A Century of Tough Trucks With GMC
GMC is known for creating some of the toughest and most popular trucks and SUVs in the world today, and it's all thanks to the brand's commitment to quality, value, dependability and performance that they've kept on going for more than a century. Started back in 1902 as the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company by truck manufacturers, Max and Morris Grabowsky, the company was soon purchased by General Motors in 1909, under William Durant, with the aim of creating a brand that specializes in building tough and capable trucks. Today, we generally associate GMC with trucks and SUVs, but they're also known for having produced fire trucks, ambulances, military vehicles, motorhomes, and even transit buses. But if there's one thing that has stayed true over the years, it's that GMC vehicles are made tough and they've proven it time and time again.
E.G. Baker's 1927 "Cannonball Run"
One of the events that has further solidified GMC's image as a tough and dependable truck brand was E.G. "Cannon Ball" Baker's 1927 record setting cross country run. Baker was a famous motorcycle and race car driver at the time and is known for setting various long distance driving records, which later inspired the popular "Cannonball Run". Driving a GMC model 40, a two-ton truck that was loaded to capacity with Atlantic Ocean water, Baker set off from New York City to San Francisco to set the transcontinental speed record for trucks at the time. It took him 5 days, 17 hours and 36 minutes to cover the entire distance, and had nothing but praise for the GMC truck that he drove.
"No mechanical attention was required on the trip - not even pumping up a tire", Baker said. "The truck, the engine, its amazing performance and reserve capacities, I can most heartily recommend to the prospective owner", he added. And if that wasn't enough, the very same truck was further driven for 2,861 miles to Tulsa, Oklahoma, making it in time for the International Petroleum Exposition.
Today's GMC and its focus on fuel economy
Record setting performance and durability isn't enough when it comes to a modern driver's needs, we'll need some added features such as better fuel efficiency. Technology such as GMC's active fuel management system allow trucks and SUVs to have enough power and towing capacity to get the job done, while automatically adjusting their fuel consumption when they do not need the engine at full capacity. The secret lies in GMC's sophisticated computerized operation of their engines, which could seamlessly shift from eight cylinders or full capacity when going uphill or towing a heavy load, then go down to using just four cylinders temporarily when driving in the city or when less power is needed, thereby consuming less fuel.
It's safe to say that with the brand's commitment to dependability and performance, the GMC brand is well on its way for another century to come.
Celebrating the GMC Motorhome
Barring hotrods and Detroit muscle cars, there are very few automobile designs that have been distinctly American like the RV, and none have been made quite right like the GMC Motorhome. Manufactured by GMC from 1973 up to 1978, the GMC Motorhome is the only complete recreational vehicle built by a major automotive company. It was so different at the time since when compared to other motor homes, this vehicle was made for comfortable travel and wasn't built as a typical camper like those that we see nowadays. Because of its durable design and timeless appeal, it has gained a fanatical following that is still as strong today.
Evolution of a classic
Even today, the classic GMC Motorhome is considered well ahead of its time thanks to streamlined looks, car-like driving qualities, as well as features that could still rival some modern motor homes. The look and feel of the vehicle would draw heavily on General Motors' expertise in automobile design work that it looked like it came from the future, especially when it came out during the 70's. In fact, the vehicle's shape was aerodynamically streamlined to the point that it could meet the minimal drag requirements of modern sedans, and that's impressive for a big vehicle like an RV. And it handles just like a car, thanks to a front-wheel-drive transaxle, disc brake systems, and a lower drive height. It's no wonder that the GMC Motorhome has spawned countless user groups and clubs across the country that have painstakingly restored and maintained these rides.
GMC Motorhome's future
Modern RV's are already being custom made by a variety of companies, but the classic GMC Motorhome is here to stay, thanks to the care and devotion of its owners. As proof of its enduring design and appeal, it is estimated that, of the 13,000 units that were originally manufactured by GMC, there are still 8,000 to 9,000 Motorhomes that are still in active registration.