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The Wheel & I

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Subtitled My Life Driving Fleetwood Enterprises to the Top, John Crean’s autobiography is
the story of one of the recreational-vehicle industry’s true characters. Comedian Stan
Freberg describes his pal of 30 years as “eccentric, ultra-conservative,
ultra-kind-hearted, ultra-rich” and goes on to say he’s a one-of-a-kind master woodworker,
carpenter and inventor; an RV pioneer and a self-made captain of the industry; a hilarious
syndicated-TV chef; and a closet philanthropist. The book traces Crean’s quirky career,
from handcrafting a better venetian blind for house trailers in his father-in-law’s garage
and hand-building his first trailer to creating Fleetwood Enterprises and building it into
a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 public company. His success is based, in part, on the
notion that customers and employees come first. A visionary inventor, he is personally
responsible for many of Fleetwood’s product innovations. Coauthor Jim Washburn
characterizes Crean as a natural storyteller who loves mischief. “He enjoys swearing so
much that [his wife] Donna calls it ‘just John speaking his native language.’ I’ve never
met a person who talks less about being a Christian, or who acts more like one.”At 75+,
Crean still works every day in his huge woodworking shop on the Newport Beach, California,
estate he and his wife call “The Village Crean.” He has hand-built everything from RV
prototypes to his home’s exquisite cherrywood dining table. The mansion he built himself is
modeled on Twelve Oaks in the movie Gone With the Wind. Photos of family members,
celebrities and friends illustrate this personal glimpse into the life of an exceptional
entrepreneur. The Wheel & I (430 pages, leather-bound) is available from Venezia
Productions, P.O. Box 10395, Newport Beach, California 92658; (949) 851-3922; or from the
Web site: www.hotrange.com.

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