BF Auction: 1977 GMC Kingsley MotorHome

Asking: $25,499Make Offer

  • Seller: Gregory M cDowell
  • Location: Vallejo, California
  • Mileage: 47,000 Shown
  • Chassis #: TZE167V100454
  • Title Status: Clean
  • Engine: 455 V8
  • Transmission: Automatic

For a half-dozen years in the 1970s, GMC’s Truck and Coach Division made one of the nicest and most iconic motorhomes of all time. Their advertising was even great, with lines like, “We hide our best work where it does the most good” while showing the chassis of a GMC Motorhome and touting GM’s decades of experience making trucks and buses. This beautiful 1977 GMC Motorhome, “Kingsley,” is listed here as a Barn Finds Auction!

Distinctive is a word that keeps popping up in my brain when I see a GMC Motorhome. From the tandem axles to the combination of molded fiberglass and aluminum panel body panels, you won’t see anything like this on the road or in a campground unless it’s another GMC. They’re instantly recognizable, and I don’t just mean from being in movies, which they have been in many times.

Between 1973 and 1978, GMC offered savvy travelers this line of motorhomes in different models or themes. For 1977, there was the Kingsley, as seen here, the Palm Beach, and the Eleganza II. There may have been other names depending on the trim level and length, which was either 26 feet or 23 feet, and there were several different floor plans. This example is said to have traveled 47,000 miles, and the seller is the second owner, having purchased it from the original owner, drag racing legend Ron Pelligrini, seven years ago.

From the Seller – I bought it seven years ago from the original owner, Drag racing legend Ron Pelligrini. Internet search his name for more info as he had a great impact on drag racing. He purchased it so his wife could have luxury at the drag races. The motorhome spent most of its life in Beverly Hills. It is 99% original, except for the headliner and maintenance items. It’s not show car perfect but it presents very well. To be perfect, the drip rails should be painted, and the headliner replaced eventually as the replacement is failing. Interior pictures don’t show the upholstery as well as it looks in person, as it looks like they may have some fading, which they don’t. It always starts up, but I’ve barely driven it, and it is time to sell to someone who can take it places.

This 26-foot time capsule really looks nice, and the seller has included a lot of good photos inside and out, showing its era-perfect interior finishes and features. If you think that the steering wheel looks familiar, it’s because this GMC is powered by an Oldsmobile 455 V8 and uses GM parts bin items like the steering column and steering wheel, etc.

Almost everything a person would need on a camping trip, or even to live full-time, is included behind the cockpit. This isn’t a million-dollar bus-based coach of modern times with a washer and dryer, microwave, slide-out rooms, etc., but if you can’t live in this one for a few days or weeks, I don’t know what else to say. This GMC has spent most of its time in Beverly Hills, California with the first owner and now resides in Vallejo, in the San Francisco area.

Including an engine photo on a motorhome listing is a classy move—well done, seller! This is an Oldsmobile 455-cu.in. OHV V8, and it sends power through a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission to the front wheels. The seller says this motorhome runs and drives well, is mostly original other than maintenance items and a new headliner, and isn’t being used as much as it should be, so that’s why it’s for sale. If you’re looking for a vintage motorhome, this is it!

Bid On This Auction

High Bid: $14,000 (Reserve Not Met)
Make An Offer
Ended: Jul 15, 2024 11:10am MDT
High Bidder: Cary
  • Cary bid $14,000.00  2024-07-15 11:07:51
  • garu sonnenschein
    bid $13,559.00  2024-07-15 11:04:16
  • Cary bid $13,000.00  2024-07-15 11:03:39
  • garu sonnenschein bid $12,559.00  2024-07-15 11:00:41
  • Cary
    bid $11,000.00  2024-07-15 10:59:58
  • garu sonnenschein bid $10,559.00  2024-07-15 10:59:42
  • Cary bid $8,400.00  2024-07-15 10:52:47
  • Not Dead Yet
    bid $7,800.00  2024-07-15 10:49:07
  • Cary bid $7,350.00  2024-07-15 09:34:38
  • mtroyal bid $7,100.00  2024-07-15 09:13:07
  • Not Dead Yet
    bid $6,825.00  2024-07-15 09:09:45
  • Cary bid $6,500.00  2024-07-14 18:25:26
  • mtroyal bid $6,010.00  2024-07-14 14:15:41
  • ZMan
    bid $5,250.00  2024-07-14 13:01:19
  • Uncle Moe bid $5,000.00  2024-07-13 19:35:55
  • Cary bid $4,500.00  2024-07-12 05:44:08
  • Denino
    bid $4,000.00  2024-07-09 19:48:35
  • K McDevitt bid $3,750.00  2024-07-09 18:52:48
  • Denino bid $3,500.00  2024-07-09 12:12:43
  • Chris
    bid $3,000.00  2024-07-09 09:11:37
  • Nic bid $2,500.00  2024-07-09 08:49:01
  • Mike W bid $750.00  2024-07-09 08:44:45
  • alfie53
    bid $500.00  2024-07-08 12:17:26

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Mark

    “C’mon, it’s Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick ’em up, we zip right out again. We’re not going to Moscow. It’s Czechoslovakia. It’s like going into Wisconsin”……

    Like 33
    • Robbie M.

      I got the s#*t kicked out of me in Wisconsin!

      Like 15
    • Wademo

      “Urban Assault Vehicle!”

      Like 12
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        EM-50 “Stripes”

        Like 7
  2. Mike F

    I have longed for one of these since they were introduced. These are truly the best executed motor homes ever built. The Toronado drive train with no drive shaft allowed the chassis to sit low like a passenger car instead of a truck making the step-in height low and the aerodynamics better than any class-A RV. There’s an entire industry specializing in refurbishing these with updates to the drivetrain like fuel injection and 500CI engines, re-gasketing all the windows and of course redecorating. Even in their original form, these still are very liveable RVs. Some of the floorplans even have bathtubs. If this were closer, I’d bid.

    Like 17
    • HHO Guy

      I had a ’77 Eleganza that had been completely redone inside and out, including rebuilding the 455 and the trans, plus new cabinets and interior etc. The seller gave me receipts totaling over $55k. It was an awesome rig. I wish I’d kept it frankly, and I’m going to see if i can get in the fray on this one. I belong to a GMC club and I’ve never seen one this nice in original condition. They’re on FB if you have an interest btw.

      Like 4
  3. Todd FitchStaff

    A highly original unit! Still more advanced than today’s box-truck-based RVs. This is what happens when a company with nearly unlimited resources decides to make the world’s best motorhome. A lively aftermarket and owner community makes it easier to take the plunge. This one looks turn-key down to the house vacuum system. A beauty that will turn heads everywhere. This one is something special!

    Like 20
    • Nelson C

      So true, Todd. Back when GM could do anything they set their minds to. One special vehicle that didn’t seem to be hamstrung by the bean counters. Really the Cadillac of motorhomes even though it was partly Oldsmobile.

      Like 6
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      It’s still attractive. I also appreciate something that’s rugged enough to go wherever the RVer wants to go. It may not climb rocks, but so what? You want to be able to get to that rock so that you and some friends can climb these rocks. When it comes to motorhomes, I believe that function is as important as style.

      Like 6
    • CaryMember

      Any way we can more information ?

      Like 0
    • TLBrownMember

      Is it possible to contact the seller? I’m interested in knowing if all systems are functional.
      Please let me know. Thank you

      Like 0
  4. Danno

    Perfect for living The Life Asphaltic.

    Like 7
  5. Len

    I have the 78 version with a 403 in it. You take care of them and they run forever. Maintenance is fairly straightforward and the GMC motor home community is outstanding!

    Like 13
  6. Howard A. HoAMember

    I wouldn’t dawdle on this one. For the time, this was the best motorhome on the market. Previously, motorhomes were glorified dump trucks, this was entirely new. It’s air ride suspension gives a ride unequalled and with it’s design, like driving a car. Fact is, many a Dairy Queen roof was compromised by drivers forgetting that. The “living” quarters is pretty standard for the time, it’s the vehicle itself that I don’t think was ever surpassed. GMC made some of the best trucks, and this is no exception.

    Like 15
  7. Harvey HarveyMember

    Should be easy on gas.

    Like 3
    • bobk

      lol (re: the “easy on gas” comment. That all depends on what you are comparing it to. Compared to a Saturn V booster, it is absolutely frugal.

      Like 15
      • Tman

        Or an M1 A-2 Tank

        Like 6
  8. bull

    A 26 footer.

    An old motorhome for old men and women.

    Now if this was a 23 footer you would really have something.

    That being a “10,000 Pound Hot Road”.

    Yes 3 less feet really does make a HUGE DIFFERENCE!

    Like 7
    • bull

      I made a spelling error.

      Should read “10,000 Pound Hot Rod”!

      Like 2
  9. Jay McCarthy

    Mack Bolans War Wagon

    Like 1
    • Len

      urban assault vehicle em50

      Like 4
  10. Budster

    Touche to all the comments here. I grew up in the RV industry. These GMC’s were nice and different. Will anyone remember Winebago’s attempt at duplicating this? They built around a hundred units or so, I think called Spectrum or such. While working at Lazy Daze Rv in Florida I worked on just 2 of these. Winebago built them with a rear engined Dodge motor placed diagonally. It was a very problematic coach. They stopped production. My boss went to Iowa and bought all of their built coaches and all inventory with the caveat, no mention of Winebago was allowed. Heck, they sold them all in a few months, and they do look like GMC s.

    Like 5
    • Danno

      I think Airstream did a couple versions, as well, clad in aluminum. Beautiful to behold, but I think fibreglass is the appropriate material to ride out a hailstorm, in.

      Like 0
    • Matt H.Member

      Winnebago Spectrum 2000 (1989)

      Like 5
      • Matt H.Member

        Winnebago Spectrum 2000 (1989)

        Like 4
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        This is perhaps the best looking Winnebago RV I’ve seen. At least it doesn’t look like a brick on wheels.

        Like 0
  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    I was way too young at the time to drive a car, but I remember when my now late father would visit Darrington Washington to attend the Darrington Bluegrass Festival. During our time there, we’d see all manner of RVs, from Airstream caravans to Winnebago. My favourites were the GMC Motorhome, the FMC and the Travco.

    Like 2
  12. Larisa

    I went to bid and it shows I must sign up for monthly or yearly payments just to be able to bid. Nope.

    Like 1
    • Joshua MortensenStaff

      Hi Larisa,

      We need a way to verify bidders’ identities and ensure they are serious about purchasing the vehicle if they win the auction. Other auction companies charge anywhere from $100 to $500 to register to bid. I understand not wanting to sign up for another recurring membership, but you can cancel it as soon as you sign up. Your account will remain active for 30 days, so you can bid on this or any other auctions during that time. Plus, you get ad-free browsing! If you have questions or concerns about signing up, email us at mail@barnfinds.com.

      Like 9
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        That certainly makes sense.

        Like 5
  13. HHO Guy

    These were originally built to ferry astronauts to the launch pad after NASA asked GM to build them something that would let the guy (or guys) stay if they having launch difficulties because it could go on for hours. They’re great campground vehicles but not so good offroad.. I did it west of Sedona on the forest roads in a ’77 Eleganza back in the day and it was slow going, but a lovely place to camp, and I had a motorcycle on the back to get to town when I needed to. If I had the money I’d bid on this because I’ve never seen one as nice as this one is in original condition and I love the old school look.. and I used to go to the drags a lot in CO so it’s history is cool as well. This is a great opportunity for a GMC lover to get a very nice old school rig.

    Like 2
    • bull

      Riddle me this HHO Guy.

      If the GMC’s were built for NASA why did NASA use an Airstream coach and trailers instead of GMC???

      Like 2
      • HHO Guy

        I’m just going on what I read.. I’ll look it up and see what I can find.

        Like 0
      • HHO Guy

        Apparently the article I read was incorrect, but the use of an Airstream didn’t come into use until 1983 for the Shuttle program, which was after GM shut down production of their motorhome line after the last run in ’78.

        I found this on the AutoEvolution website regarding the earlier vehicles NASA used:
        “Starting with Apollo 7, a highly modified Clark-Cortez motorhome with accommodations for three astronauts, their ground support crew, and all their equipment with room to spare in the rear. As the brainchild of the Clark Forklift Company, these motorhomes were either a Mopar, GM, or Ford product. However, the company wasn’t shy about borrowing a part or two from the big three U.S. auto giants.”

        It may be that whomever wrote what I read previously assumed Cortez used GMC motor homes, but it’s a mystery to me at this point.

        Like 0
  14. The Cadillac Kid

    I like the Cadillac steering wheel.

    Like 0
    • len

      That is the original wheel, same as mine

      Like 1
      • The Cadillac Kid

        Yes and my 75 and 76 Cadillacs had one the same but with a small caddy emblem in the middle.

