autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

1975 GMC Motorhome in Guards Red Is Ready for the Perfect Summer Vacation

The motorhome market has long been dominated by slab-sided box camper vehicles, but at some point, a major automaker jumped on the bandwagon to create an RV from scratch. I'm talking about GMC, which introduced the only complete motorhome designed and built by a major car manufacturer in 1972.
1975 GMC Motorhome 14 photos
1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome1975 GMC Motorhome
GMC's ambition was to offer a slightly more compact motorhome that was more comfortable to drive. One that felt almost like a car, if you will. To do that, the company went with a front-wheel-drive architecture, which eliminated the driveshaft, rear differential, and solid axle found on most front-engined motorhomes.

This design also enabled GMC to develop a rear suspension system as a tandem pair of wheels mounted on bogies that rode on pins attached to the sides of the frame. The advantage was that the structure did not intrude into the cabin.

These motorhomes also featured a front-wheel-drive transaxle, called the Unified Powerplant Package, taken from the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado. It was paired to the Toronado's 455-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8 at first, but GMC also offered the 403-cubic-inch 6.6-liter engine later on.

The GMC Motorhome is often credited to have redefined the RV market at the time with its use of larger-than-usual windows and for incorporating luxury features from GM's more expensive cars, including cruise control, premium sound systems, and even air suspension.

Built from 1972 to 1978, the GMC Motorhome was rather short-lived, with almost 13,000 units produced with 23- and 26-foot coaches. They're somewhat hard to find in good condition nowadays, especially if you're looking for one that comes with most of its factory cabin features still intact.

This 1975-model-year, red-painted Motorhome may no longer wear its original color, but it's a fine survivor with lots of upgrades. For sale in Stanton, California, this RV sports a shiny Guards Red coating with silver stripes and it's as close as they get to a Concours-ready appearance. According to the seller, the exterior is in excellent condition save for a few paint touch-ups applied over the years.

However, the tires need to be replaced before road use, as the current rubber is only suitable for stationary display. The chrome trim, the windows, and the rare spare tire cover are all in perfect condition, while the roof sports new power vents in addition to the optional ladder and rail system.

Inside the cabin, the seats have been reupholstered in two-tone gray with red accents and piping. There's new carpeting and power outlets. But by far the coolest thing you'll find inside is the original Palm Beach-style cabinetry in surprisingly nice condition given its age.

The Motorhome looks more than suited for long-distance trips and camping. There's a big closet with lots of storage room, dinette seats, stainless steel sink, refrigerator, auxiliary heating system, A/C, and a bathroom with shower and cabinets. The RV provides sleeping space for six persons thanks to the rear sofa and dinette converting into beds and the driver-side sofa converting into upper and lower bunks.

As for motivation, the camper draws juice from the big 7.5-liter, Oldsmobile V8 engine, which delivers plenty of grunt at 265 horsepower and 375 pound-feet (508 Nm) of torque. The mill features a rebuilt carburetor and runs as it should.

If you're looking for a classic, stylish motorhome to take that long vacation this summer, the RV is listed by eBay seller "drivenco" at $29,500. There's no bidding, but the owner is entertaining offers.

Video thumbnail


Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories