They say home is where you find it, and with today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe GMC Motor Home, you could toss out the welcome mat damn near anywhere. Does its price however mean that while its lights may be on, nobody's home?
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and in celebration of the Battle of Puebla a lot of people probably ate a bunch of tasty Mexican food (carne asada, FTW!) which, no offense to our friends to the South, may give you the butt trumpets something fierce. Another wind that blew through on Thursday was an ‘80s VW Scirocco MKII (albeit not one built at the company's later Peubla, Mexico plant) that kicked up some dust and pulled in a 75% Nice Price win.
This Sunday is Mother's Day and of course that means lots of trips home to spend the day retying the apron strings. Moms can be great, and in fact there's this old conundrum that asks if both were drowning who would you save, your wife or your mother? The correct answer of course is your mother as wives are just an eHarmoney away while you only get one chance at a mom. And what better way to celebrate mom on her special day than to roll up to her house in today's 1974 GMC Motor Home?
Up until the Nixon era, no major American auto maker had offered a purpose-built motor home, an overlooked niche the General sought to fill. At the time, recreational vehicles were typified by boxy Winnebagos, travel trailers, and pickup truck slide-in cab-overs. Sure there had been some weird one-offs like the mid-sized Corvair-powered Ultravan, but most of the big dogs rode on commercial truck chassis and were saddled with the limitations inherent to those ladder frame behemoths. In contrast, GM took a clean sheet approach, creating a perimeter frame chassis and using Oldsmobile's 455 V8 and FWD setup out of the Toronado. Weighing in at a robust 12,500 lbs, the engineers spread the load over six axles - well not really, as in fact there are no axles what so ever in it. Up front power is sent from the THM425 3-speed auto to the front wheel through massive half shafts, while in back the four wheels are attached to pivoting bogies, each side sharing a single air bag for the springing medium and automatic load/height adjustment.
While the chassis is steel, the body is a mixture of fiberglass below the waist and sheet aluminum for the upper half and roof. Extruded aluminum provides the frame upon which all that is attached, the goal of the design to provide both the lowest floor and center of gravity possible. GM succeeded as many describe its driving characteristics as almost car-like.
This one is claimed to be in very good original shape and while the interior looks well used, it's not in any kind of shape that would prevent you from letting your mom see it. Up front is a pair of bus driver seats, and a dash panel large enough for Sunday dinner with the family. Fortunately you won't need it for that because there's a pair of benches and a table in the back for meals and discussion about while you never call or write. There's also a full ‘70s kitchenette - meaning no microwave or built-in barista, but there is plenty of gold Formica and vinyl flooring to warm the heart of any mom. The rest of the interior is done up in shades of ‘70s blue vinyl and velour although the left-side bench seat is obviously a refugee from a modern Suburban or something. The carpet is intact, but by its appearance in the pictures, you probably wouldn't want to bare foot it the low pile. That's likely due to central vacuum having gathered more rust than dust over the years as evidenced in its pic.
One of the best parts of the motor home life is having a bathroom on board. That means on a long stretch of straight open highway, you can set the cruise control (which this one has) bungie the wheel to the window frame and then head back to take the browns to the superbowl. There's a shower in there too for you multi-taskers. And there'll be plenty of hot water because the GMC Motor Home has a heat exchanger between the potable water and the engine cooling system so you'll be able to arrive at mom's cleansed both inside and out.
This one's pretty clean outside, and the blue over white paint scheme is potentially original. Oversized mirrors help with the limited visibility while a pair of whip antennas serve both the define the front end and improve reception for the included AM/FM and CB radios - come back, good buddy.
GMC built the Motor Home between 1973 and 1978 and over that time, nearly 13,000 left the factory. The earlier ones like this have the 212-bhp/344 ft-lbs 455, while the last ones received the 403 small block, which put out 190/315, but was about 100-lbs lighter. Today the Motor Homes remain iconic and sought after by road warriors for their advanced engineering and upper-scale accouterments. The seller claims that the previous owner had replaced the THM425's torque converter and gearset for improved mileage, but mentions no other upgrades. While that one noted change may eke out a mile or two more per gallon, this thing isn't going to give you the efficiency of a Geo Metro. With gas prices being what they are, its ability to be parked and lived in makes it a very attractive alternative to public transportation. If you do have to move it the twin gas tanks hold a total of fifty gallons, which with regular averaging about $4.30 a gallon makes filling it up a $215 venture. Ouch.
Your mom might ask you how many miles this GMC has on it, but sadly the seller doesn't say. That's okay because at 26 feet long, you can bet that whatever they are, they've been mostly highway, as that's its natural habitat. Mom might also inquire as to this GMC's price, and that you can tell her is $11,000. Now, we all know that moms know everything, and woe to those who shun their mother's advice. Hence the question remains, would mom think that $11,000 is a Nice Price for this home away from home? Or, would mom say that for asking that much, the seller must be on the Crack Pipe?
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