There’s a way to drive it from the rooftop.
Another bizarre vehicle visits Jay Leno’s Garage, and this one is really over-the-top. Built by the same guy who made the Tank Car and Pistol Pete, if you caught those builds on the show, this Decoliner Custom Built motorhome has an alternative driver’s seat positioned on the roof. Yep, there’s an extra-long steering column to reach all the way up there. Why? Because the guy wanted a motorhome inspired by a houseboat instead of just another car, of course.
That rooftop area is called a flying bridge – something we’re not used to seeing on road-going vehicles. It’s a thing on some boats, where the captain sits high atop the ship and enjoys a better view of the surrounding water. The inspiration is obvious once you climb the steps at the back of this motor home to reach the rooftop seats, which look like something you’d find on many watercraft, instead of in a Ford or Chevy.
To create this bizarre vehicle, it all started with a 1973 GMC motorhome chassis, which the guy selected because it’s low to the ground. A 455 Oldsmobile motor provides plenty of power to get everything moving. Amazingly, the entire body was custom-built, which is quite the project. Exposed rivets, plenty of shiny exposed aluminum, rocket-style turn signals, and other designs give this motorhome an art deco vibe that’s quite appealing. Among the details are hand-blown glass for the porthole windows, plus extra windows instead of kickplates for the stairs up the back. All the interior details are like something you’d see in an old dirigible.
Sitting on that flying bridge, the driver’s head sits at 11 feet and 6 inches, so you’re not going to decapitate yourself going under highways and so forth. That’s barely enough to sneak under the notorious 11 foot 8 inch bridge we all know and love, although depending on your height it might give you a nice haircut. Of course, you can just choose to sit down below in the cabin and drive the motorhome traditionally, but where’s the fun in that?