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Author Topic: 35' buses  (Read 6056 times)
bevans6
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2010, 03:53:42 AM »

I  bought a 1980 35' MCI MC-5C because it was available nearby for the price I wanted to pay, but the key factor was parking and manuevering.  later I added parts availability and general MCI'ness as I learned more.  My bus is a 1980 and was imported into Canada by a professional importer in 2002.  He is still around, although older, in the Simcoe Ontario region.  It was converted to Canadian specs, mostly hub meter and speedometer in kilometers, as a seated completely stock bus, and has a Canadian Certification Label.  It was originally one of the Navajo Nation buses in Arizona.  A local bus company, Cherrey bus lines, did the conversion and fixed all the little things at the same time.  In today's money about $10K  was spent on suspension and brake parts, steering tie bars and drag links, etc.

So my thought is you can import a bus if it is seated and stock, and use an import specialist.  If you PM me I will get you his name when I get home from Nova Scotia late next week.  I think the prices for fully converted buses in Canada is a fair bit higher than in the US due to rarity, they are around though.  And I don't believe you can import a converted bus due to RIVA regs unless it is a factory new conversion by a registered manufacturer.  So you are kind of stuck to buying what's in Canada already, or importing a stock seated bus.  I think, at least!

Cheers, Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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Jeremy
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2010, 05:47:19 AM »

It's a shame that you can't consider importing a bus from outside North America - there's a vast selection of 'short' buses to choose from in Europe, where every manufacturer offers buses in 8m, 10m, 12m and 14m lengths. I have a short Plaxton myself (see photo on the left), and I just looked at the website of a local bus dealer who have the very short Neoplan shown below for sale (this will be 8m long - less than 30 feet).

This Neoplan is quite expensive (10k), but that is probably over-priced. My bus is only 5 years older (1987) and cost just 2.5k, which is less than it appears you would pay for something that may be 30 or 40 years old in the States. I assume that the value of old buses here depreciates so quickly because there are so many different manufacturers, all constantly bring out new models which obsoletes the old ones. It does mean that you can get a lot of bus for your money when buying second-hand though - but no doubt the cost of importing one to Canada would be many times the cost of the bus itself.




Jeremy
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Overdrive
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2010, 11:27:48 AM »

It's a shame that you can't consider importing a bus from outside North America - there's a vast selection of 'short' buses to choose from in Europe, where every manufacturer offers buses in 8m, 10m, 12m and 14m lengths....

Another issue over and above the shipping cost for something like that (IF its even allowed) would be parts availability.

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Overdrive
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2010, 11:44:42 AM »

... So my thought is you can import a bus if it is seated and stock, and use an import specialist....

The gentleman selling his 4104 locally that I went to see said he bought it as a converted bus, and imported it as such. However, reading up a little last night, anything built prior to 1971 won't need to meet any of the strict import guidelines. Basically, if it's made before 1971, it doesn't have to be be on the list of allowable vehicles. It just needs a valid title and insurance and bill of sale, and obviously must meet basic safety regulations in order to have it registered when you bring it home. 1971 and newer units I'd be stuck to an un-modified seated bus, or one that's converted by a manufacturer listed on the list (which isn't many and I think limits to more recent builds).

In any case, the "list" says no RTS busses allowed for importation at all... unless they're one of the recent ones less than about 10 years old from a certain manufacturer (I can't remember, but something that new is bound to be past what I can afford).
 
Anyhow, the local 4104 I looked at is solid, and mechanically sound, currently being used. rebuilt 671 (looks like it leaks oil/fuel a bit), original 4-speed manual. 2 year old radial tires and aluminum rims all around, brakes converted to modern style spring brakes, body is straight and solid. No air conditioning. older insides that would need upgrading at some point, but usable as-is, needs the rubberized paint/coating scraped off the roof because its cracking and flaking, and minor fixes done here and there. What's a reasonable price for one of these things?


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bevans6
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2010, 11:56:58 AM »

Now you are asking a HARD question!  What's it worth?  My feeling is that the market is such that it is literally worth what you are prepared to pay and what the seller is prepared to take.  In other words, pure market pricing - he has something you want and you have something he wants.  Who wants which the most?  The value of it is another thing - it's undoubtedly valued at more than you will pay or he will get, which makes the pricing very hard.  He may feel insulted, and you may feel he is holding out for more than it's worth...

It would cost around $10K to get a 671 rebuilt by a pro shop, it would cost a couple of grand to have that same shop convert to spring brakes ( obviously less if done by the owner or a couple of buddies), a basic conversion is worth $10K, a nice conversion is worth double that, and a good conversion is worth the sky...  6 new radial tires and decent/new Alcoa's are worth $3500 to $4000...

all numbers in Canadian, in case you all think I am expensive...  Smiley  (15% tax pays for our  free stuff from the Gubbmint...)

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
Jeremy
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2010, 12:05:13 PM »

Another issue over and above the shipping cost for something like that (IF its even allowed) would be parts availability.


Yes, that is what everyone immediately says whenever something other than a MCI/Eagle/GMC is mentioned. I do rather think it's a red-herring though when you consider that you can get parts shipped from Europe in the same time that it takes to get something sent across America. I have several American vehicles (cars and a van), and often do the reverse with no concerns or problems. I'm not trying to ignore the fact that cost and inconvenience are big issues, and there would undoubtably be other difficulties as well when driving about Canada in some weird foreign bus - but just think of the up-side - would you rather have a tug boat or a spaceship?

Jeremy

PS. Incidentally...I've never seen an American bus in the UK myself, but have occasionally come across references to them. Some time ago Pinewood studios had a 4104 for sale on UK Ebay, which had been used in some 'American' movie that was being filmed there. And just yesterday I was looking at the website of this company, who apparently refurbished an Eagle for promotional work in the UK:

http://www.southeastcoachworks.co.uk/clients.php/previous_buses/scottish_courage_miller_bus/index.htm

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Overdrive
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2010, 01:14:31 PM »

...
It would cost around $10K to get a 671 rebuilt by a pro shop, it would cost a couple of grand to have that same shop convert to spring brakes ( obviously less if done by the owner or a couple of buddies), a basic conversion is worth $10K, a nice conversion is worth double that, and a good conversion is worth the sky...  6 new radial tires and decent/new Alcoa's are worth $3500 to $4000...
...


So, based on this, $26,000 plus the bus shell... which would put it in the mid 30's to build one, which is pretty much asking. I did miss out on a local Western Flyer that was really nice. I don't know if it sold, but the add disappeared before I decided I should print it and call, it was a nice conversion with raised roof. Asking was mid-30's. Based on the above, I'd say it was probably close to double asking to build.

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chuckd
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2010, 04:57:18 PM »

Prevost made perhaps 30 35 foot buses for conversion purposes in the late 70's, early 80's perhaps.  Not sure of the exact number or years, but my 35 footer is a Liberty Conversion and was built in 1979.  I paid 35k for it 6 months ago with 119,000 miles on the clock.  Not sure if it was a good deal or not, but it was a fair price for me.

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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2010, 12:50:21 AM »

I bought a running converted 4104 in the states, for $2K.  Importation to Canada was easy...some duty fees, and a safety to register it in Quebec. It had 'lectric problems but the motor and brakes were solid.  Put in spring brakes myself, maybe $200 in parts and 16 hrs labour...could do it in 8 hrs now.  Definetly better deals in the US , only problem is going to see and buy a bus coasts $$$ and bringing it home can be time and  $ consuming as well,  so must be figured into the equations.
 In hindsight for me a decent converted 4104 with all systems operational, decent tires, and usable conversion, already safetied for the province you are in would be worth 10K.  It has amazed me how much time (=$) I have put into fixing the little things....(wipers....8 hrs of fiddling...but they work now) etc etc...
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