Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

Scottsdale, AZ

Though the common definition of masterpiece is a person’s greatest work, one of the alternate definitions is a work done with exceptional skill. We usually think of the term in the context of paintings, sculptures or even architecture. However a masterpiece can be found in any creative endeavor. For this week’s photo challenge I submit for your entertainment, photographs of a masterpiece of automotive art deco, the DecoLiner.

I was introduced to the DecoLiner at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction in January, 2012. Randy Grubb, the builder and designer, took a front wheel drive 1973 GMC motor home, stripped it down to its chassis and built a 1950’s era aluminum masterpiece. Getting photos of the art without a mass of people in the way was nearly impossible. A steady crowd of admirers of this automotive masterpiece was looking in windows and doors, sitting inside or lounging on the top observation deck.

The design reminds me of a cross between a Volkswagen Beetle, a London double-decker bus and the Nautilus submarine of Jules Verne fame. The stairs at the back lead to the observation deck where one can ride in open air comfort.

From the photo above, you can see the steering column is linked to a rod that goes through the roof. In this configuration, the driver can sit topside and enjoy the drive in the open air. Raining outside? No problem, just unlink the extra steering rod, attach it to its storage clip on the ceiling, take down the steering wheel that’s hanging from the ceiling and attach it to the steering column. Drive away, dry and happy.

The interior living area is just as tricked out as any modern mobile home with refrigerator, stove and other typical motor home amenities. Note the oblong port hole windows built into the vertical risers in the stairwell at the rear.

If you would like to see the DecoLiner in motion, check out an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage where he features this amazing automotive masterpiece.

John Steiner


    • If you haven’t already done so, check out the video link from Jay Leno’s Garage. It gives a nice bio on the unit. I see he wasn’t really finished with it when it appeared on the show. The fancy stove/refrigerator I saw in Scottsdale hadn’t yet been added. There was only what looked like a Coca Cola cooler.


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