Still turning heads

March 12, 2018

On the road again: (Back) Trevor Pordage, Catherine Murphy, Aussie Classic GMC Motorhome Club president Gail Bennett with (front) Jeanette and Ian Powell.

Gail Bennett in her motorhome, which has been renovated and converted to right-hand drive.

Gail Bennett in her motorhome, which has been renovated and converted to right-hand drive.

Jeanette and Ian Powell inside their GMC motorhome.

For some, owning a motorhome and travelling Australia is just a dream, but for others it is their reality.

Six members of the Aussie Classic GMC Motorhome Club met in Shepparton on Friday, stopping in town on their way to Tasmania.

Their three classic vehicles took pride of place in the Terminus car park, with two couples travelling from Queensland to meet up with Shepparton members Ian and Jeanette Powell.

Club president Gail Bennett said the club was formed a year ago, with only 21 vehicles still in use in Australia.

‘‘The motorhomes were built in the ’70s with a classic design and they still turn heads wherever they go,’’ Ms Bennett said.

‘‘These vehicles were built from 1973 to 1978 and only 12000 of them were ever made.’’

The first club meeting was organised last year and following its success members decided to meet again, this time heading south to see others who live in Tasmania.

Club member Ian Powell said he first fell in love with these motorhomes when travelling to the United States in 1976.

‘‘I went to America and saw a GMC and thought they were the best looking vehicle I’d ever seen and when I retired, I decided to buy one,’’ Mr Powell said.

‘‘The club is good because you see what other members have done to their their cars and you think I never would have thought of doing that.’’

The group was taking the convoy down to Melbourne, where they were then planning to get on a boat to take them to Tasmania.

While most car clubs are statewide, Ms Bennett said their club was Australia-wide because there was so few of them in the country.

Ms Bennett said the ease of travelling in these motorhomes was what made them so appealing.

‘‘You can live in these, they’ve got bathrooms, showers and kitchens... you can move from town to town,’’ she said.

‘‘We usually travel once a month, at least eight or nine times a year.’’

The group plans to meet every year in different locations across the country.

While Ms Bennett said certain features of the vehicles were ahead of their time, according to the members there was always work that could be done on them.

The Bennetts completely renovated the interior of their vehicle and converted the steering to right-hand drive, while Mr Powell said he was working to restore the vehicle in its original condition.

‘‘I imported the car over here and it has taken four years to get it to this stage, and it’ll take another year to get it where I want it,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ve made everything as modern as I can while still keeping it as original as I could.’’

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