1978 GMC Motorhome




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This unique motorhome was built in 1978 as one of five that Coca-Cola gave away as National Grand Prize winners. Apparently there were three 1977s and two 1978s. The main difference is that the '78 has a 403 CID engine instead of the 455, and the refrigerator operates on 120/12 volt electrical power or propane. A friend of mine in Louisville KY purchased my unit off a dealer's floor. He put the first 7500 miles on it and I bought it from him in April of 1980. The original owner/winner was William M. Bruce. Tammy Wynett, who also bought her's from the original winner, owned the other 1978. It is now in a New York museum.There are over a dozen different interior layouts. Mine sleeps 6. The upper bunk has never been used. All the 26 foot GMCs have the same shower, a 50 gallon water tank, and 6000-watt generator. I get an average of 9.5 miles per gallon (more on the open road - less in the city) We also have a new set of headers so the buyer can upgrade the stock exhaust and get better MPG. The exterior is in excellent condition. It is also in great condition mechanically. I've tried to keep it as originalas possible. There are many new items including the generator and refrigerator (as you can see in the photos the fridge needs to have the coke machine repainted on it and we have removed the Coca-Cola from the sides of the coach, these can easly be repainted).

Video taken by the previous owner

A very rare model, the Coca-Cola, was built in two versions. The first was the "standard" model, offered in cameo white with a red horizontal stripe, the same pattern as other GMC Motorhomes. It is believed these motorhomes were used primarily by Coca-Cola bottlers and distributors as courtesy coaches and at public events. The second Coca-Cola model was dubbed the GadAbout and equipped with all the bells and whistles. The exterior paint was white with a sweeping wedge of Coca-Cola red up the sides that blended to a yellow near the top rear of the coach. The GadAbout name appeared near the front, and a bottle-cap-shaped spare tire cover was at the rear.

Inside, the Coca-Cola red upholstery was the same in both coaches. In the GadAbout, refrigerator door graphics made the appliance look like a soda-dispensing machine -- very impressive! Other extras were a Coca-Cola logo clock, and mirrored picture, as well as a rear table with a Coke checkerboard pattern (our checkerboard is a little worn but it can be repainted). On the dash above the glove box was an attractive pewter plaque with a GadAbout motorhome in profile and the slogan, "Coke adds life to . . . cruisin' in a GadAbout."

Five GadAbouts were given away to first-prize winners of a Coca-Cola contest held in December 1977. Twenty-five second-prize winners each received the use of a GMC Motorhome for two weeks along with $3,000 in cash. GMC records indicate that a total of 55 Coca-Cola models were built, most in 1977 and a few in 1978. It was originally believed that only five of the total were GadAbouts; however, more have been discovered lately, and as many as nine or 10 may have been built.

GM originally pitched its motorhome as a ‘multi-purpose vehicle’ for extended living. That was mostly a marketing fantasy, but in 1975 GM did launch an unfurnished Transmode model. Soon, GMCs were being turned into everything from mobile recording studios to laboratories. The Transmode shells were farmed to conventional coachbuilders such as Coachmen, and even Coca-Cola got into the game, offering custom ‘Gadabout’ models as prizes.

In 1977 GM shrank the engine, but the price by then had soared to $38,000. There was no place for the world’s coolest RV any more: in 1978, the production line in Pontiac, Michigan was shut down.

Don't miss out on this Very rare collectors item and also a nice R.V.


Also see: Bill Bryant, GMC Historian Collectables and Photos of a 1977 Gadabout


Gadabout on a recent episode of Pawn Stars




This coach is located near Kingsland, Texas