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Keith Boreani owns this 1971 Winnebago, the design of which was inspired by the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series of movies staring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold.

‘National Lampoon’ Winnebago turns heads

The first time I ran into Keith Boreani about 11 years ago, he’d just finished renovating an old school bus.

Raising the $5,000 to buy the bus was the easy part. Finding partners to help him do the job was a challenge. Nobody could quite grasp the vision that Boreani had for the old hulk.

By the time he was done, though, Boreani had created quite a showpiece: shiny black with purple lights on the exterior and thick carpet inside, with custom-designed furniture, a sink, a cooler and even a little bathroom in back.

Boreani figured he could rent it out as a party bus, but the plan didn’t pan out.

You can’t keep a guy with crazy automotive ideas down, though, and Boreani, who’s in pharmaceutical sales, has a vision for a whole new fleet of vehicles that will never make a lot of money but will turn plenty of heads.

The first vehicle in the fleet has recently been completed.

Boreani bought a 1971 Winnebago, with a big W on the side and 75,000 miles on it.

“It wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t pretty,” he said.

But he had an idea to make it really outrageous. Working with an Angola airbrusher, Harry Martin of Hairydidit, he converted the old motor home into a combination of Clark Griswold’s hideous green station wagon and Eddie’s hideous motor home from the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movies.

The green station wagon is painted on the side, complete with a dead grandma wrapped in a tarp and strapped to the roof. There are plenty of Walley World characters and tons of painted rust on the side, front and rear.

Martin said he came up with preliminary drawings, Boreani would review them and suggest changes, and together they’d come up with a final design.

Boreani says he’ll never make his money back on the old RV, “But you can’t go anywhere without someone wanting their picture taken with it,” he said. “People enjoy it.” Driving down the street, “98 percent of the people turn and look and take photos of it.”

Even car nuts like it. He took it to a car show in Huntington and won first place.

The idea is that companies will want to rent it as a curiosity for events. When you think about it, it would just about make it worthwhile to go to a company picnic.

Boreani says he’s even willing to dress up as Cousin Eddie to accompany the motor home.

Boreani isn’t done, either. He plans to come up with a “Caddyshack” themed motor home, one with a “Ghostbusters” theme, and one based on “A Christmas Story.”

“I’ve got a creative end,” Boreani says.

One of Boreani’s partners even wants to take the current RV on a trip to Arizona, but he doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Those old motor homes get only 7 or 8 miles per gallon. It would be cheaper to fly first class.

Frank Gray reflects on his and others’ experiences in columns published Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He can be reached by phone at 461-8376, by fax at 461-8893, or by email at fgray@jg.net. You can also follow him on Twitter @FrankGrayJG.

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