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Author Topic: When did you start bussing?  (Read 1809 times)
Charles in SC
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« on: May 25, 2014, 06:36:01 PM »

When did you get your first bus? How long did you look before buying?
I looked about a year, bought in 2000, got it converted enough to start using in 2003, still have it. Would like to upgrade.
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S8M 5303 built in 1969, converted in 2000
Eagle Andy
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1968 Silver Eagle # 7481




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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 08:23:23 PM »

We bought ours in 2007, 68 Eagle pretty much down. However over the last 7 years have made many up grades.
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1968 Model 05 Eagle # 7481 Miles City MT
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 10:43:59 PM »

We bought ours in 2001, before the towers fell. We've still got it and are getting ready for another trip.

No regrets.

Tom Caffrey
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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Ketchikan, Alaska
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 12:27:13 AM »

Thoughts, geez I first had a pickup with slide in camper, then later restarted with a VW camper bus, it was fun.  
But the Bussin started after looking & driving all the charter operators in Va nuts for about a year, I bought a 1972 MC7 in 1988, that was one of my greatest days, ran it for over 20 years, big money in total rebuild mechanically, every bearing, all new steering components, all new or rebuilt running gear.
We have traveled all states east of the Miss river & some Canada, many runs to Florida for the new years partys with the CCO, then it became the Arcadia event. I never had an issue while traveling ever.
In my case, I had a stroke and eventually got to the point was not able to crawl around it for normal repairs etc, so gave it away and bought a Foretravel with the ISM500 Cummins, a very fine coach that is more like a car maintenance wise, very easy & anything else, it goes back to factory.
Dave M
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 12:29:45 AM by wg4t50 » Logged

MCI7 20+ Yrs
Foretravel w/ISM500
WG4T CW for over 50 wpm for ever.
Central Virginia
Nineforever
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 06:32:04 AM »

Started small one bus charter operation 21 years ago with a mc9 which i bought from Greyhound i bought several from them over the years until i learned my lesson , when there finished with them , they are completely finished .
I currently still run a small charter company .
I have one bus for private use thats being converted a work still in progress   
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Hyway 3 100 klms south of Yellowknife NWT Canada
Van
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89' Silver Eagle 15/40 6V92MUI Boulder City,NV




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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 06:37:08 AM »

Got ours, an 89 Eagle 15 back in July 07 seated coach stripped down inside. Blew the engine bringing it home.  With Cliffords help found another engine, has served us well ever since. Getting ready to pull up stakes and head home after another great trip out here at lake Mead Nv.

Clifford found the speedo problem lol all fixed now I hope Undecided
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If you are not living on the edge, then you're takin' up too much space!!!
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 06:44:38 AM »

Couldn't afford much. Bought the AMGeneral transit in 1993 in Kelso, Wa for $4,000. Before bringing it home to L.A., had the rear end ratio changed from 5.57 to 4.56, 55 injectors to 65 injectors, 12R-22.5 to my 11R-24.5. Started working on it in 1994 and finished (started to use it) in 2,000. I ultimately rebuilt everything in the engine compartment and turbo'd the engine, new air bags, changed the air assist steering to Sheppard hydraulic, added King Cruise Control, changed air wipers to electric. Still have it now-have put on 35,000mi. Will be going to Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe in late July.

Now am converting my '85 Kenworth 90" Aerodyne cabover to a 40ft motorhome. Most of the interior is in. Still have to install the electrical, plumbing, refrigerator, freezer, washer/dryer, dishwasher, generator, invertor, three A/C's.  Needless to say, still have at least another year of work on it. Probably will be my last conversion. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 07:55:19 AM »

We were late bloomers and after looking for a year found our MCI 5c Saudi coach close to home at A to Z Bus in Sacramento, California 2010. It was the head mechanics there. It had been converted professional for a race team in Missouri and the mechanic started tearing it all out but there were some walls in it which I moved around and the kitchen had wood flooring in it. The back bay had tanks and 4 dead batteries in the back. We went on the road for 3 months after completing what we thought we would need. Had to buy new blinds, 4024 hybrid inverter, new 6V batteries, fix the whole air system which would lock up every time we would go out and then put new vinyl on the dash, seats, hookup air horns, put in electric wipers and am presently changing to spin on filters, new thermostats, some new hoses, valves etc. We then also lived on the river in a campground we worked in for another 18 months. We now are working on a ranch in California in exchange for a place to keep and work on the bus while my wife was recouping from foot surgery. that took 27 months because of a bad fall that included broken foot, messed up hips, back etc.
We are going to make another voyage up to Yreka, CA the last week of August to the 1st annual Bluegrass festival for Jefferson county. Towing my Chevy S10 with our 3 cats who can really mess up vinyl etc. but am clean her up now on the weekends and redoing some things for the trip. We will be going out on, a week to maybe month trips for awhile and then when thing allow we will get back to fulltiming again.

