Mississippi Motorhome: 1974 FMC 2900R

We just saw a big boat, or yacht, depending on how a person refers to a 36-foot watercraft with two engines and one that they could easily live in. This 1974 FMC 2900R motorhome is another vehicle made for travel and one that cost a small fortune when new but now is a relative bargain. It’s listed here on eBay in beautiful Ocean Springs, Mississippi right on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and there is a $10,000 or offer price listed.

I literally dreamed about having an FMC motorhome as a kid which looking back on it now is even more nerdy than normal for me. Most kids are like, “Yeah, check out that Hemi Cuda!” Not me, I was into hard-sided camping and anything related to truck campers or motorhomes. I even subscribed to Camper Coachman and Motorhome Life magazines. Hey, I also got Motor Trend… These rigs were around $21,000 as a base price in 1974 which equates to about $109,000 today. A person can pay that much for a car or SUV without much trouble today, which is frightening. For comparison, and you may want to sit down for this one – in 1974 a Ferrari Dino 246 cost around $15,000 and they easily go for $300,000-$500,000 today. Not so with an FMC motorhome.

The 1970s were a funny time and not ha-ha funny, now that I think about it. More like oddball funny, like double-knit pants, white shoes, and leisure suit funny. Everything was about skiing and tennis and frisbee funny. And signs that were on posts so you have to read the words vertically funny. Remember those? Remember any of that? If you don’t, maybe you were into some other funny stuff back then. Back to this good looking FMC. As you can see it’s a rear-engine chassis and these were Class-A motorhomes – chassis and engine with a motorhome maker then attaching their version of the ultimate traveling home on top of that. I went through the history of FMC a little over three years ago on this post about another nice FMC.

This example looks somewhat updated on the exterior as far as the paint goes but the interior looks pretty dated now. And, not in a 1970s cool, funky, Brady-Bunch-orange-and-green-kitchen cool, but something in-between that and the fern bar era or maybe even the Reaganomics era of the 1980s. This is a Model J floor plan with the front-side couch that turns into a dinette and this unit is 29 feet long. There were no backup cameras in this era, a time when both men and women had the guts to drive something like this without 3D cameras and reverse cameras and lane change warning devices and self-braking, etc. I miss that old unbelievably-unsafe-I-can’t-believe-that-we-all-lived-through-it era.

This is a Mercury Marine… no wait, that was the boat. This is Chrysler’s 440 cubic-inch V8 and there’s a fair amount of surface rust on it as shown in the photos. The seller has provided almost 100 good photos and they get a big gold star for that. Have any of you owned an FMC motorhome or a similar one?

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Comments

  1. Bill Shields

    The name FMC motorhome rings a bell.
    Charles Kuralt?

  2. Bakyrdhero Member

    Class A write up Scotty! Now you have me intrigued by old Motorhomes..

    10
  3. mallthus mallthus Member

    Grandma’s house on wheels and grandma’s been dead a while.

    I’ve always wanted an FMC, Travco, Airstream, or GMC, but every time I see the inside of one that’s unrestored/updated, I’m reminded that making one nice would mean spending more money than the thing would be worth when I was done.

    I suppose if I ever really decide to live on the road, the money won’t matter as much and I could go through one of these front to back. There’s already a documented Duramax swap into an FMC (including the gauge cluster and cruise control even!) and the interior would probably only need cosmetics to be vastly improved. A few electronics updates (including some cameras) and it’d be time to see America.

    • Christo D

      A big yes to the GMC (full disclosure: I bought one a couple of months ago), the only coach ever designed and built by a major car company. It has an active, almost cult-like following. Front wheel drive, self-leveling air suspension in the rear, lots of windows, what’s not to love?

      10
    • William Brower

      When I see cruise control paired with a motorhome I think of the the people setting the CC and heading back to make a sandwhich…

    • DAVID6

      I HAVE A 1969 TRAVCO I OWNER COVERED STORAGE MDL. 270-318cu
      727 OVERDRIVE INSTALLED 33000 mi, STOVE & TOLET
      NEVER USED ? IT WAS BOUGHT NEW INGLEWOOD CA. 1969 THEY SLEPT IN IT BUT NEVER CAMPED, I IT BOUGHT FROM THEM 14 YRS AGO NEVER BEEN ON
      THE ROAD SINCE 1979 IT
      NEED’S PAINT & NOTHING
      ELSE

  4. Howard A Member

    I believe FMC was one of the best motorhomes. It had a lower stance than most, and I heard they drove like a car, not a box on a truck chassis. This particular unit been around the block a few times, and not many vintage motorhomes bring this kind of money ( as evidenced by no bids) Couple grand, tops.

    • Rosco

      You won’t find a running and driving FMC for a couple grand.

  5. CanuckCarGuy

    Scotty, your reference to modern day safety gadgetry is spot-on. The need to drive with care and control, is being weaned out of us…along with the ability to operate three pedals. It’s the simplicity of classic vehicles that appeals to me, along with the joy of driving them.

    10
  6. TJP440

    Good thing it comes with a service manual, the buyer will definitely need it. As I love the FMC’s this one’s been in a damp / salt air environment too long for my liking

  7. Johnmloghry

    I had a 1985 35 foot class A motor home powered by 454 Chevy engine. It was top of the line at the time. But as time passed value dropped. I listed it on Craig’s list several times with little interest finally just giving it away just to get it out of the yard. You can pick these old beasts up for pennies these days.
    God bless America

  8. Bob

    Yes a quick story… My dad sold insurance and in 1976 or 77 he insured one of the Doobie Brothers and he wanted to sell his. He said he paid $100k for it and would let us just take over payment. That was funny because it was more than house payment. But any way we got to drive it for about 6 months before selling it for him. What a blast

  9. Henry Blair

    I have owned five of these FMCs. They are a great motor coach and a great value today if you are mechanically inclined. I have one now that I am selling that is in far better condition than this one. If you want the details, send me a private email at henryblairjr@(the search engine email we often use.) I advertised it on this site a few years ago and took it off the market because I had decided to keep it.

    Here is the $3,000 to $5,000 gorilla in this coach. The tires are on 17″ Budd split ring rims. These are only safe with bias ply tires. There only one tire company that is an Indian-owned Mexican company that I know of that still makes tires this size. Most tire shops will not touch the rims. As these rims are rusty and old, so the ring seats are questionable. Since I am 76 years old and grew up in a tire shop, I can change these tires, but I will not, nor will I teach anyone how to do it.

    You will have to buy new or used 19.5 tubeless rims at $100 to $200 or 19.5 Alcoa rims that are going now for about $500 each. On the coach I have for sale, I have 22.5-inch Michelin tires that give me somewhat of an overdrive. The tires will cost about $225 to $500.

    The general condition of the drive train is not clear nor the brakes. At 90,000 miles there is a lot of engine and mechanical parts wear. Restoring one of these things is far from cheap. I have not done a diesel conversion, but Duramax seems to be the current preferred engine.

    • Fiete T.

      A set of those Alcoas will go for $3500… I have a set on my Travco and sold the other.

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