There is a pretty robust set of threads on Facebook right now about coaches offered up on different internet sights. In one way, the internet is great when you’re looking for a coach in that you need to cast a wide, national net to search. The problem with that is you could have big money flying out to drive a coach home that’s not ready for the road or not what you imagined when you get to see the coach in person. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this scenario play out.
It may not be the sellers fault…he may only remember the great experiences he had in the coach and feels it has great value to him…and he would be right. You must however take away the personal feelings a look at what you are looking to pay for. I’ve sen THAT scenario many times too!
There’s a reason Orvil stayed on the ground at Kitty Hawk and no one ever saw Henry Ford’s first car! Things get better as you gain knowledge ….a one off..first time anything will not be put together with the benefit of building several…trial end error……failure is the best teacher but you don’t want your coach to be built the first one.
OK, I have a great deal I want to tell prospective owners…you old timers may wanna hang around and maybe pick something up but right now…..I wanna talk to you “wannabees”. If you are following the Facebook threads I was referring to, instead of making a scene one the thread and maybe upsetting someones pride…hey Facebook is there to enjoy subject matter….there are deep issues on this surface subject of buying one of these and I’d like to let out some of the pentup frustrations when it comes to how to look at buying one of these.
There won’t be that many pics in this so if your attention span is as short as mine…..slow down, relax with a beverage and take in the thoughts……if not this may seem boring…..I hope there are some out there that will read this and take it to heart.
OK….here we go: Whenever I meet someone new or someone brings their coach to us for the first time there is always about 30 minutes we discuss the logit used to make the buying decision and what the new owner likes about it and why they bought it. My job is to listen and reinforce their opinion and offer additional
Sorry…it’s close to 8am. had to get the team going……..
where was I…..oh yea, listen and like the Italian waiter saying upon you placing your order…..”that’s my favorite”…..right then my job is to support everything about the coach. But shortly after that download….I mean I hope that’s not why they came……. we get down to the nitty gritty on what needs to be done.
You MUST have a reason to get involved with one of these, everyone and everything needs to have a reason to exist so why you have this thing is important.
Someone says they want to buy a GMC mechanically sound……brother you can’t “buy” that….you have to make that from whatever coach you pick up! The list of things to do to the coach is less important than the decision on where to stop! It’s all started at 40 years old and you don’t know doing in which things are still there! How can you set a “budget” to bring a coach to the road if you don’t know what it will take to get there. How much money because that’s what it’s all about…right but how much time is it going to take to get a specific coach ready for the road? Seriously only the shadow knows and this is the reason we will not give a delivery date on a restoration. We’ll know pretty much WHAT it took to get there when we get there so how do you figure out wether a coach you’re looking at is a “GOOD BUY”?
Here, lemme throw in a pic here so we both don’t bore ourselves to death….hey, this stuff is important to many!
The molds that make this are being refurbished……can’t wait!
OK, finished the break…lets get back into it……… What the heck IS a good buy because there are no bad products as I was taught when I was a catalog showroom buyer……there are just bad prices. Everything is good for something even if it’s scrap weight…..heck, the original molds we have that made the outer body panels on our coach have a scrap weight at 6 cents per pound of $27,000…do the math……
So how do you pick out a good buy? First is what do you want and what do you want to do with it? If you have a grand idea that will make everything change then find a core coach under $9000. You need a good frame and most or all of the parts …that way you are not paying for anything you will be throwing out. Remember the most expensive restoration will be one that “everything” is being changed. The good news on that one though you will have exactly what you want….purple with pink polka dots? How big do you want the dots…….you will have that in a full restoration.
If your designs are to not invest what it would take to do that ( somewhere north of $50,000) you want to look for a “Survivor” coach priced at between $10-20,000. You still need that good frame and all the parts but a larger number of those parts can be used in a reliable finished product. A good thing about selecting a survivor to work with is the restoration can be done in stages……Remember with anything 40 years old sooner or later you will ebd up addressing everything as you would working with a core but you can spread the expense out a bit. Make no mistake and listen carefully……..you will still end up putting a large amount of cash into a survivor just like a caore…..any old anything will force you to do that.
Now you CAN get some use out of the interior and exterior options on a survivor if you first add to it a full mechanical checkout. If it’s a core you must do piles more of work on the interior and exterior including the mechanicals before you can do much with the coach.
If you have a tight financial “budget” to start off with understand you may or may not get to a quality mechanical condition cutting off the repairs when your money is gone. Personally, get together $25,000 together before you start looking for a coach. You SHOULD be able to purchase a core or survivor and get it to a mechanical condition for that or less. DO NOT buy a coach and spend everything you have on buying it. There WILL be other expenses probably right away. If you put yourself into that situation….you just HAD to buy it then take it home and play with it until you get more money together. Don’t rig things to work, you will be working on that object of your frustration forever! Get a coach, get it mechanically sound right away so then you have something to work with. Like I said, you should expect to put at least $25,000 is buying and getting one of these beasts to the road. You may be able to do that for less……do not be surprised and personally when I hear some super deal I shudder at what they do not know about the purchase!
OK, there is a 3rd condition category of a GMC….a “restored” coach. This is the scariest condition category to break down. I mean WHO did the work…was it like Henry Ford and building that first Ford or did the techs know what they were doing? Was it put together to flip? Whats under the lipstick on that pig? How long ago was the work done and how well was it maintained from then? What was it built to do? Will it go in the desert for 30 days or was it made to his a powered campsite?
When you are selecting a coach look at what has been done, the quality of the work and if the things that were done fit the use you have planned. If you it’s a bonus…if not that item does not mean anything….at least to you.
When you are lookingat a “restored coach” you need to know it’s pedigree…. who did it.
A “restored coach will most always be priced at $20, 000 and more. It’s important to know how many things you would do have been done. It will be less buying it from someone than do it yourself. So a $26,000 restored coach by me like this one has a Honda generator, 4 bag rear suspension, aluminum rims, base/clear paint and what’s really cool is it has a trunk for storage If this coach fits your need, you cold not build it to this spec today for less than $100,000. Really! If that’s where you want to go…….a really nice coacgh buy this one and make it yours. Even using the formula of a good survivor you can have a custom GMC for that or less! With entry level of anything new that’s half way nice being $100K and up….the GMC really IS the better deal when it’s fully restored!