Friday, January 13, 2006


I don't really like posting about things that aren't actually available, but every great once in a while I'll make an exception. I've always had a bit of a motorhome fetish, though, and man, do I want one of these!

The GMC PAD features a Diesel-Electric hybrid system, which acts as a generator for the onboard power grid as well as propulsion for DriveMode. With the PAD’s resource management technology, onboard fuel & water supplies would last for weeks or even months on end. During daylight hours, the PAD’s SkyDeck features 6 M-Sq of photovoltaic cells that collect and store the sun’s natural energy. An electromagnetic suspension aids in leveling & stabilization when the PAD is being used in the LifeMode as well as remarkably easy handling while in DriveMode.

Direct TV, OnStar, XM Satellite Wi-Fi and are continually online to provide an endless variety of entertainment, information and security options and the PAD’s LCD interior architecture creates a media rich environment unlike any other. Electronically variable exterior glazing means privacy is always at your fingertips. The PAD’s rearmost area is devoted to a personal spa created in conjunction with Kohler. The food prep / kitchen area features a full suite of PAD-specific appliances developed by Thermador.

For outdoor living, the PAD features an integrated SkyDeck for enjoying the sights & sounds of LA culture.

[via Gizmag]

And, see, here's the thing -- GMC has an excellent track record when it comes to designing and then actually producing great motorhomes.

"After rumors circulated throughout the auto and recreational vehicle industries for nearly two years, the prototype was displayed in May, 1972 at the Transpro '72 trade show in Washington, D.C. Production vehicles debuted in the 1973 model year to general acclaim from the recreational vehicle community. Two models were offered, Model 230(23 feet) and Model 260(26 feet), in two variations Motorhome(provided with GM finished interior) and Transmode(bare coaches sold to RV manufacturers such as Avion and Coachman who provided their own interior).

Although the design was refined along the way, the basic vehicle was never altered. Body panels from a 1973 will fit a 1978. The most notable change came in 1977, when Oldsmobile dropped the 455 cubic inch engine for the 403. By then, the oil embargoes and energy crises of the 70's had taken their toll. "Gas guzzler" vehicles like motorhomes fell out of favor and the entire RV industry fell on hard times. The motorhome was never a high volume vehicle and was rumored never to have been profitable for the automotive giant. General Motors decided that the production facilities would be better utilized in the production of light trucks - estimating they could produce 100 light trucks for every motorhome manufactured. The formal announcement came in November of 1977 and production was discontinued in the 1978 model year after manufacturing around 13,000 total units." [GMC Motorhome FAQ]

A friend had one of these, and others I've talked to have said that they were so well-designed, well-built and versatile that few other motorhomes before or since can even compare. Unfortunately, the rumor mentioned above is probably true -- I doubt GMC ever made a profit with those motorhomes.


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