        Like 0
  15. 2VT

    Here’s a first person story about a GMC motorhome that you’re not likely to hear anywhere else. Back around 1979 two friends of mine started up a turbocharging shop. One was an engineer, one was a fabricator. The engineer had worked at Garrett turbo and even left with a patent or two relevant to turbos..
    One day a GMC MOTORHOME w/403 came in. It had been turbocharged and subsequently melted the motor down. The system made more heat and detonation than it did to improve performance.The guy had the engine repaired and came into it our shop to ask what we could do to keep it from doing that again. Our engineer said ” spend $14,000 and we will do it correctly “. Not surprisingly the guy said PASS and left. However a few months later he returned and the engine had been repaired one more time. He said “okay do it”. It got a Garrett T4 turbocharger, a Bosch CIS fuel injection system from a Mercedes 6.3, it got an air filter from a Peterbilt and an exhaust system that was 22 ft of 5 in stainless steel pipe. When it was done we took it to San Fernando dragway and with four people in the kitchen hanging on to the table it turned 17.89 in a quarter mile. We had to de-tune it some as it had a tendency to smoke the front tires. In fact when the guy picked it up he drove down the street, turned right on to a major boulevard, stomped on the pedal got a ticket for exhibition of speed. Did I mention you’ll never hear a story like this again?

    Like 17
  16. NicMember

    Does the vehicle have any water damage?
    Are there any photos of the bath room available !?

    Like 0
  17. Mark

    There is a guy not too far from where this is located that outfits these with small block diesels. Manny…a buddy of mine had him do his and the entire process was a trip, as was us getting it to him. My buddy decided to cobble the 403 enough to get us from KC to SF (via the southern route, that thing wasn’t going to make it over the Rockies). It had been gutted, so it was us, two Toyota minivan seats bolted to the frame using 2x4s with some tools and spare parts. The dashboard panel was taped to the windshield Early November, 2020. No heat, so we were bundled up until we hit Southern California. Driving at night, middle of nowhere KS, hit a bump and headlights/dash lights went out. Also, it was a new moon so it was pitch black, and we were flying down the road at 65mph. Honestly one of my best road trips ever.

    Reeeealllly makes me want to go for this one…

    Like 1
    • Len

      If I did not have one just like this I’d buy it in a heartbeat!

      Like 0
  18. Steve

    Arguably the nicest motorhome ever designed. It didn’t look like a box on wheels.

    Like 0
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      My thinking exactly! If you look at today’s motorhomes, they look like painted bricks on wheels, not the least bit pleasing to the eyes.

      Like 0
  19. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’d buy a GMC Motorhome if I had someone to share the experience and responsibilities that come with RVing. I’d keep the Motorhome as original as possible, while also upgrading certain things, among many things, a 6.5 litre turbo diesel engine.

    Like 0
    • Nelson C

      Brought to you by the people that built the Futureliner.

      Like 0
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I’ve heard of the Futurliner.

        Like 0
  20. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    Wow. First off. If I bought this I wouldnt change anything. This is just mind blowing how beautiful the condition is. These were a true testament to just how rugged the Olds Toronado powertrains really were. If you ever saw the frame photographs without the body. The engineering that went into these is amazing. This is a really good one that should have no problem finding a new home

    Like 1
  21. Homer

    Years ago I saw one melt down at a Midas Muffler shop in Wichita, Ks. By the time the fire dept got there it was toast. Don’t know what caused the issue.

    Like 0
  22. Chuck Simons

    Wonder how old the tires are. I’m thinking of bidding

    Like 0
  23. ZManMember

    Can the seller provide for information on recent maintenance members? The last time it was on the road. Do all the systems meaning water? Propane oven cooked top generator work as intended.
    Does it have the replacement Alcoa aluminum wheels?
    Thanks for the info.

    Like 0
    • Len

      Those are the 16.5 by 8.75 stock tires

      Like 0
  24. bull

    Why not contact the seller directly to have all your questions answered???

    Like 0
    • ZmanMember

      I didn’t see any means to contact the seller directly. I’d be happy to do that, please. Someone give me direction

      Like 0
  25. TLBrownMember

    I’m in agreement with the last posting. Is there a way to contact the owner directly? I am interested in the mechanical condition and operability of everything.
    By the looks of the condition, it would seem that everything was kept in operating condition.
    Love this site. Desiring to bid on this. I have a road trip in mind!

    Like 0
  26. bull

    Register to bid and you may find a way to contact the seller directly.

    Like 0
    • ZManMember

      I have registered to bid and in fact, I’ve placed a bid.
      I have bought a number of vehicles through. Bring a trailer and I think barn find has some work to do supervisor experience of photos, information, and communication.

      Like 0
  27. Rock

    I have a 77 Royale that just gutted to
    Completely up date if anyone needs Onan generator , I have 2 that are up for grabs in NY

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds