I’m almost back to normal… “be careful for what you wish for” one of the big things I miss is seat time in my or any GMC. You bring your coach in, it leaves with you… I’m still here so it’s great when I can go out on the road. Even better is cramming some real seat time in there making a drive that makes you remember why we mess with these motorhome… they drive just so nice!
So the goal was a 2 fold thing, first Fandango needed to go home to North Georgia after 1 1/2 years of restoration work. It also needed to show itself to it’s new owner how it runs. It’s kinda like the first ride on a horse. I mean he didn’t bite you when you rubber his ears but will he let you ride? That’s another thing so this is an account of that event. The delivery, shakedown and ride home for Fandango… our latest restoration offering Renting a car to get to Orlando Friday Bill D. drove in with the hopes of riding his new toy home…. the first motorhome .. certainly the first vintage RV Bill has had still Bill had an extensive background in concourse vintage cars which helps but there’s a big difference in trailoring a vintage car to a show and driving your hot rod TO the show and living in it during that Bill will be new too. I felt it best to instruct Bill on the road, real time driving home how his new toy worked… and I saw a great way to get out and drive plus I could help Bill get over that first drive apprehension. So Saturdat before noon we headed out With my trusty Suzuki Ralph connected there wasn’t anything left but to go Thinking over the 1 1/2’s work.. all the parts re replaced… and all the parts we didn’t the goal isn’t what to do but where to stop! A restoration like this is never “done”… it’s constantly checking, replacing parts, tightening things and vigilance. These mashings CAN be like new..,. like new as it was in the 70’s not like a new car today. We are spoiled having amazing new automotive technology but back in the day the diagnostics used your eyes, ears, your nose… now computer a set of Snap On tools with someone who can use them got your car fixed back then…. that’s the way again you need to think about a restored GMC. It will never use the diagnostic steps a new car today used… that’s not realistic so we need to remember those days and drive one of these like back then.
So a walk around.. preflight check and the startup procedure Bill starting his learning and off we flew. I too was on the wigged out side proving out our work where the rubber meats the road! The coach ran like the rocket it was…. we experienced a bit of vapor lock coming out of the hole at a toll booth… a push of the aux. fuel switch and it was gone…….the aux electric fuel pump made short work of the problem Bill saw his response to the issue first hand.
My tongue was tired all the time I was talking to Bill about all manner of things he needed to know. All stories like this start out “everything was doing great then _ _ _ _ _….. There was a loud thunk and black smoke started coming out of the AC vents! A quick scan of the gauges showed nothing as I pulled over. You could smell heat…… Jumping out I looked at the tires… nothing. Turning the motor off that was running smooth and pulling up the hood the issue was clear… the dash AC compressor had locked up and thrown off it’s belt. The AC had not been turned on.. it was a beautiful cool day. A non replaced part, the Das AC system only needed a charge to blow cold and sound good….. guess it needs that compressor now too! Again, you have to.
Explaining to Bill, it’s a good thing we have 3 belts… all you need is 1 to move in that all 3 will turn the water pump. Hey, we still have 2 belts, lets stop and get a backup alternator belt for what will be your parts stash in the coach. We stopped, got the belt and while at it we picked up a distributer module and coil…. This is 2 of the 3 parts that make up the entire ignition system… you need to travel with those too.
Anyway, I checked the other 2 belts to be sure they were tight… BTW, the clutch on the compressor froze up…. Why? Because it was old and it could!
Back on the road we flew like the rocket we were in wanted to. A little play in the steering wheel, he will need to check it out next time. No worries it still steers better than most I see and again, all can be done.
Traffic on I-75 was stupid, took us 12 hours to do a 7 hour run……pulled into Ellijay Ga.at 12:am. Unhooked Ralph… fed that mother up and it was home bound for me. Bill had some invaluable instruction and experiences on the trip, I know he will be a good steward for this 23 Birchaven and I know t will b in a special part of his life…. and isn’t that all we can hope for.
So my seat time was half done, true it won’t be in a GMC but Ralph the Suzuki is a fun ride too so off I took back to Florida. Was I tired? Yep but the goal getting thru Atlanta before I could stop was the only thing to do so keep driving you fool!. A rest are came up and I took it for a 3 hour nap.
Ahhhh sunrise over my left shoulder means I’m headed home And man what a beautiful morning it was the sun peeking over the jersey barrier…. No worries because look what I see I’m crossing I-10 … I’m in Florida and man does that barn feel close… even the blue sky is beckoning me home It was cold over the night up there in Georgia, good think I brought a jacket! Ahhh, the window down … life is good and this journey is all but done
Stopping in Gainesville for a pic of my hero… Ralph, you are the man! Turned 367,000 on this run… rock on man! .
Dropping off the Turnpike I was most certainly in Orlando… good thing I didn’t have to go the other way on I-4 to Disney! A parking lot going west as far as the eye could see….. welcome back to Central Florida, as long as you are against the traffic it’s good…. don’t be in it!
Now there will be the tighten up time for Bill… checking this, adjusting that…. the flip out on his Ragusa entry step broke off…. Douuuuuu!. This too will pass and when done, Fandango will be a show stopper, be sure to come by and give Bill support at the upcoming Sumit, Atlanta Speedway Intl. car show the end of this month. Go see Fandango along with other vintage RV’s.
So it’s back in the saddle for me, I can shut up now about “seat time”. Maybe I can’t drive as crazy as I used to but as the song says, “I’m as good once as I ever was”, we made the run safe and bringing another GMC owner into our enthusiast group the right way, this was a good run…. you should try something like this… it helps you realize you are alive!
Next, “Rock the Alps” is off the leash waiting to be next on the delivery runway. Here are some pics of the coach outside in the light of day.. The awning not on, we’re changing the fabric to a more matching color and the Ramco mirrir set the coach had needed a little love but beyond that and a toaster oven we’re installing “Rock the Alps” is ready to rock the Alps!
Stay tuned for more on this coach as the delivery draws closer… We have piles of work scheduled for today so I need to get juggy… thanks for coming by… hope driving Fandango was interesting to read, it was a blast for Bill and I….. we’ll see you later…