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Author Topic: What got you on the Busnut highway?  (Read 4766 times)
4905 doc
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« on: January 18, 2009, 10:57:01 AM »

I'm sitting here listening to my favorite Harry Chapin song "GreyHound" and got to thinking, what set everyone on the path to busnut heaven? For me, I rode the greyhound all across this country a bunch of times. Loved the way a bus seemed to float over the pavement. (air ride don't you know) Knew on the first ride that there would be a time when I'd own one. Little did I know it would take me into my 50's to finally create my dream bus. Circumstance forced me to sell the old girl, but now the circle has come back around and I'll have another. No way to get it out of your blood I guess.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 11:04:17 AM »

George & Ellen Lowry.  They made a trip across Canada about 7 or 8 years ago now in their GM.  I had toyed with the idea before that but we were pretty happy with our 5th wheel at the time.  After seeing Lowry's conversion and listening to George enthuse about it we were pretty well hooked.  We took a couple of years to look but it was a pretty straight path from their trip to our purchase.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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roadrunnertex
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 11:23:30 AM »

It all started when I was a very small little boy and buses were my favorite things to be around as my daddy was a bus driver for Greyhound Lines and I use to ride with him on many of his trips when the PD-3751 Silversides were new coaches.
Then the PD-4104's and the PD-4501 Scenicruisers were the number one buses on the road back in the mid 50's and through the early 60's.
The first bus that I bought was a PD-4104 converted it and later sold it to buy a P8M4905A Buffalo that we had converted and still own after a number of years.
It always nice to own a bus and to be able to drive it on trips across our great land. Roll Eyes
jlv
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jackhartjr
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 11:35:42 AM »

I saw a Scenicruiser in a lot in Detroit...I started looking around for info on them...found this sight...talked to some folks...found a Scenic in Hollywood, FL...there you go!
And if I never get the bus going, (And I will) the friends met and experiences doing this makes it still worth every penny!
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Jack Hart, CDS
1956 GMC PD-4501 #945 (The Mighty SCENICRUISER!)
8V71 Detroit
4 speed Spicer Trannsmission
Hickory, NC, (Where a call to God is a local call!)
usbusin
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 12:04:57 PM »

In the mid to late sixties I commuted from Marin County across the Golden Gate bridge to San Francisco when I worked for PG&E.  My ride was a Greyhound 4104 and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that twenty years later in 1985 I would own a a 1960 4104!! 

We had that wonderful ole girl for 16+ years and many, many wonderful miles and memories!
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Gary D

USBUSIN was our 1960 PD4104 for 16 years Ustruckin' is our 2001 Freightliner truck conversion
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 12:32:59 PM »

Driving a bus for Brewster's through the 70's in the Canadian Rockies. We still had MCI Courier 96s then that were used for local sightseeing tours and to the ski hills in the winter. When they were sold in '77, I thought they would make a nice motorhome, but didn't do anything about it. Then 4 years ago, I saw one in the Trader that had been converted in '77. When I saw it, I had to have it! It followed me home! I redid the interior the first winter after using it all summer. The following winter, I put a turbo charger on the 4-71. Right now, I'm doing an out-of-frame engine rebuild. I have as much fun wrenching on it as I do using it in the summer. We use it a lot with my two teen-age sons and my wife. It draws a lot of attention where-ever we go. The MCI Courier 96 (built in Winnipeg), is what Greyhound was running in Canada in the fifties while the GM 4104 was all over the US. Greyhound in the US didn't start running MCIs untill the '60s with the MC5.

I also drive and maintain the local Junior Hockey team's bus as a volunteer, a MCI 102D3. (Replacing 2 air bags tomorrow or Tuesday, fun...)

Once a bus driver, always a bus driver.

JC
 
 
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 12:35:15 PM »

Crazy as it sounds, way back in 1969 when I was 19 or sosss, I drove a school bus part time while pretending to go to junior college full time.  As my seniority rose, finally was assigned to a 1963 Crown 40-foot 10-wheeler hauling high school kids.

