1987 Zimmer Motor Coach: Executive Decision

zimmer

By the same seller of the dilapidated Mercedes 6.9 comes this executive-friendly motorhome made by Zimmer in the 1980s, listed on eBay with the reserve unmet. It’s funny to think how things like a VHS player meant you had “made it” in the 1980s, and the seller claims his business demanded a vehicle like the Zimmer for transporting foreign executives when they came to visit. Other features still attached to this project Zimmer include a coffee machine, color TV, stereo and microwave, as well as a very tiny bathroom. I also hope you like whomever you’re sitting near, since you’re going to be staring directly at them for the duration of the trip! These Zimmers were definitely a different take on the motor home and I quite like the way they look – but I wonder if features like the push-button passenger door will ever work again. After only being made for 2 years, it’s safe to say you’ll never see yourself parked in the RV lot.

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Comments

  1. Walter Joy

    Called it. Mentioned it in the other post

  2. MacVaugh

    Seller claims to have owned this since the 90s, but it has an out-of-state dealer tag on if from 2007.

    I’d be suspicious of any other claims made.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Yep.

      Says the seller: “….this is a NO RESERVE auction with a very low minimum starting bid! ”

      Yet here we are, 16 bids in, and “Reserve not net” right below the top bid….
      I have not looked at the 6.9 Mercedes listing… Not sure I want to view another example of stacked-on hyperbole.

      Also… Is this a FWD unit? Must be some seriously overtaxed Taurus drivetrain under the windshield, struggling to pull that big body and two tag axles around.

  3. Mark E

    The place I worked at in the mid to late ’80s rented one of these when the president and top brass of the company visited our location. I snuck out and took a look inside and my reaction was “Huh?!?” It essentially seems like a long motor home with facing la-z-boys on either side of the asile and BOOM you have an ‘executive limousine’ (which was what the service called it, seriously!). A pretty posh way to get car sick from traveling sideways in a cushy recliner.

  4. hoby

    Looks like an 80s Dodge Omni Front clip.

    • Bobby Wickham

      Funny as heck, your right!! I just bought a rough one for $1400. It has white Lear jet seats throughout. It has the PRV motor which I am taking out to put in my 1977 Alpine Renault A310. I plan on putting in a 1983 Porsche 928 4.7l v8 twin cam motor in the Zimmer coupled to a ford 91inch rear axle. It will boogie then.
      I don’t know why I also like French cars!! They did after all create the first automobile.

      • Bobby Wickham

        Going to haul it home tomorrow!!!

      • Jd

        ill take a long shot on an old post, if you ever want to sell that beautiful girl let it be known. !

    • Bobby Wickham

      I also picked up this beast a 1967? Dodge Travco for $400 from the same guy!
      It has a 318 wedge motor!

      .

      • Bobby Wickham

        These are coming around for the “Glamping” crowd. Its neat. I like the aerodynamic backside, but the front is Dodge ugly!!

  5. Charles

    I worked in the RV industry during the late 80’s and early 90’s. There were quite a few rigs cobbled togather from various parts available. FWD motorhomes promised better fuel economy, and lower center of gravity. Often units were thrown togather with almost no enginnering forethought and thus preformed poorly on all levels.

    The best of the bunch were the units such as the GMC and Clark Cortez that used the FWD Olds 455 engine and Turbo400 auto. Since these unit used a deticated well enginnered FWD plaform designed by GM, they performed decently enough. Even so one can expect to replace front wheel bearings every 30K or so, as the bearings were not up to the task of carrying a motorhome around. The solution was to weld a bracket together that held two bearings next to each other to stablize the reinforce the system. It was moderately effective, extending the wheel bearing life to 35K or so. Even so those coaches were the best of the breed and many are still on the highway today.

    The LeShario by Winnebago was a common variation on the FWD, low center of gravity, gas sipper motor coaches, using a Renault FWD setup. The little Renault powertrain was overtaxed, expensive to repair, and difficult to obtain parts for.

    Coachman made a unit that used an F-250 Ford pick-up chassis with a 351 V8. Although this sounds good so far the power was put to the pavement using a standard Ford automatic coupled to a 4WD transfer case with a block out plate were the rear drive shaft normally connected. The F-250 front axle pulled the unit and it was billed as a FWD coach with a low floor height and low center of gravity. The problem is that it was also a POS and prone to driveline failures. The upside is that parts were easy to obtain as 90% of it were F-250 off the shelf items.

    There were a few more of these odd beasts, but my memory is blank right now.

    This Zimmer appears to be another FWD comglomeration of pieces and parts. Hopefully someone can identify the drivetrain and we will all understand more about this rig. I don’t see any collector value present, as the unit probably was not that great in the day.

    These units all share many common short fall when compared to other RV’s available. Most of them are underpowered and overworked. They are easily overloaded and won’t tow anyting extra. Most RV’ers like to tow something… A motorcycle, boat, a car, a jeep, whatever. Parts are often non-existant and when you can find them, very expensive. With the exception of the FWD Olds powered units, I can’t see that any of them have much value.

    • Scot Carr

      ~ Left out one other FWD Oldsmobile transaxle motor home, the Revcon. It was the vehicle which would prompt GM to begin to consider their own in-house coach. The units were extensively tested at the proving grounds before an agreement could be reached to purchase the 455 and TH425 running gear, later going to the 454. The whole idea was the brainchild of John Hall, stepson of Airstream founder, Wally Byam, and used similar aluminum aircraft construction techniques, with fiberglass end caps. By the ’80s the retail prices were over $100,000. My particular coach has been tranplanted with a 500cid Cadillac. Very comfortable, both driving and overnight.

