Haulmark Motor Coach is accustomed to building powerful, robustly designed vehicles. Its product line of motorhomes, sport decks and motor garages attests to the company’s specialized niche that combines versatile, sturdy construction with comfortable, home-like appointments.
The Elkhart, Ind.-based company’s latest assignment, however, was a bit different – design a coach that would accommodate NBA great Shaquille O’Neal.
“We were approached by Tom Lindstrom, an RV dealer in California who had become friends with Shaq when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers,” said Marty Kumle, national sales manager for Haulmark Motor Coach. “Shaq has owned other motorhomes and when he’s looking for a new one he hooks up with Tom.”
Kumle said the 45-foot Super C he recently delivered to Oneal’s Orlando, Fla., residence carries special significance for the sure-bet Hall of Famer, representing a new phase in his life. He recently announced his retirement from the NBA and the motorhome was presented as a gift by the Boston Celtics, the last team O’Neal played for during his distinguished career.
“It’s a beautiful coach built with a lot of custom-designed features and amenities,” Kumle noted. “We’ve built vehicles for other sports celebrities, but this one offered some unique challenges.”
Predictably, one of the focal points for Haulmark during the design process was to create living space that would match O’Neal’s 7-foot-1 frame.
“We actually adapted a floorplan from our motor garage line,” said Kumle, referring to vehicles that are super-sized toy haulers capable of carrying anything from motorcycles to racecars. “It was perfect because we needed to make sure Shaq could sleep comfortably, which means we had to have enough room for a California king-sized bed. The floorplan allowed us to fit an 85-inch bed, with two slideouts. There is an additional slideout in the living room area where the booth dinette and sofa are located.”
Other custom features include a large 40-inch LCD TV with surround sound that can be viewed from anywhere in the living area and a built-in exterior 32-inch TV complete with video player and sound system. The coach is set off by a full-body paint application, tile floors and all-wood cabinetry.
“It’s decked out,” Kumle noted.“ He also wanted to have triple-bunks on both sides in the kids’ bedroom and we were able to accomplish that as well.”
He added, “This really was a fantastic and fun-filled project and Shaq was extremely pleased with the finished product.”
The “Shaqmobile” has already traveled cross-country to California and back. So, what does the fifth leading scorer in NBA history do after he retires? Who knows, maybe you will see him sometime enjoying his retirement on the road in his new Haulmark Motor Coach.