcers.org to gain knowledge and access to the amazing GMC world.

    Ken H.
    Now on Vancouver Is., BC, 6000 miles into
    a 9000+ mile GMC trip, GA to GA

  18. Reid says:

    How did i find myself here?? A lost GMC owner.

  19. dukeisduke says:

    Hey OLRF, you made the Hemmings Daily blog on Saturday!

    Four-Links – 914-8, Motorhome rest home, Museu Roberto Lee gets new home, Lego racers http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2013/08/10/fou

  20. busplunge says:

    OLRF, I've got one word for you: Mobilux.

  21. A precise incredible blog inform. We are truly beholden for your blog enter. You bequeath unearth a multiple of approaches after visiting your announce. I was exactly searching for. Blesss for such advise likewise tickle fulfill it up. Famous process

Search

Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/2 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more





Subscribe via RSS
Have you visited Hooniverse's Retro Tech site, AtomicToasters?