Number 21.  For awhile, went twice daily from Bakersfield CA up and down the Ridge Route to Frazier Park in the mountains South of town.  The Crown had a Jake Brake, which was kinda unusual at that time.  While driving the Crown, I got to thinking.

What a fantastic motorhome the Crown would make if it was so converted.  The chassis was/is very near that of a big logging truck with a bus body put on top. Have plowed snow with the front bumper.  Excellent handling and braking.

Sooosss, that was in 1969 or so.  Anyway, in about 2001, I found I had the desire, time, money and a 1974 Crown 10-wheeler became available, soss i bought it.  Another number 21.  Go figure.  Sadly sold the bus about 10 months ago.

Lived in the stripped shell for 3 years, summer and winter.  110 in the summer, 15 in the winter.  Drove it every so often.  Small Cam Cummins, 10 speed Roadranger.  Got over 10 mpg at 55.  Had the plans all drawn up.  I want another.  HB of CJ
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Tenor
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2009, 12:50:51 PM »

My buddy bought an MCI 7 from a church and I helped him gut the interior.  After a bad day at work I took my frustrations out on the lavatory.  I'll never forget the smell of a blue wrench and toilet bowl!  Tongue  He had a big stack of BCM's and I was hooked.  A few years went by and the 73 Winnie that my wife and I had a ball with finally gave up the ghost.  I talked her into buying a GMC 4905 that seemed to be in our price bracket and had been partially converted.  We re-assembled the interior with appliances from the Winnie and kept it on the road for almost 2 years.  After the SECOND fire, the insurance co. said "enough".  The settlement was decent and we kept the coach.  Sold old appliances, sold the bus and bought our current MCI 7 in Sept of 07.  I got enough of an interior and plumbing and electrical done by Memorial Day of 08 to put it to use.  I think we had it out at least a dozen times last summer.  Now the interior is almost done, just leaving the battery bank, solar panels, paint and odds and ends left. 

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
www.threemenandatenor.com
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
8v71
4 speed Spicer
cody
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2009, 12:51:11 PM »

Our exodus to a bus was as natural a thing as a person would encounter, we tent camped for several years and then in 1976 we bought a 1964 Frolic travel trailer and suddenly we were in heaven, wow it had running water tho only cold and we had to pressurize the tank to get it and wow a furnace and even a toilet, what luxury that was, we dragged it across country a lot of times and then in 1983 we got a good deal on a new class C so we upgraded to that, then in the early 90's I got a call from a friend that was an RV dealer in Pittsfield Illinois, he had a guy trade in a absolute beautiful Revcon class A, it was loaded and front wheel drive and the absolute top of the factory class A lines, and all custom built, no revcon left the factory until the new owner and the desighn team had designed all that the new owner wanted, they were built to order and this one was a beauty, all the factory schematics, all the engineering notes, it was all to be mine when I signed the papers, so off we went to pittsfield to see this modern engineering marvel and scary enough, it was everything the dealer had said and even more, now it was mine lol.  We spent the next 10 years enjoying it and just having fun, it had cool stuff like an electric couch, press a button on the wall and the couch whirred and turned into a bed, press it again and presto, it was again a couch, we were in heaven once again, then I got the bug for a bus,. we looked for 2 years and then I found one that looked ok, I dragged a friend of mine along, he is the deisel mechanic for a charter bus company up here, Superior Coaches and for the cost of a nice dinner he went from stem to stern and over and under it, around and down the road and back, he looked silently to me and signaled the thumbs up on it. In my best but disgustingly eager voice I asked the dealer what he would take for it and after much haggling and whining I signed the check and we were on our way home, via Red Lobster.  After dropping him off, I called my wife and sasked her if she would move the truck to the side of the driveway, she asked whyyyyyy? I told her to think back and remember how I had always wanted a bus? She said okkkkkkkk? I said well I'm ten minutes out bringing one home lol.  When I pulled into the yard the truck was on the side and she was waiting for me with fear in her eyes, her first comment as she walked up and looked into the open door was, " couldn't you at least have bought one with a floor?", it was completely gutted and I had a great view of the pavement going by under what used to be the storage bays, but not to worry, it was an easy job to fix it up and wouldn't cost much, right? lol
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David Anderson
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2009, 01:09:51 PM »

