Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Look What We Just Bought: An American Clipper 1980

It is a vintage 1980 American Clipper, and it is our new baby. My husband and I had been talking about getting another set of wheels. He works from home sometimes, often waking hours before me and the babe, to do phone meetings and exchange emails with people around the globe. Hubby also travels overseas, a lot, so one car has been enough for us for 3 years! 

Lately, he has been going into the office, more and more, and we have been negotiating who needs to be where when, and borrowing my parents truck when there is a conflict. It hasn't been unbearable, although the child and I usually lose because Daddy brings home the paycheck (Daddy on the Dollar).

However, I started being stuck home, more and more, and I started to become depressed. I was a reluctant housewife. I had planned on dropping my baby off to my parents and going back to work, but that never happened. As much fun as my son and I were having, staying home all the time just wasn't for me. My husband could not believe that the house was messy when he got home each day. I couldn't believe that in his mind, I had been reduced to a housekeeper, housewife, stay-AT-HOME mom. I HATE cleaning, I'm a terrible housewife, and I do not like to stay at home. I was a much better mom at the park, at the beach, at Costco, and the zoo. I needed outa here!

We finally bit the bullet and started looking for another vehicle. We realized that we only needed this vehicle a few days a week, or when there was a conflict. It didn't seem practical to get another "car". We wanted something that did something else, too... 

Our search evolved into looking for a vehicle we could sleep in, do road trips. and go camping, like a conversion van or a "surfer's dream" on Craigslist. As we searched, we saw vehicles that had little kitchenettes, and a toilet. I was trying to imagine taking a long road trip with a toddler, possibly a dog, and maybe even the cat!

We are on a budget, though, and have a certain amount of cash to work with and no interest in another car payment right now. Hubby started showing me rusty, vintage vans and rv's with a whole lot of personality, and dated design sensibilities. Did you know you can almost imagine a smell from a blurry, time-stamped Craigslist photo? My sarcastic comments included allusions to how this van or that rv would be perfect for running illegal immigrants across the border or extended periods of illegal intravenous drug use. I am not up for the campground edition of "name that stain", so the extensive search for the perfect camper was born.

I LIKE to camp! I love the open road! I want to explore, to tail gate at the harbor on the 4th of July. I want my son to realize that there is more to life than LEGOLAND and tv, but is this a practical idea?

I have to admit, that when he finally showed me the American Clipper, I was relieved to finally see something that didn't initiate my gag reflex. Who knew orange Formica counter tops with matching upholstery from the accent seating and curtains could do that to you! 

I was on board, hubby said he didn't mind driving it the short distance to work and would not have a problem parking. So, we did it. We drove 2 hours into the desert with a wad of cash and picked up this gem.

It is a 21 foot long American Clipper. It has both oval and round windows, a bunk over the cab, a full kitchen, and bathroom with a bathtub. It has 43,000 miles. It is only one of a few thousand that were built in California, on a Chevy chassey in the late 70's and 1980 and most of them are still on the road because they are that cool. There is club for these rv's and their faithful owners. We our now in the club. More adventure to come...


  1. Effectively – a lot of information is found on this page which addresses the most essential questions. Excellence!

  2. Great looking site and congrats on the new blog. I’m adding it to my reading list.

  3. Great post! Most people tend to ignore the true price of the car, or all of the other costs that go along with it. They just look at a monthly payment and go from there!
    Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences


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