GMC Motorhome Art

This page displays some screen images and brief descriptions of work done as a long-time user of Adobe Illustrator relative to work done as a member of the classic GMC motorhome community. FYI, the hubcap, shown above, provides a glimpse at what I do. The finished half shows the end result. The half with the lines, circles and ovals shows the vectors required to render the finished image. What is now show is the definitions attached to those vectors. Therein lies the secret of what I do.

As the web editor for
GMC Great Lakers and Manny's Tranmission as well as the former newsletter and web editor for GMC Eastern States, I’ve created several illustrations based on the GMC’s classic motorhome as well as other artwork to enhance the publications. Seldom have I used graphics from other sources. The first image is a sample of the motorhome artwork developed for a my paint design presentation.

The GMC MotorHome (frame, drivetrain, engine, and body developed by the truck division of GM) was produced from 1973 to 1978. During that period several models were made in the 23-foot and 26-foot lengths. In the early years the model names referred to color combinations and interior trim. In the later years of production other model names came into being. They were linked to interior design as GMC tried to create some upscale lines (Kingsley, Eleganza II) while producing the base Palm Beach model. In the last year of production Coachman Industries took over upfitting the interiors while GMC just built the chassis and body (no completion in Pontiac, the GMC plant where the frames and bodies were assembled).

Custom Design

Below is an image of a design I created for Ray and Lisa Erspamer. The design of the coach and trailer were done at the request of the owner to "get away from the straight lines". Since Ray and Lisa haul their motorcycles when they travel, repainting of their trailer also seemed appropriate. The custom design was carried out well by Larry Bontrager of Topeka Graphics in Indiana.


Larry Erd totally gutted his GMC and even installed a Murphy-type bed in the rear providing a bi-functional space. He liked the upswept striping I started with some of my early designs except that he wanted to carry it through to the rear. The following was developed and utilized on the new paint job of his coach.

Erd GMC Driver


In addition to driver and passenger side views, I also produce front and rear views for customers desiring to purchase a complete set of graphics that are produced as vector-based PDF images. The advantage of getting your images as PDFs allows you to resize and print without loosing the crisp appearance of the graphic illustrations each of which is created for the specific jobs.

Contact me if you're interested in a custom design or have ideas that you'd like to see rendered prior to repainting.


In late 2010 I decided to delve into the realm of producing photo-realistic images in Illustrator. Much more time is taken to provide this type of rendering but, I hope you'll agree, it is carried out quite well as can be seen in the image below. Images of this quality may be used effectively for stationery and calling cards.

Sharpe Paint

With skillful use of Adobe Illustrator, many different views and levels of detail can be obtained. All it takes is my time and your money.


Contact me if you have any questions, desire high-quality images of a paint design (yours or mine) or to have a mockup of your coach created. Again, these high-quality images are suitable creating business cards and other print purposes. Since great time and effort has gone into producing these graphics, a small fee will be assessed when ordering a scalable graphic of your GMC coach.

Model Name Decals

Now that these classics are more than 30 years of age, many have been repainted and are seeing continued use and enhancement. For those that want a piece of history, I’m offering renderings of the model names in the graphic style of the originals. All artwork was done in Adobe Illustrator CS4 with photos as templates submitted by a variety of owners. Low resolution versions of the graphics are displayed here. High resolution and scalable versions are available from Byron Songer. By acquiring a scalable graphic, owners may take the computer files to a vinyl sign maker and have decals made to replace the originals on a repainted coach. Of course, if you prefer, you can also grab the graphics on this web page and use them to create your own GMC-based stationery.

GMC Decal<.center>

The GMC logo, as it appeared in 1973 and 1974 was a decal. In later years the logo was done in chrome-plated plastic lettering.

GMC 230 and 260

Also in 1973 and 1974, GMC designated the different models as 230 and 260 indicating the length of the coach. A 290 was designed but never came to market. These numbers also appeared as decals with the background color showing through.

Sequoia Glacier

Painted Desert Cayonlands

Glenbrook Edgemonte

Eleganza II Kingsley

Palm Beach


Model names were displayed under the driver and passenger windows (with some units having names on the front and rear as smaller decals). GMC used a unique typeface based on a decorative Roman (weighted with serif) font. The shapes are similar but different from the Palatino, University Roman or Century typefaces. Lending to a decorative appeal on some characters, swashes are used instead of the standard serifs. The swashes alter the basic letter form to give an artistic flair. The Palm Beach was the only one done with a chrome look. The others had either a flat or metal-flake look. These aren't inclusive of all the model names given to TZE-based motorhomes. These are just the more popular. Many RV upfitters gave a run at the GMC. Coachmen had the most produced outside of GMC Truck and Coach.

Contact me for more information or to receive a scalable graphic that can be used in rendering a vinyl decal for your restoration project.