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Perry Registration Is Open!

Finally, registration for FMCA’s 97th International Convention and RV Expo, scheduled for March 15 through 18, 2018, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter is open. Click Here to register.

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To All Our Friends in South Texas, Louisiana and Florida

Here at FMCA our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. These include the area residents, victims, first responders, and citizens who have stepped in to assist their neighbors.

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma: Looking for resources or ways you can help?

1. Make a Donation
The following organizations* are accepting donations for South Texas and Florida relief efforts.
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org (https://www.redcross.org) or call 1-800-HELP-NOW (800-435-7669). Or text IRMA or HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The Salvation Army: give.salvationarmyusa.orgor call 1-800-725-2769. Or text STORM to 51555.
Catholic Charities USA: www.catholiccharitiesusa.orgor call 800-919-9338. Or text CCUSADISASTER to 71777.
*Please note FMCA is not affiliated with and/or advocating these organizations.

2. Volunteer with RV Disaster Corps
RV Disaster Corps has put out a call for RVers to staff volunteer centers. Volunteers with RV Disaster Corps assist people displaced by storms and help first responders. Because RV Disaster Corps volunteers have their own accommodations, they can relocate to the impacted area without requiring scarce local housing resources. www.rvdisastercorps.org.

3. Help Evacuees Find a Safe Place
Texas: The Texas Association of Campground Owners has identified RV parks with space available for Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Visit https://texascampgrounds.com or www.TexasCabinRentals.net. It is recommended to call the parks in advance; availability may change based on current weather.

Florida and Alabama campgrounds: Information will be posted as available: www.CampFlorida.com and www.CampInAlabama.com.

Alabama state parks: Call 1-800-ALA-PARK (1-800-252-7275) for availability.

Florida road conditions: Real-time traffic information is available at https://fl511.com. Or call (866) 511-3352; in Florida, dial 511.

Member Vote: Voting Now Open

CLICK HERE to download and print a copy of the ballot.

Please note, all ballots must be sent via postal mail to: Mandel and Associates, Inc., 431 Ohio Pike, Suite 201, Cincinnati, OH 45255

FMCA Remodel

Big news! It's time to take a step in the right direction, CLICK HERE to learn more about FMCA's plans to remodel.

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GMC collectibles: alive and well

FMCA member Bill Bryant collects GMC motorhome memorabilia.Poor GMC motorhome. Bullied by rising gasoline prices. Passed over in favor of light trucks. Phased out after six model years. What a shame.

In 1973 General Motors Corp. had become one of the first major automakers to market a motorhome with its name attached to it. But in 1977 the company announced it would discontinue the motorhome and convert its facilities in Pontiac, Mich., to truck production.

Do not grieve for the GMC, though. Like the original Star Trek TV series, it became more popular in post-production years. Following its production halt, GMC motorhome owners organizations popped up. Companies started to offer GMC parts and service. Clubs produced newsletters to satisfy the hunger for GMC information.

About 8,000 GMC motorhomes are still on the road. There might be just as many in boxes, display cases and on shelves. You’d understand this if you saw the GMC memorabilia collection of FMCA member Bill Bryant of Pleasant Valley, N.Y.

Hot Wheels

Bryant has collected about 40 different Hot Wheels GMC models in their original packaging, and dozens of others. “I built a large wood-framed box with a Plexiglas cover to display them,” he said.

Mattel made – and still makes – many GMC versions in its Hot Wheels line. Designs have included NASCAR, Spiderman, U.S. Army and McDonald’s. A few were named after vintage GMC models, such as the Palm Beach, though the colors and graphics do not match the original’s.

The original GMC had a six-wheel independent suspension that delivered a smooth ride. Its automotive engine and front-wheel drive system gave it a carlike feel. To GMC aficionados, the small Hot Wheels symbolize these and many other respected features. That’s why Bryant continues to collect GMC memorabilia -- to express admiration for a unique classic.

GMC hodgepodge

Bill Bryant's assorted GMC collectibles include pens, cups, magnets and playing cards.In other display cases, Bryant has mounted GMC cups, key chains, belt buckles, a Frisbee, a fly swatter. Also: magnets, matchbooks, and patches commemorating GMC rallies. His collection includes the three versions of Mattel’s Barbie Doll Star Traveler GMC Motorhomes as well.

Eighteen different GMC-related films are part of his collection. “There were 14 sales films issued by GM called GMC Mini-theater,” he said. “If you walked into a GM dealership in ‘70s you would see a TV-type monitor and a stack of cassettes.”

He has “a really great silent film” showing the development of the GMC from initial concepts through scale models and the final full-size clay model. “It documents every single GMC motorhome event during that time period,” he said. Many factory photos and documents of early designs, including the first prototype, also are part of his collection.

Rounding out his film collection are three copies of the ‘70s TV program called “Holiday on Wheels RV.” Three shows focused on the GMC, he said.

His favorite

This scale model of the GMC motorhome is Bill Bryant's favorite item among his vast collection. It was a gift from retired GMC engineer John Locklin. During his search for GMC memorabilia, Bryant has encountered engineers and designers involved with the original GMC motorhome. That’s how he met John Locklin. “John was one of the GMC body engineers who defined how you implement the GMC design into real parts, into a structure.”

When Locklin retired in 1977, GM employees gave him a retirement gift honoring him for his 26 years of service to GMC. It’s a 1/16-scale fiberglass model of an orange GMC motorhome mounted on a walnut base. “It’s a beautiful model, 20 inches long,” Bryant said.

In February 2002, Locklin gave the model to an astonished Bryant. About four of these models exist, presented to other GM retirees, Bryant said.

How it began

Bryant’s GMC collectibles hobby grew from his pension for classic cars. “I’m an old-car guy. I’ve always been interested in more than just the vehicle, in the people and company behind the vehicle. In other words – how did the vehicle become what it was?”

In the late 1980s, a few years after he bought his first GMC motorhome, he started to apply this concept to the GMC motorhome. “Initially I advertised in Family Motor Coaching magazine and antique auto magazines, seeking GMC items,” he said.

With fellow GMC owners spreading the word about his new collection, he began to obtain items here and there. He also acquired mementos at toy dealers, RV shows and Internet ecommerce sites.

Now he has two five-drawer file cabinets full of GMC printed materials. “I have 50 versions of GMC sales literature, the types of things a dealer would break open and show you. It really boggles my mind as to the expanse of this stuff.”

He also has 50 different magazine advertisements in which the GMC appears. “I think the interesting thing is that all of these aren’t old ads. Ads today still use likenesses of the GMC to sell insurance and other RV-related products. This has gone on since ‘70s.”

Bryant is a member of FMCA chapters GMC Colonial Travelers, GMC Motorhomes International, GMC Nor'Easters and GMC Sunshine Statesmen. At GMC rallies and conventions, he often presents a seminar, displays his memorabilia and shows the old GMC films.

Bryant’s collection is valuable. Hot Wheels are in demand at flea markets and in trade publications. But he’s in it for enjoyment, not profits.

He has, at the Internet auction site eBay, sold a couple of items that he has multiples of. “The reason for that,” he said, “is I shouldn’t hog it all. I should let someone else enjoy this hobby, too.”

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