Overdrive Extra

Max Heine

Overdrive’s Roadmansion: A fancy driver’s oasis in 1967

| July 08, 2014

Some of Overdrive’s oldest readers might recall the Overdrive Roadmansion in Los Angeles. Retired driver Bill Nickel, 74, is one of them. He contacted us recently to see if we had any information on the house, which provided lodging and amenities to drivers.

Roadmansion
This front and back cover of the October 1967 issue shows Overdrive staff member Freddi Sullivan at the Roadmansion. That issue says the facility had more than 20 rooms and these amenities: “Swimming pool, heated. Food, excellent. Full length feature movie in our own theatre. Live entertainment FREQUENTLY. Linen napkins, always. Tablecloths, always. Wine served at dinner, always. Polynesian bar. Pickup and delivery. Pool, ping pong, badminton, chess. Color TV lounge.”

Nickel recalled staying there during, he believes, 1967. He had a dedicated route with Kansas-based Tip Top Dairy Products running between Kansas and Los Angeles. He was lacking a return load one day, had read about the Roadmansion in Overdrive, and made a call.

“They sent a van down, picked up me and my partner at the truck stop in LA,” Nickel says. They were given a room, told they could swim at the pool, and that the bar would open in an hour. “Then after we had a couple of drinks, and ate, there actually was a movie theater on the premises.”

After the movie, they returned to the pool for snacks and drinks. The next morning included breakfast and a ride back to the truck stop.

For the shuttles, lodging and everything else, Nickel recalls the cost as about $6 or $8 a person.

Any other old-timers with memories of the Roadmansion? Comment below or write me at mheine@randallreilly.com. I’ll be following up with other pictures and information on the Roadmansion from our archives.

  • Chuck Onsum

    I stayed there twice back in late 60′s. If I remember right Mike Parkhurst and the Roadmaster organization leased the house from Robert Stack. That has been a few days ago. Free food and drink was the norm but a few took advantage of a good thing.