(first posted 10/2/2011) It’s home built RV weekend, and I’ve been sitting on this for quite a while. It’s the ShamRockAway, and yes, two 1962 Buick wagons are in there somewhere. Actually, there’s a great shot after the jump of the two Buicks as they were being re-arranged.
Hemmingsblog had several posts on it, the final one unraveling the mystery of how this wild rig came to be. One J. Dennis McGuire, who was a pioneer RVer and had converted a couple of buses before, started this project after he retired, and finished it at the age of sixty-nine(!) He always liked Buicks, so that was the main ingredient on the recipe. The third axle is the driven one, and the 401 nailhead must have been working pretty hard through the Dynaflow transmission to scoot the 9960 lb rig down the road.
But it worked, and carried him and his wife all over the country, to the chagrin of on-lookers.
Looks like its turning circle is a bit wide.
The ShamRockAway still exists, someone having bought it from a wrecking yard. Whether it will get restored is another question.
Interior shots (of the living quarters and the cockpit) would be fascinating.
That reminds me of a Mexican bus from the ’70’s
I agree! I rode the Linea de Flecha Amarillo for many thousands of miles. I remember being mildly shocked when at one stop the driver opened a baggage compartment, a new driver got out and the first driver crawled in. The compartment was equipped with blankets, pillows, a foam pad, a cooler and a cassette boom box. I can’t imagine what the noise and the fumes were like in there.
Very clever but why are the door handles still on? I see why the axle spacings are like that but it must be a beast to manhandle in tight spaces, Ive drven 8 legger trucks and theres a good reason axles are closer together, Also the belt line isnt straight maybe he just rolled it into place and started welding.
I wonder how having a trailing non-powered axle light that affected handling also, if at all.
That’s one of those vehicles were if someone would ask “Why?” you would expect the answer to be “Because I can, that’s fu$%ing why.”
For home-built motorhomes you need to have a look at Rob Gray’s Wothahellizat Mk1 & 2, built on a 6wd ex-army International truck to live in and go anywhere
I looked this up last night, and wasted about 2 hours on his website. It was surprising to see that he actually tore the Mk1 version apart to DOWNSIZE it to make the Mk2 version.
Especially after having stretched the chassis in the first place! Probably finding another truck to base the new one on would be difficult.
Looks like a boat on wheels. Those tandem steering must be quite the trick! Wouldn’t the middle rear wheel drag sideways a bit when turning? If it pivots on the rearmost wheel that is, if it pivots on the middle rear wheel, then the rearmost wheel would be dragged sideways toward the outside of the turn.
Agreed… if the 2 Buicks were replaced by a half dozen mid 60s amphicars….. now you’re talking!
Given that small pleasure boats often have sort of the same interior accomodation as an RV, I wonder if amphibian RV has been attempted. Anyone know if one exists?
Yeah there have been some, I’m trying to remember where I saw some pictures of one recently.
Here’s a builder of amphibious RVs…
Yes, they are called “House boats” Guys stick a house trailer on a barge.
More than likely the rear trailing axle just skids sideways on tight turn like a Chinese 6 bus.
All of that hard work and in the end it ended up junk? Those photos look to be from the mid 70’s. It does look like all of the glass is still intact and thus stands a better chance that the interior might be OK if an animal didn’t make it a home.
I too would like to see the cabin photos on this car.
Clark Griswold eat your heart out….
Why? Just. . . . why????
When looking at the eagle on the front (bow?), I can’t help but think about the eagle that adorned Buick’s 1976 advertising, complete with the motto “Dedicated to the Free Spirit in Just About Everyone.”
In this case, it’s highly appropriate.
The Pike’s Peak Highway would be one vacation destination to be avoided with the ShamRockAway.
Fascinating! It’s quite amazing what can be done with ingenuity, a torch and a welder…would have been really trick if he could have made it dual powered! It does have a somewhat nautical look about it, somehow.
While it’s very cool to see that it still exists (or, at least, did in 2011), that would take a very dedicated individual to bring back. I wonder if any progress has been made since this was originally posted?
I have seen the ShamRockAway in person a couple of years ago. It was like stumbling upon the Noah’s Ark of vehicles! Its an older couple that owns it, they also have upwards of 50 other classic cars/trucks on the property as well, including many Model A Fords, a very rough German Tempo Van, and an ’80’s Cadillac Hearse. Its not far from my house, it was hard to tell what its interior is supposed to look like because raccoons and other critters have managed to trash it pretty well. The body itself seemed to be getting rough as well, rust was becoming very prominent. I would be very concerned about the condition of the frame due to sitting on the ground for a few decades. Not to mention getting it out of where its at would be quite an undertaking also, it’s blocked in by trees, an old trailer house and an old cargo box van. However as long as it came out of its resting place in one piece, it could be a very rewarding project. Not that the owner has any intentions of selling it anyways, couldn’t even get a number out of him.
I’ve heard of other owners owning historic vehicles that are rusting away, housing animals, have trees growing out of them, etc. Like the owner you mention, they are generally not interested in selling anything. I think it would be interesting to understand the psychology.
I have to give credit where due, I guess sometimes an idea grabs a hold of a guy and doesn’t let go! I have seen a couple of cabin cruiser type boats mounted on a Ford truck chassis that are steered from the bridge. Quite an attention getter, Of course modifying a short wheel base bus would be too easy. I have thought that converting an old U-Haul Toyota box truck into a camper might be a good idea. at least the box is all aluminum kind of like an air stream trailer.
Nice tribute to backyard engineering, determination and sweat. What the builder probably couldn’t engineer was having the front wheels turn more than the second pair of steering wheels as is required in vehicles with multiple steering wheels. Not having that would account for a large turning circle, and, I imagine, serious side loading and squealing on pavement.
Amazing, the creative mindset of one who built this “ROAD ART”!
If there isn’t a restriction for this being on the Interstate Highway System then we should now make one.
In one word-strange.
I love it. It’s cool as hell and looks like it just pulled out of a John Waters film set.
Help! How can I un-see it?