Dave5Cs
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 06:12:00 PM by Dave5Cs » Logged

eagle19952
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 09:27:54 AM »

2003, average 7-8 thousand miles per year, but have been parked with aged parent care and medical issues a few times for a year or so each time.
getting ready to hit the road again, have lived exclusively in the bus tho.
even when it is parked at the house in AK. on our trips back home Grin

so far the only parts needed were belts and an alternator. oil and fluids, batteries and a new compressor for the central air. repaired one bad air leak to DD3, at which time I replaced a bunch of air lines just because.

Wifey wants to keep at it more than I do  Grin
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akroyaleagle
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 09:47:24 AM »

Bought ours in Apr '96. A Ramblin' fever conversion. Immediately started living in it fulltime. We lived in it for 8 years.

Have never had a major issue with it. Did change to a 8V92T in 2000.

We lived in Alaska and spent winters in Matzalan, Florida, Yuma, Phoenix, El Paso and other warm places. Drove it home each spring for the summer.

We don't use it as much now. I am getting a little stove up to do the maintenance.

Some photos on Facebook (Joe Laird) and Photobucket (akroyaleagle).

The interior has been redone on 2012.


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Joe Laird
'78 Eagle
Huron, South Dakota
Gary W
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 12:38:59 PM »

We bought our first bus a 1973 MCI-7 in 1993 and converted it ourselves. We sold it in 2004 and bought a MCI 102-A-3 and had it converted for us, we still enjoying travelling in it.

Gary
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HB of CJ
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 02:48:55 PM »

Had campers and trailers since about 1976.  Started with Bus Conversions around May, 2002 with a 1974 Crown Supercoach 40' 3 axle ex schoolie with a small cam Cummins 855 250hp and a RTO910 Fuller.  Lived in it part converted for about 4-5 years, then sadly sold her in around 2006.  Amazing machine, would do 80mph and got around 10 mpg at 60mph.  Huge brakes...handled better than some cars.  Too expensive to keep, plus I got old.   Oh well.  I am now Bus Conversion- less.  HB of CJ (old coot) Sad

But...if another suitable Crown Supercoach came around...what the heck! Smiley
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Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 04:55:40 PM »

You mean like this one up at Coach Maintenance in northern Cali.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2014, 05:10:58 PM »

We started in 1973 bought a Blue Bird Wander Lodge a 1965 with a Ford Industrial engine it got a 4 miles to a gal maybe on a good day and was so rough it would shake the sheets off the bed driving down the road  Smiley We owned a couple of MCI's 5 and 8, Prevosts and Eagles never owned a GM though just never cared for looks of GM except the 4106 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 05:24:22 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2014, 05:48:12 PM »

My dad bought an old shorty Chevy school bus in 1959 or 60. I can remember helping him take out the seats. He used plywood to make a table that converted into a bed, and built a bathroom, everything was very basic. Had it for 2 years and then he sold or traded it.  Bought our 5A in late Sept. of 03 and started fulltiming at the end of Jan. of 04. Wasn't really looking for a bus when we found it on an ebay auction. 
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
TheHollands!
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2014, 07:38:06 PM »

We bought our MCI-9 in 2011, we bought the first one we looked at, knew nothing about buses and this website has been brilliant. Not much for repairs other than maintenance. We gutted it and and started living in it 3 months after we bought it. Built out the interior as we've travelled, about 80% complete. We love it and really don't have much of a   clue how long we'll be doing it. Craig
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The Hollands!
1984 MCI-9
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2014, 08:30:17 PM »

Hi All, had trailers for many years, last one was a Streamline (the engineers left Airstream to make a bettter trailer, then a  motorhome), when the kids left the house, got a Ultrastar, a streamlined class A, sold it to get the MCI5A, the 1st bus I looked at, after driving several and looking at even more came back to the 1st one, lvmci...
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MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2014, 05:32:28 AM »

Bought our 89 Prevost in 2005 off Ebay. Used it that fall set up quickly for use in Maine. Gutted it in 2008 and still doing the conversion. Plan on being done in 2016 when I retire. Use it as is on occasion to get it out on the road so I don't forget how to shift the Spicer.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2014, 06:46:22 AM »

Hmmm. When was I bitten with the incurable bus virus? It was 1966, when I was about 10 years old.

