Gordon McKenzie has the polished aluminum vehicle that looks like someone from the past’s idea of the future listed at $32,000 on his Facebook Market Place page and other social media sites.
Its angular front windshield makes it look fast while it’s standing still. McKenzie named it ‘Flounder’ because it was blue and white when he got it. And it floats. It was built by his friend Stanley over 30 years ago.
“I love Stanley and I love Flounder,” said McKenzie. “It’s got a huge sentimental value.”
McKenzie never really knew his friend’s last name but says the man was self-taught in the garage and a brilliant engineer. When Stanley died 15 years ago, Flounder wound up in McKenzie’s possession.
“He bought a 1971 Chevy three quarter ton (truck), took an aluminum frame and then put that on the Chevy components,” said McKenzie. “He built the body around it and I owned it for four years before I realized it had pontoons built into the floor.”
He’s done a lot of work on the vehicle and his ad states Flounder is a 23 foot (seven metre) floating RV made with 6061 aircraft grade aluminum that is at least twice as thick as aluminum on Airstream trailers.
It also has an aluminum frame and bumpers while the body is held together with more than 3000 aircraft type rivets. Hidden under the floor are four individual pontoons filled with closed cell Styrofoam insulation.
McKenzie upgraded the engine with a rebuilt 1968 Camaro 250, six cylinder with all hot rod parts and fewer than 1000 miles (1,690 km) on it and he’s open to trades or partial trades.
“I’ve got a lot into it and (the buyer) has to be somebody with the right mindset to take this thing on,” he said. “Because it’s not for the feint of heart and once you’re done, nobody else on the block has one.”
He says over 1.5 million people have seen or commented on Flounder on social media after seeing his posting.
“Oh I’ve had responses from Pakistan, India, Australia, Florida a lot from Florida,” he said. “And a few from Texas.”
McKenzie’s son Max has helped his dad a little on the project and remembers the first day they took it to Ghost Lake to see how it would float.
“I was surprised but not right,” said Max. “Looking at it and doing the math on it and just by looking at it you knew it would float but then just to see it, it was kind of interesting the first time it was kind of neat.”
Max says some people on shore were sceptical and even worried about seeing it back into the reservoir but once they saw it bobbing in the waves they knew they were seeing something unique.
Max says Flounder has potential to become a floating food truck or concession stand.
“Oh, it definitely could be a boat ice cream shack on the lake, guaranteed to do business right then and there, (customers) couldn’t complain,” he said.
McKenzie senior agrees that it would be fun to see people use a water scooter to float over to Flounder and order a snack. He’s hopeful the right buyer will see the value the floating RV has.
“There was one fellow from Florida an associate of Jay Lenos that was curious about it but he couldn’t get it shipped in the winter,” said McKenzie. “It’s a big worthy project but until you actually see it, you can’t really comprehend the workmanship and the craftsmanship that went into it.”
McKenzie has a YouTube page were he posts videos of Flounder at Extragordonary Stuff or he can be reached at Extraordinary@hotmail.com