How did the Co-op come to exist and why do we do what we do?
I have this conversation with folks that drop by for a visit, many tell me I need to let others know more about the true nature of our work. Thanks to everyone who has supported the growth of the Co-op over the last 28 years, we truly appreciate you and hope we can service your needs even more in the future.
Cooperative Motor Works, inc. was formed in October of 1997 as a small, family run shop with an unusual mission. There were already a handful of specialty shops throughout the country that focus on the GMC motorhome and, in general, there are sources for replacement and maintenance parts to keep the coach on the road, if you can find them. The GMC motorhome is a most unique vehicle being not only a classic antique all American built specialty vehicle but it is also a platform that provides opportunity for the creation of a vehicle that can, like no other, offer travel, living and working environments. This was the market GM focused on from the beginning. This vehicle is much more than a mere motorhome!
The Co-op pulls together all of the resources needed for the GMC owner and offers information as to what is available, how to find it, answer questions, give advice, locate parts, help buyers & sellers of coaches find each other, and yes up to full interior, exterior and mechanical restoration services and more. By this time, even well kept coaches are in need of rehab and the Co-op sees it’s role of renovation, updating and refitting the GMC with new technologies, ideas and features as the key to keeping these classic coaches on the road and a viable option. A well updated GMC is more than a viable option to the high priced RV industry offerings, a custom built GMC will cost actually less and have more of the features and conveniences discriminating folks demand. As the front page of this site states, “We want to be a networking source for parts, services & information and restoration for thing classic coach..
Take a look at the depth of our expertise through who we have helping us here at the Co-op, the team effort of professional artisans your dreams can come true. All of this sounds very altruistic, I know, but I believe that the best days for the GMC motorhome are yet to come and the Co-op sees its role as one of increasing the awareness of this unique classic vehicle and its potential in a renovated state for private and commercial use. As the GMC is recognized for what it can do and the economy at which it can offer such options of travel and business use, the Co-op will be there to guide these new owners and help shape the promising future of a truly exciting vehicle.
Being a 26 & 23′ front wheel drive, drop floor, gas and diesel powered, light handling vehicle, the GMC can be looked upon as much more than a mere motorhome. As a matter of fact, when asked what the Co-op does, I tell folks that we are not in the “motorhome” business, we build 26′, 12,000lb. vintage hot rods with plumbing! We have built & maintained coaches that are a vital part of commercial businesses too. Hospitality suites on site, transportation vehicles with a twist, traveling offices, showrooms and the list goes on. Of course, many of our customers have renovated their GMC as a private travel and live-in vehicle adding personal touches and new technologies for reliability and comfort and this will probably be the mainstay of the coaches use. More and more new GMC owners find them uniquely suited, though, for these special uses.. Their driveability, serviceability, renovation capability, construction and style have been found to offer use like nothing else on the new vehicle market for 2 or 3 times the price.
We see folks interested in the possibilities a GMC motorhome offers every day. The excitement is contagious and as they talk about their vision of a coach and their needs, we learn more. I have gotten even more optimistic over the future the more I’m involved with this fantastic machine.
The Co-op has grown, not to simply get bigger, but to offer more services to those seeking help. Yes, in the 28 years we have been servicing the GMC community we have grown to include full interior, mechanical and exterior services but we have not grown past our original mission or the personal (one on one) touch we have become known for. We have based our company on helping realize the true potential of this most unique classic vehicle. We look at the GMC motorhome as the “longest, tallest, widest, production, American made hot rod ever produced and this is the way we treat them. As more new owners renovate coaches you will see them more appreciated. This visibility will create more interest and thus raise the interest and value of the coach. The Co-op wants to be there to help.
We currently are looked upon for service, repairs and preventive maintenance and we will, of course, always be available for these needs but we are also looking to the future for parts availability both replacement as well as updated types and the special and private use renovations.
Offering the services we do to such a narrow niche market is quite difficult and the Co-op needs your help to continue to grow. The Co-op was formed by enthusiasts looking to the future of a unique vehicle. We do not see ourselves as a dealership or large volume based concern, rather a unique vehicle specialty shop building dreams one at a time. Establishing a facility to encompass all aspects of renovating a GMC motorhome is not a small feat. A regular antique car restoration shop has it made, they only have to focus on mechanical, body/paint and interior matters. We, on the other hand, must concern ourselves with all of this plus most of the functions of a home ( AC electrical wiring, cabinet work, plumbing, A/V systems, furniture not to mention major appliances and sleeping accommodations. The only thing we don’t have to worry about in looking at a house is the grass! It is no good only doing part of a job and until a coach is totally renovated, it cannot be called complete!
The Co-op has grown through your interest and support. It would not be what it is today and most certainly have such an exciting future if not for the resurgence of the GMC and vision of their owners. We want to continue to grow and become even more involved in the future of this classic.
We say that we are a small specialty shop but by virtue of having to offer so many different services, we have grown to almost 26,000 sf and am looking for more room not to get bigger but because we’re tripping over ourselves as it is and we need more space for all of the things we do.
Let me end this for now and say that if you own a GMC motorhome, you are in a unique group, don’t sell it! If you are interested in one, good for you. The Co-op will be here for anyone interested in the preservation and renovation of this classic functional vehicle. Look to the future and you will see why we are here.
Thanks for your time and give us a call if we can help,
Here’s a question many ask when it comes to renovating the GMC, thought I would put this down for you to read. Go to Why do it for this.