My Dad’s parents had just retired from the journalism careers (Chicago Tribune), and asked my Dad’s help to move them from Zion, Illinois down to Vero Beach, Florida. Dad checked out the cost of renting a U-Haul, which was $300. Instead, for $300 Dad bought a school bus from the school system. It had all maintenance records and was in very good shape.

--1956 Chevy
--292 6-cylinder
--5-speed tranny
--2-speed rear end
--35 feet long

Pa says he could count on 10 MPG or better on the highway.

He took out all the seats and sold them for enough to pay for titles and plates. He then loaded up my grandparents’ belongings, and moved them to Florida. He outfitted the bus with some of the leftover furniture from the move: A double bed in the rear, a bunk bed in the middle, sofa, gas stove and gas fridge. A friend of his painted it dark blue, and the roof silver, to help with the heat.

We traveled full time in it for the next eight months. We were full-time missionaries based in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, so the trip was spent visiting Baptist General Conference churches and summer camps, from California to Florida. I remember in one camp in Minnesota, the size and quantity of the mosquitoes was spectacular. So Dad made up some simple wood frames with window screens, and screwed them onto the windows from outside the bus.

And we had a blast! Since we were home-schooled until sixth grade, we studied on the way. We got to see Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park (Mom is from Loveland, Colorado), Washington D. C., Cape Canaveral, the Grand Canyon, and many other great memories. We even got up to Whidbey Island, Washington, to see one of Mom’s sisters

When the trip came to an end, we reached McAllen, Texas, and had to sell the bus. We were very sad about that.

Please forgive the pictures. I was just a kid, and this was my first camera.

P. S. Does anybody know what those fins above the back end are?
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
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100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
FolkBus
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1967 MC-5A - 1949 Crown Supercoach




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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2014, 07:37:39 AM »

Talked my Dad into buying and converting the first bus in 1971 (49 Crown). I had been hanging around a bus yard in Riverside, CA since 1967.

I was drafted in 1972. My folks and family toured in the Crown until the late '90s. Coach is still in the family.  I found my MC5A last year on CL.  Could not believe the asking price.  Finally went to check it out believing something was bad under the floor. Was amazed in how good shape it was for not having run for 10 yrs. 8-71 cracked right off and no air leaks.  When it was converted in the mid 80s, the roof was rasied 11" and the automatic was put in. Bought it. Have been having a great time.

--Mike
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Mike and Debbie McNeil  Ridgway - Montrose, CO
1949 Crown SuperCoach (Amazing Grace) Conversion 1972  Pancake 220 Cummins  Fuller 5 Speed

1967 MC-5A  (Serenity)  Conversion 1986  8v-71N   Allison MT-644
Geom
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2014, 08:12:47 AM »

Our bus fever started after having seen our friends' GM bus conversion. We were amazed with how comfortable it felt in there, how functional it seemed, and how solid it was. Plus it looked so cool with all those 60's lines and curves on the 4106. We were smitten.
Prior to that, we had planned on going the trailer and truck route and quickly abandoned that plan after seeing our first bus in person.

We came across our bus actually pretty early-on in our hunt. We fell in love with it almost immediately, but figured we needed to continue exploring the market to see what all was out there. After shopping around for a little over a year and coming across some real duds, and a few others that just didn't "feel right"; we rounded back to our first pick.
It was down to it and a couple of other buses that were high contenders.
After seeing our bus for the first time in person, however, it was obvious that this was the one for us.

We purchased our bus, and drove it home from CA, over a weeklong trip. Baptism by fire, if you will, as we'd never operated a vehicle quite like this Cheesy

We've been slowly moving into it, and as a function of that, we've been making changes to it to better suit our needs.
We have absolutely loved every minute of owning our bus, even the sometimes frustrating times that can come with it.
We look forward to many more years of bussing Smiley)

-George
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1966 GM 4107
6v92 Turbo
V730
siberyd
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« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2014, 03:51:50 PM »

October 1984 we bought our first bus a 1968 Blue Bird conventional with a Chevy gas engine. Did a partial conversion and lived in it for 3 years. Our second bus is a 1964 Carpenter skoolie (still have). Our 3rd bus is a 1957 PD 4104 fully converted.