I started looking for RV's in 1999 and the prices, even used, took my breath away.  I stumbled on some bus conversions for sale and thought, "I can do this".  After a year of looking I plunged and bought an Eagle 10.  Three years of converting and 25% of what a comparible motorhome would cost,  wifey and I have been tooling around the U.S.  as much as we can afford.  No regrets after 9 years.  However, in this market you could buy one already converted for less and save the three years of work. 

David
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fraser8
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2009, 01:18:19 PM »

Back in the early 70's I bought a converted school bus, a 1955 Ford, It had been used for a cross Canada trip to Expo 67 in Montreal Canada. It needed a lot of work, we stripped the interior, sprayed it white and redid it with some use RV appliances. I rebuilt the old V8 312 converted it to 12 volt, and we were on the road with the still yellow beast. As the cab was narrower than the rest of the bus you could drive with the door open and my oldest son (only 3 then) could sit behind me and look over my left shoulder. We put a lot of miles on that old bus including a trip from BC to Disneyland. I remember one time hooking a chain to the bumper and towing a motor home up a long back road hill because it didn't have the traction or the power. That old Ford in bull low would climb a wall. We used it for 5 years then went on to a series of different RV's when retirement loomed I just knew we would get another bus. We haven't put a lot of miles on yet but I should be free to travel the first of April. A bus is more than just a home on wheels, it's a life style and a community of many. It wouldn't be traveling if I couldn't look out of that big front window and hear that big diesel pushing us to places that dreams are made of.
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Fraser Field
Deroche, BC, Canada
Where the milk cows out number the people, but they can't vote
1972 Prevost, Detroit 8-71/740 Allison automatic, Jakes
Hobbies: restoring classic cars, www.oldambulance.com, arranging old car tours: www.coasters2010.com, www.canadiancoasters.ca
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Songman
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2009, 01:19:58 PM »

Riding Merle's tour bus set my course to be a bus nut from the time I was a child. It also set me on the path to making a career of music. Forty years later I still love both. No complaints.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2009, 01:24:51 PM »

I wrote a long story about getting into buses, but hit some key combo and erased it all.

The short version is my friend thought we should get a $1,500 school bus and I wasn't going for that.  I bought a Dina highway bus and the rest is history.  I had looked at motorhomes, but they didn't have adequate seating or sleeping facilities for five to nine people plus the used ones I looked at in my price range had wimpy little motors.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 05:48:00 PM »

My desire for a bus started back in the 70's when I lived in Wheaton, IL. and visited Houseman Bus in
Des plaines, IL I looked at the MCI's he had, but I bought a new Barth at the time. But I never forgot the MCI, and to this day I still want one. I sold the Barth in the mid 90's, As I knew it would start costing me $$$ and I am now planning my future bus purchase, I almost bought one last year but passed on it. But it is a lot of fun thinking, and planning.

WVaNative
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Dean Hamilton Villa Grove, IL East Central IL. Near Champaign
Still Dreaming and planning
Dreamscape
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2009, 05:54:05 PM »

My first bus was a 1955 Ford Schoolie. Not converted but I sure dreamed of doing it one day. Went through a divorce and that stopped the dream......at least for a while anyway.....

I have always had a fondness for any bus, didn't make any difference what kind. One of my favorites and still is, is the 4104.

I just love the look of the more retro style coaches. Something about the "Look"!

I finally was able to achieve my dream in 2003, bought our 1968 Eagle 01. I fell in love with it the moment I saw her. Sure she was 35 years then, still looked pretty darn good. Now that she is forty, I like her even more. She's in better shape than I am at 59! Wink

There is a great feeling when I get behind the wheel and cruise down the interstate. I get a big smile on my face and it just feels darn good!

All of us are just very lucky to be able to pursue our dream!

Happy Trails always is a special term with me, now more than ever.

Paul
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Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
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