In the 1970’s, General Motors entered the RV market. Drawing on the exuberance of the times, the company set out to create the ultimate American Motor home.
Their aim was to produce a top-of the-line vehicle with cutting-edge design and construction, not just another competitor in the already crowded vacation vehicle market.
The common design in this era was a boxy, ungainly and top-heavy unit on a truck chassis. The GMC vehicle was intended to be a completely new design in every way.
Design work began in 1970, with the market introduction planned for 1973. “Doesn’t look like a box or ride like a truck” was the GMC ad slogan.
The new vehicle would be unusual for this era in several ways. First of all, it was to have a front wheel drive, a rare concept in cars of that day and unheard-of in mobile homes.
The drive train and suspension were taken from the design of the Oldsmobile Toronado. The 265 horsepower 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile engine was attached to a Turbohydramatic 425 transmission with torsion bar suspension.
The rear suspension was a product of GM’s bus design, using dual swing arms, one leading...