Siberyd
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1964 White/Carpenter 35' RE 3208 Husky Camp
1957 PD 4104-2240 Converted Siberyd

http://s1240.photobucket.com/albums/gg498/26R13/
digesterman
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« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 04:52:23 PM »

Parents starting in the early 50's in first a bread van that they converted, then a school bus, then a flexible bus in the late 60's. So I was pretty much hooked on traveling at a very early age. Each summer we traveled the entire United States. Have had pickup campers, trailers, RV's of every sort. Loved the Revcon but wanted something larger. My son and I flew to Atlanta to bring home our Robert Brothers converted Prevost. Love it, nothing that we have had compares to the ride, the silence and the effortless driving. The only things we have had to replace are batteries, house and engine, mainly because they were a few years old and we didn't want to deal with replacing them somewhere on the road.

Do not understand some of the issues discussed on the board such as turning off electrical loads before switching power sources, we literally do not notice when the coach changes from one to another, except of course we know the gen is running. I am still wondering if there is a big difference in the type of power switching boxes used in the RV industry. I know with some of the older ones the TV's would blink or the satellite receiver would reboot, clocks would need to be reset on microwaves etc. I think the new ones are so fast that they have eliminated those things. Really don't know. I know the electrical bay frightens or mystifies most electricians until they start studying it then they usually comment that someone was pretty bright when they designed it.

Looking for some sort of a diesel toad to tow, not a pickup but something smaller but sturdy enough to handle being towed. Any ideas would be welcome.

Appreciate these boards due to the vast amount of knowledge that some members so generously share with all.
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Lee
Le Mirage XL 45E
Detroit Series 60
470HP
94,000 original miles (7-2014)
TomC
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« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2014, 07:35:44 AM »

Some of the Diesels that come to mind would be the Chevy Cruze, Jeep Grand Cherokee, VW or Audi (probably would have to run a manual).
I wish Mini would import their Diesel. Good luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2014, 08:07:39 PM »

Started back in the 70's by driving a school bus all the way through college.  Later worked part time for Trailways for many years.  Eventually had a small charter business until I wised up.  I've had an MC-8, a Thomas Saf-T-Liner, multiple motorhomes and currently have a Gillig Phantom.  Just finishing up the Phantom, which is my dog show vehicle and all around fun bus.  Since I'm a transit administrator, I wanted to show our employees there a lot of things that can be done with a transit if you have the mindset.  Plus, they're a great bargin, although these days that can be said about any bus except a new one.  Speaking of, I'm about to buy 10 new ones.  You guys probably wouldn't believe it if I told you what a new transit costs these days. 
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Darryl
Smyrna GA
2000 Gillig Phantom
luvrbus
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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2014, 08:23:40 PM »

MetroValley in the Phoenix area I see paid 682,000 bucks ea for the 45 ft CNG buses, 30 grand extra for a CNG engine 50 buses at a extra 30 grand each is some big bucks Tongue I believe the total order was a 120 units from New Flyer it was some big money 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 08:42:40 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2014, 08:49:47 PM »

$34,100,000.00 is a lot of Doe, Wow divided by what 42 passengers @ 3 times a day @ 5.00 a trip!....... Minus fuel tires and driver. Is there any money in that?.....Lol
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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2014, 09:34:26 PM »

Hi All, last year at MCI Los Alamitos, CA, while getting my 5A worked on for the 3rd time, saw them converting some, I think they were MCI "D"s, new buses to CNG for use by the FlyAway commuter buses in LA, making them capable of 800 mile range, they said LA county was replacing their entire fleet, lvmci...
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MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2014, 03:42:02 PM »

Had a few campers and always wanted something bigger. Told a few friends I was looking for a project and well that led to my 1983 mc-9. It was the first bus I looked at and is the first and only bus I have bought.

I had a few friends that have been around big rigs and the 8v71 engines so I brought them along. Bus drove great, almost everything worked and now I must admit I love the bus. Hope to have it for many many years.

Bought it July 2011
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iMPAKS.com
Raleigh, NC
1983 MCI MC-9
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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2014, 09:05:09 PM »

Bought our MC9 (Moose) bus back in 2004.   It's been a lot of fun - and a lot of learning.   Grin Shocked 
Got bit by the bus bug when I was 5 yrs old, watching Crown buses bringing campers up to to mountain camp (Camp Sequoia  YMCA) - running the switchbacks up & down the mountain dirt roads.  Pretty impressive.  Lots of dust & smoke.   

Kind Regards, Phil

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Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
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