The Debbie Special

Motorhomes come in all different shapes and sizes, and generally the bigger they are the more expensive your motorhome insurance quotes will be. Your motorhome insurance quotes could also increase depending on where and how you plan to drive your motorhome, for instance if you plan to take it on an off road racing course in the Mexican desert your motorhome insurance provider may be slightly concerned.

This may sound like a mad concept, but it is exactly what motorhome manufacturer Condo Coach decided to do back in the nineteen seventies with their giant motorhome oddly named the “Debbie Special”. The vehicle was built on a Ford M-500 chassis, and included a mega roll cage, a twelve thousand pound winch, sixty gallon butane capacity, ninety gallons of gasoline and the regular fittings that come with a motorhome including a kitchen, toilet and beds.

The motorhome was built and entered into the Baja 1000 race in order to gain interest from local journalists, and it certainly did that. One journalist, Bud Cochinar even got to ride in the motorhome during the race between Ensenada and La Paz, and discussing his experiences said: “To begin with, to call what we were driving on a “road” is a euphemism of the highest order. Roads, in my experience, do not come equipped with four-feet-deep holes, boulders the size of brobdingnagian pumpkins and assorted debris which make driving more of a hang-on-for-dear-life activity than actual steering.”

“Walk Kiefer directed our lumbering Condor for nearly eight hours before the heavy-duty springs shattered and forced us on a six-hour repair job (and, for me, six hours of grand, glorious sleep). Unfortunately, things were pasted together and we were off for more of the same.” Even though the Debbie Special took some knocks throughout the races, she was entered three times in 1969, 1970 and 1971. Obviously, there was no chance that the team would actually win the off-roading race in their chosen vehicle, yet they seemed to enter anyway as a form of entertainment.

One man who saw the race said that most of the time the drivers of the Debbie Special would stop and give cool drinks to spectators of the race, and would also blow their sirens and turn on their flashing lights when they eventually crossed the finishing line no matter what place they came in. Today, it is a mystery where the Debbie Special is, however there are plenty of rumours online that it has been spotted since. Maybe one day it will return in a new form to take on the Baja 1000 once more.