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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vogue motor home A palace on wheels!

Vougue Motor Home

A palace on wheels!

Prevost bus at a winnebago price!

Since I began marketing Vogues you would be surprised at how many people call up and give a little snippet of their personal experience with this fantastic motor home. I have compiled some of these in the following write up.

The Vogue history began when a visionary, Audy Alburn, decided he was going to make a high end coach that would put Winnebago to shame! Andy was a Winnebago motor home dealer at the time. When Winnebago got wind of Andy’s plans they took away his franchise!

The new company was located at sun valley on tuxford street in Las Angeles, Ca. My source for this information prefers to remain anonymous, but he was the son of one of the first Vogue dealers. After consulting with his father, he is convinced the Vogue listed in this ad has been updated.

“A lot of these coaches went to movie stars” he told me. “Some were purchased and went back to the plant for a complete makeover”.

"They were the most luxurious motor home made"

“One of these coaches was custom made for Sylvester Stallone” my new friend on the end of the cell phone line mused.

“My dad sold 10 coaches to Saudi Arabia.” Pimp this ride! Imagine a high end motor coach being pimped for the ultimate coach on the planet!

If you buy one of these beauties, best do some practice manuevering before you get back to the ranch. If you don't have a crowd when you get home you will once you get to the RV park!

"That, my dear, is a Vogue", you might overhear the guy who knows it all tell his friend.

“They were the most luxurious motor home made in thier day." You can hear his words roll.

"In fact, each was custom built! Rarely do you find two Vogues exactly alike!”

While Winnebagos may have caught the attention of the nation, Vogue caught the imagination of those who wanted the best that money could buy in a class A motor home.

Because there were no RV’s before, there were no RV craftsman. So Vogue's solution was to hire custom cabinet makers and carpenters who had experience building for the well to do.

The Vogue we have for sale here, for example, has an ART DECO interior, something I have never seen in any motor home, including other Vogues. The classic Pink leather sofa, the artistic rounded cabinetry, all go together to turn a motor home into an art piece.

That is what you are getting when you buy a Vogue. Each is an art piece unto it's own. Compared to Winnebago, there were not many of them made. As a new generation of baby boomers find joy in the RV lifestyle, word is getting out: If you want the ultimate RV, Vogue is the way to go! What was the equivalent of a $500,000 motor coach is in the reach of you and me!

According to my new friend in California, Vogue was purchased and moved to Oklahoma. The company fell on hard times.

Enter a cat by the name of Harvery Mitchell. This chap bought a motor home and after a family vacation loved it so much he went into the business. He soon became the largest distributor of Wanderlodge, made by the bus company, Blue Bird.

Mitchell thought Blue Bird was a quality coach which competed well with Vogue, according to my sources. When Mitchell took over the reins at Vogue in 1990, he wanted to modernize and improve the quality finish of these beautiful coaches. He turned beautiful into opulent! These were luxury condos rolling down the by-ways of Americana!

While the Mitchell-Vogue, as they are sometimes called, maintained much of its outside appearance, just about everything else changed completely. The heavy fiberglass bodies were replaced by aluminum, which increased fuel efficiency and guaranteed a life-long body.

Another big change came with the redesign of the floor plan. In the pre-Mitchell Vogue the bathroom was in the back of the coach. That forced the bed to be split right down the middle with a hallway inbetween. Husband and wives and significant others were forced to retreat to their single bunks on each side of the hallway at night.

"In the new Mitchell Vogue the bed was placed in the back"

In the new Mitchell Vogue the bed was placed in the back of the coach. Gone were the twin size bunks and in their place was a large queen size bed.

The bathroom was incorporated into the bedroom in many Vogues. When the sliding door was closed from the front compartment, it was if you had walked into a plush Las Vegas suite. You have to literally walk through the bathroom on some Mitchell designs to get to the queen bed in back. This must have been marginally forward thinking according to notions of privacy of the era. It is now the standard for modern RV design. A change in federal regulations which allowed the widening of buses contributed to the practicality of a mid-coach bathroom and bed in the back, as well.

Finally, the change everyone notices between pre and post Mitchell Vogues is the fit and finish of the interior. Maybe Any Auburn envisioned a luxury apartment floating down the road. Mitchell envisioned a modernistic and opulent interior the likes of which you would not find in most homes today, much less in a motor home!

They call these “Prima Vistas”. Every time I see a Mitchell Prima Vista Vogue, which is not often, my heart skips. Each has a custom paint job and are nothing short of striking. In the sense of art, each is unique, though scratched from a similar canvas.

Mithcell’s time at Vogue was all too short and the company was gobbled up by another luxury bus manufacturer in 1998 named Featherlite. Presuming the name "Vogue" was a little out of vogue for modern thinking, the name was dropped in favor of "Vantare". The decision may have been a bit rash, as the company still uses the model as a "Vantare Vogue".

"Vogues are destined to be classics of their time!"

Meanwhile, Harvey Mitchell continues to garner tremendous influence over the Vogue legacy. In addition to the Prima Vista Vogue, Mitchel began converting Prevost Buses into RV's. Prevost is the premiere luxury bus manufacturer on the road. Before moving to his next venture, Mitchell converted over 100 Prevost buses into motor homes, hence the association of Vogue motor homes with Prevost buses.

You can buy a Prima Vista Vogue today for $70 to $100K. That is a good deal considering the coach cost over $375,000 in 1994. For $70K you can drive the forefather to the Prevost motor-coach conversion. If you consider $70K fodder for a poor man, the Prima Vista is a poor man’s Prevost bus!

In addition to the Prima Vista Vogue, the company continued with it's Vogue IV. As I understand it, the main difference between the Prima Vista and the Vogue IV is the bedroom set up. The Vogue IV still has the split bunks.

The Vogue V, alas, is the modern version of the Vogue and has lost the personality of the original beauty. You can find these in the $90K range and up.

The Vogue allure clearly speaks differently to each. For the guy who does not want to spend his children’s college fund on a bus, and perhaps his grandchildren’s as well, he can still drive the ultimate motor home of the 90’s.

Vogue iv’s with a diesel engine in the 20’s and less, although I have seen them in the 40’s. I saw a Prima Vista on the market for an ungodly bargain, $25K was the starting price! I am not sure where she ended up.

I suspect you can find an inexpensive original Vogue in fair to good condition for about $5,000.00. If you really like a particular vogue, just as when you like a particular painting, the value and the price is in the eye of the beholder.

All Vogues are destined to be classics of their time. I remember the time when we felt sorry for the guy who could only afford an Airstream Bambi. The price of Airstreams has gone to a zenith, and the smallest of them all, little Bambi, is one of the most expensive, commanding as much as $19,000 a copy!

The art of collecting is to figure out what is going to catch the attention of the nation. Already people are looking for a Vogue. No other motor coach will do! Of course, you don't have to own a Vogue to appreciate one. Nearly everyone who comes into contact with a vogue shares-the appreciation of this beautiful motor home as mastery of art on wheels.

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