1965 GMC Open Road: The House Car

1965 GMC Open Road

We’ve featured some interesting and odd motorhomes lately. Well Reader Joleigh R recently shared her recent motorhome find and while it isn’t as odd as the UltraVan, it has quite the story! Here is what Joleigh has to say about this motorhome – Our 1965 GMC Open Road motorhome- or “House Car” as she was known back in the day. Purchased from the original owner who drove her from Florida here to Alaska and put 75k on her before parking her in this lean-to in 1985. We hauled her out, towed her home, cleaned her up and after soaking the motor, putting in a new water pump, radiator and a quick tune up she’s ready for more adventure.

Food left in Open Road

The inside was a time capsule. Everything was left just as it was from all the years previous use- there was even an unopened can of Parmesan cheese that expired 11-74! There’s even a sticker on the inside of the refrigerator explaining how to send a western union telegram if servicing is needed! She cleaned up beautifully, they really took good care of the girl.

GMC Open Road when found

It sounds like Joleigh found quite the time capsule, I just hope no one eats that parmesan! I just love all the little items that were still in this camper, like the various tools and the 8-tracks. I’m just amazed how well everything has fared, especially considering the harsh climate of Alaska. I want to thank Joleigh for sharing this find with us and I wish her good luck with it! I’m sure there will be plenty of new and fun memories made in it!


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  1. jim s

    there were some of these, without the sliding rear doors, in my area ” back in the day “. used mostly by people employed by contractors building the interstate highway system. great find.

  2. kenzo

    I wonder if the A/C still blows cold?
    Interesting find. I assume the trike being towed wasn’t part of the deal? haa haa haa

  3. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    What motor does it have ????

    • TonyinCNY

      There’s someone selling one in my area. It’s a 1965 GMC Open Road vehicle with a BIG BLOCK V6, he says, with 4 speed standard tranny. This is posted on the Syracuse, NY Craig’s List on 8/19/2017. It’s been posted for 9 days, so far.

  4. 1969Deuce

    Another very cool find. The red handled can opener takes me back to my childhood.

    Another good oppty for a good cleaning, wire-wheel, and then a satin clear coat to preserve.

    Very cool rear door. Very reliable base trucks.

  5. Rick

    I think the Oneders first manager drive this vehicle in ” That Thing You Do!”

  6. turretman1st

    hope its all original, any way to get photos of engine, while in the navy a friend had a 63 like that one, funny think though it had the thriftmaster 305 v6 with PLAID VALVE COVERS REALLY THEY WERE RED PLAID AS IN SCOTCH PLAID.

  7. Ed P

    The engine could certainly be a 305 v6. GMC had their own line of truck v6’s in the early ’60’s. There is still some fun left in this one.

  8. Charles

    These were also known as a Chassis Mount motorhome, as the first ones were similar to a Slide In Camper except for the fact that the camper box is bolted to the truck frame. Many of these Open Road units have a fold down hinged cover for the sliding glass door that doubled as a porch when the unit was parked. This unit looks clean on the inside. I would have it repainted on the outside to preserve the truck cab and bring her back to the way she looked in the 60’s.

  9. jaygryph

    Ha! My UltraVan came with one of those blue tin grill lighters. I think the last couple 60s and 70s era campers and RV’s dad and I have messed with all came with one. We’re up to two or three at this point I think. Must have been just as common as those red and white plastic modern versions of them are nowdays.

    Cool rig, always love all the oddball old campers, there’s just so many variants and they all have unusual stories to go with them since often times people are or were living in them. for extended periods.

  10. another bob

    That looks amazing. I’d be leery of whoever was inside if I saw it at a campground.

  11. George

    The “playlist” indicates the previous owners were an older couple when they bought it.

  12. ben

    I would be willing to bet that the owners of these wished that the rear had dualies. These were top heavy and a cross wind would easily be an issue, especially meeting a 18 wheeler.

    The guys from Jack a_ _ would probably be the only ones that would dare to eat the parmesan cheese.

    Cool find!

  13. RH Willetts

    John Steinbeck purchased one of these @ 1962 and did a road trip around America with a Poodle Named Charlie. Wrote an non fiction work called Travels with Charlie. Excellent. Out of print, but you can still find a used copy.


  14. Bobsmyuncle

    What an amazing find. A TON of envy here. That cheese isn’t real, I’m sure it’s fine.

    Now, am I right in thinking that the ‘thing’ on the dash is a pipe holder? If so, that just sells the truck. I couldn’t change a thing.

    LOVE it!!!

  15. Michael Gorrono

    I just bought mine 3 months ago!! It now has a new crate 350 in it. It has a granny 4 spd. It is GRANDPA CLEAN!

    Like 1
    • Daniel Dwyer

      I just inherited a 1965 GMC chassis mount motorhome and I don’t have the time to restore it. We got it running and were working on the brakes now. It is in pretty good shape and I am wondering where the best site to sell it may be. Thanks

      • George

        Why not here?

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