What do you get when you cross a custom vehicle, a boat and a RV? One answer is Flounder, the distinctive and very shiny looking motor home.
I saw the owner pulling in to (parallel!) park so I was able to chat with him for a few minutes. He had inherited this one of a kind vehicle from a friend who had built it twenty years previously. For some undisclosed reason the builder had only driven it a handful of miles before parking it. As built it had a two-tone white and light blue paint scheme but the current caretaker stripped off all the paint to let the body, hand made from aircraft 6061 aluminum, shine through. He said he got very sun-burnt in the process, but the result is quite striking.
The calling card with this RV is that it was designed to be a boat as well. You can see the old paint scheme in this float test video.
Gordon, the current owner, gets so much attention he has an information sheet as well as links to his Youtube videos (the ones used in this post) on the window.
The interior is still a work in progress but it was camperized at one point. Or at least intended to be. This point was not clear to me. The 1971 GMC C20 panel van origins (the videos below seem to indicate pickup truck) are on display with the steering wheel and instrument cluster. It is powered by a straight 250cid six cylinder engine with a three speed Saginaw manual transmission.
The inside was quite bright and airy with good sized windows. This would make for a quite nice home away from home once finished.
The interior features insulation and spray foam but little else at this point.
As such it is currently a blank slate ready for customization as a camper, food truck or whatever. The owner suggested a floating ice-cream van as an idea.
Flounder has been featured in the media a few times. This one from CBC shows that it has gone in the water but still lacks a propulsion system beyond the likely not very effective oars.
Flounder also made its way on to the CTV network when Gordon has it advertised for sale a while back around the February 2022 time frame. I distinctly remember seeing the ad and he told me he had interest from all over the world. In the end he had no takers at the asking price. Honestly, it is a tricky vehicle to assign a reasonable value to given the unique nature, sizable investment both in dollars and hours but still unfinished state.
Underneath you can see the spray foam keeping it watertight. There is a lot of rivets on this thing. The owner mentioned that the builder’s son distinctly remembers holding a rivet gun as a significant part of his childhood. There are apparently pontoons built into the side and compartments up front to aid in flotation.
At the rear the bumper has two brackets that were intended to be mounts for outboard motors. I was delighted to spot this local legend out and about. The craftsmanship is impressive and makes for an appealing and eye-catching vehicle. If it was yours, how would you finish it?