One of the most asked questions Andy and I see when it comes to the Cortez motorhome is in regards to finding one: “Does anyone know someone selling a Cortez motorhome?” people want to know. “Where can I get a Cortez motorhome?” they write.
Therefore, for those with curious minds and penchants for one classic vehicle, I wanted to take a minute to talk about the top ways to rent and/or purchase your own steel beast . . .
↠ Rent ↞
First, let’s start with the sensible idea: Rent a Cortez. Renting allows the ability to determine not only if RVing is right for you but if having a quirky, temperamental vintage motorhome is right for you. Crazily enough, as rare as Cortezes are, someone offers the ability to rent one.
Looking at the website today, it would cost $165 to rent for one night if you traveled to California where it is located.
True there are other RV rental companies, but from the looks of it — Finding classic motorhomes are hard and finding a Cortez is even harder. Who knows though — They could pop up in the future but right now, this is all that’s out there to rent.
↠ Buy ↞
From the sensible idea to rent to the possibly irrational idea of purchase — I’ll just say if you end up here, you are in good company. After all, we snatched up our Cortez sight unseen and then had it towed across America because it was not mechanical sound to drive.
As ill-thought out as that may sound, our decision did not come lightly. We had been discussing breathing life into a classic vehicle since the first night we met. True, the months and years that passed, the more convinced both Andy and I became that our vintage love would be a VW camper . . . that is until we found the Cortez. At that time, our hearts were torn between the two vehicles and so we talked and brainstormed which would be the best choice for us. (To find out exactly how the Cortez beat the campervan, read Choosing a Vanlife Vehicle: Pros and Cons of What’s Available.) As it turned out, every end result lead us back to the Cortez, which meant the next tricky part was finding one. Knowing what we know now, here are places that could lead you to purchasing your own, too.
Because Ebay is a massive online marketplace, finding vehicles there is almost too easy. Truth be told, I was suspicious of buying an RV — or, okay, any vehicle virtually; Andy though is the opposite and almost master of this. In England, he purchased four other vehicles through Ebay. Sure, there are things to look out for and tricks that increase your Ebay success — which we will breakdown in a later post — but overall, we had pretty good success with our Cortez-Ebay experience.
On average, we estimate Cortezes pop on Ebay about once every couple months — In fact, as I’m writing now, there is a 1966 model listed for sale with a price tag of $2,000 (and no reserve). If you were interested in having your own, definitely increase your chances by setting up an account and then clicking “Notifications”. That way you’ll be updated the moment one is listed.
CORTEZ OWNERS CLUB
This is a private group so you have to complete their Facebook form to join, but once you’re in, owners we’ve seen prefer to hand over their Cortezes to someone in this group who is passionate about the vehicle versus an impersonal listing on Ebay. The bonus too if you are able to get in: You can get-to-know current or previous owners who have vehicle first-hand knowledge that would have been near impossible to track down otherwise. Also, the club lists registry information which proves interesting details on the Cortezes that are still around today, and the club has files detailing modern conversions and part numbers.
For what it is worth, we have noticed some Cortez owners announcing that they also listed their Cortezes for sale on Facebook Marketplace. We’ve only noticed a few posted since owning ours — and there are none listed now — but if you are wanting to find a Cortez, this could be another place to check.
It offers forums, manuals, and history for the vehicle. Better yet if you are searching, there is a classified section where you can not only track down parts for the motorhome but also track down the vehicle itself. Looking now, the last Cortez listing was two years ago, but before that, there was a steady flow of discussions and posts.
I struggled with what best to call this section because it is so encompassing. The best way I came up with is the simple word ‘classifieds.’ Sure, Ebay is a huge hub of advertisements for buying, selling, and bidding, but the amount of tiny websites that focus on either camper, RV, or vintage vehicle classifieds is pretty big too. Let’s get started with a quick Google search . . .
The Van Project brought interest back to the Cortez when they took off in it for vanlife. After roaming across America for three years, Matt, Amanda, and their dog Royal decided to settle down and find a home without wheels. Because of this, they put their 1964 Cortez up for sale on a site called Expedition Portal. This site focuses on travel, but it also has classifieds on vehicles that will get you, well, traveling. Right now, Matt and Amanda’s Cortez is listed so if you were on the hunt, this one is decked out with modernizations that would make vanlife much easier. Other than that, who knows — Maybe another Cortez will show up here later.
Vintage Campers Trailers also has a classified section. They had a 1967 Cortez listed for sale too, though the ad was several years old. However, that listing did get a steady stream of comments all the way up to a couple days ago. In fact, the last two comments provided an update on the Cortez auction results.
Bring a Trailer seems to have a steady flow of trailers to vehicles up for auction. They had a beautiful 1968 Cortez listed about a month and a half ago. That one listing had almost 29,000 views and a little under 1,000 watchers. The end result of this auction? A final bid of $19,500 — but it wasn’t enough to meet the reserve, which means this beauty may be on the market again soon.
The last site I’m going to name is Carscoms. They seem to have a whopping three Cortezes for listed for sale — a 1965, 1966, and 1967. Ironically, one of the motorhomes has identical pictures to the first Cortez Andy bid on — The only reason we did not end up with that motorhome was because the seller contacted us right after our Ebay bid went through, apologizing that she could actually not sell the vehicle. I’ll fully admit this site is strange: One of the Cortezes is listed at $0.99 so you can make an offer; past that, the highest one listed is $25,000. If the site and its listing are legit, it could be a great ticket to hunt down this motorhome.
Overall, I’m sure there are other websites with classified sections and Cortezes listed . . . but finding those sites — Well, it would honestly be preparing you for how it will be to find parts for that motorhome! It is a bit of hunting . . . and asking . . . and a lot of hoping.