Here is a post I recently got from a fellow that I feel has the right idea. Don’t know this man but I feel he understands what this GMC thing is all about– well his Dad it looks like did and he being exposed to one picked up on them as well. If you feel the way Christopher feels I hope posting his letter to me will help you better understand your emotions toward this worthy vintage vehicle.
Just wanted to tell you my story – I’ll be 38 years old this year, and I grew up in a small town in Michigan called Lapeer, about 20 miles east of Flint. My dad was a model maker for AC Spark Plug, and he brought up my older brother and I to think like engineers. We had a pit in our barn for working on cars, and we often did.
When I was really little, we had a pop-up camper. Then dad upgraded to an Airstream. Finally, in the 80s, he got his dream machine, a GMC. He often talked about the fine engineering of the GMC, and all the reasons why it was superior to everything else on the road. And while I didn’t agree with dad about much, he was sure right about that motor home – I never, ever saw another motor home I even liked, and most I thought were downright awful. But that GMC – boy howdy. I don’t have to tell you.
Although I haven’t much love anymore for getting my hands dirty (I’m a computer guy these days), I sure enjoy and appreciate all the stories and info and love of the machine on your site. I still love the Airstreams as well, but obviously, nothing compares to a GMC.
Dad got rid of the GMC in the late 80s and moved on to buying a hobby farm on a lake – got into tractors instead. He wasn’t traveling so much anymore and the machine fell into a bit of neglect, and I know he hated to see that. I’m sure it broke his heart a little to sell it, after all the work he put into it. And I was sorry to see it go, too. Not just for the loss of an elegant machine, it was also one of the few things I could talk to the old man about for any length of time without it devolving into politics or religion.
So the GMC will always be special to me. I’m hoping, in a few more years, I’ll be able to pick one up for myself and have you rebuild it. I like your style, how you think, how you conduct business – there’s no one else I’d have rebuild my rig!
Couple of interesting technologies to keep an eye on, by the way. I’m hoping by the time I buy a rig, we’ll be able to coat the roof with thin-film solar. There’s also a company called Zenn Motors making electric cars up in Toronto, and next year they’re due to release a vehicle with what’s called an ultracapacitor, built by a company called Eestor. It’s extremely impressive technology. Don’t know if it’ll power a motor home for less than the price of a new house anytime soon, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Even if not for replacing the powertrain, I’d still like to use ’em to replace lead-acid batteries – I hate those things. Ancient, finicky technology! I’d also replace all interior lighting with LEDs, and I think I’d have to have an entirely custom dash built – I still don’t like anything I’ve seen.
Anyway, I wanted to ask if you had any computer files of GMC motorhomes I could play with while I’m waiting and dreaming. I love architecture, and I use a program called SketchUp a bit for 3D modeling. I also have long years of experience with all flavors of illustration software – I can work with any kind of file. I’d like to get my hands on some GMC illustrations, especially floorplans for the different models. I imagine I’d keep the layout basically the same, but I’m wondering how to squeeze in a computer workstation – maybe build it in to the co-pilot’s station. I always thought there was plenty of excess space up there (well, enough for an LCD screen and small PC, keyboard and mouse, at least), and as a bonus, you get the benefit of the wonderful view out all that glass while you’re working!
A side note – I’ve been living down in Bogota, Colombia for several years now (yes, it’s quite an interesting place!), and they’ve got quite a few gasoline/LP taxis running around here. They fill the trunks up with the tanks and they are danged slow going uphill when running on LP, but the drivers love them for the money they save on gas (gas here, by the way, tracks US prices pretty much exactly). I haven’t asked about maintenance issues because, well, to be blunt, these folks aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. But for anyone who doubts your LP project, hell, tell ’em they’re running this stuff all over the place down here!
OK, that’s enough outta me. I’ll be reading your blog for all the latest fun projects and stories, and hope to be able to work with you sometime in the future!