      • Charles

        Revcon is the one I could not remember the name of. Those are nice coaches!

    • Paul Falce

      They came with a 455 until the middle of the 1977 model yr and then went to a 403 motor, still rooming the highways with numbers in the 8000 range of the original 12,000 made . this is my 1976 transmode outfitted by rollalong and branded a Santana , only 29 made by this company .airbrush work high lights on original Imron paint. interior upgrades include all led lighting, surround sound ,ethan allen chairs, upgraded dash and monitors. wheels by Moto metal,

      • Scot Carr

        ~ Correct — probably explains why my ’78’s Olds engine was yanked.
        There isn’t a link for your GMC but I love’m.
        What is the survival rate of GMCs?

  6. Leon

    What was the motorhomes that used Volvo or a BMW diesel setup

  7. Charles
  8. Charles

    http://www.rvbusiness.com/2011/08/liberty-coach-debuts-volvo-equipped-motorhome/

    I am not aware of a Volvo powered motorcoach until the recent offerings, although European RV offerings might have used a Volvo chassis, drivetrain, or both. The Vixen units that used a BMW engine are pretty rare. I think the article says that they built 587 of them. I have never seen one in person.

    We used to see lots of Winnebago Renault powered Le Shario’s back in the day, however once people begin to have mechanical issues with them, most of them were either parked or junked. In the 80’s a Le Shario altenator sold for $1100.00 plus the labor to install it. A Renault altenator was too small to handle the electrical demands of a motorhome, and nothing else would fit without extensive modifications. At the same time one could purchase a rebuilt GM, Ford, or Chrysler altenator for $40.00. I have a little game that I play when we are traveling. I see how many Le Shario units I can spot in back yards around the US. It is amazing how many of those things were parked and have never been recommissioned.

    • Leon

      Google search shows there’s a
      Company now converts LaSharos to Chrysler power

  9. Mike D

    the seller states he has 48 vehicles that he has to get rid of, and didn’t have the time or interest to clean them up, yet, only has four listed on ebay as for sale , it sounds like he ” collected” said vehicles to make a statement to the township where he lives (I’ll collect vehicles if I want to, it’s my property) now is being forced to get rid of them , if he couldn’t afford to advertise all of them, he could ” accidentally” have pics of the other vehicles he has in the background . I’ll avoid name calling, but he sounds like a winner to me

    • Alan (Michigan)

      His “Collection” equates to a personal scrap yard, it seems.

    • krash

      Mike D…..

      by adding the qualifier ” but he sounds like a winner” the name calling was ultimately unavoidable, inevitable, and (doggonit) quite fitting…

      ……let the name calling commence…

  10. George

    When one takes a look at his eBay ID: Seller information taxliensales (1385 ), it gives lots of pause. One of his other listings is an Audi A4 with a broken timing belt. Lots of deferred maintenance since it has 123K and the recommended replacement is at 75K. Best beware and make a very careful inspection.

    He has no knowledge of mechanical maintenance or operation according to his description for the Audi.

    “After having the car towed to my house one of the mechanic who checked the car told me that the timing belt broke off as it was the original one and was cracked and gave up. He said after checking that there’s no water in the oil so “its a good news” according to him and whatever that means! But I tried starting several time it just turns but won’t catch on. Mechanic later told me that it will need a new timing belt in order to start it. I’ve been it would cost any where between $200 and $300 to replace the timing belt. I have no time to mess as I am getting rid of most the car collection I have (48+ cars). Dont wanna deal with Audi Authorized STEALERS and the thieving crooked mechanic shops! Dropped the price from $6500 to $2500. Found a used motor with 78000 miles for $800 but I don’t trust used motor and on top of that you still have to deal with the crooked mechanics who tell you one thing and once they get started they start playing scare tactics telling the need this and the car needs that and on and on and on!”

    • Alan (Michigan)

      The Audi just has to be an interference engine.??

      And, who is really this dense regarding a timing belt in a modern engine?
      After listening to explanations from a string of “mechanics”, he still acts clueless.

      That is hardly possible for anyone who begins with zero mechanical knowledge.

      Caveat Emptor!

      • George

        Within his rant that I didn’t copy, the dealer said $800 to replace the timing belt which is well below the $1200 average. The kit alone is $300. It just took a 60 second Google to find that info.

        The maintenance schedule was very clear on mileage although when I looked at the info, most Audi forum owners recommended every 60K to be on the safe side.

    • krash

      hmmm…did someone say paranoid…

      …(..Gosh dang revenuers tryin’ to tell me what to do…)

  11. Toast54

    Aye, can ya tow yer Zwitter behind yer Zimmer?

  12. Mark

    Ya, “my international business visitors”…..If I was an “international business visitor” and you came to pick me up in that travesty anytime after 1989, I wouldn’t get in. Scrap at best. Embarrassing in even the worst RV lot in the country.

  13. George

    The exterior design looks familiar. They probably started with an RV shell from some manufacturer and only the interior is Zimmer. Not even well laid out. The seats should at least swivel to talk to people in a well designed executive interior.

    The front and rear are straight out of the RV catalog. The spare tire holder is standard RV fare. When I first looked at the pics and saw the bars along the ceiling, I thought “Horizontal Stripper Poles.”

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