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Old 03-03-2012, 03:40 PM   #1
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Year: 1969
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Chassis: Loadstar
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1969 Loadstar Honaly

Purchased this bus in 2001. It was purple/blue/pink and had been named the 'Honaly" (from Puff the Magic Dragon) decades prior by traveler/owners to the Grateful Dead concert circuit. The first night it spent the night parked in the street in front of my place. Next morning it had been egged by kids. They obviously didn't like hippies.

This bus was fun to live in with its' wood stove and claw foot tub. It was skeletal inside other than the previously mentioned items + a submarine window lying on the floor. Also had an existing VW bus cut in half and placed on the roof. It was rather horrid to look at but character galore! I never had any intention to live in it. It was to be my 'hot glass studio'. I was a glass artist surviving well enough at the time. But, as circumstance would have it, I did end up moving this bus to an isolated mountain location.

After a year the bus, although cozy, warm and well-stocked, did not see me comfortably sleeping on my futon couch. I missed my king size "Judith Ames" oak curved bed which was being taken care of by my son. I decided to remedy this. I had purchased hundreds of these insulated metal panels (60"x22") for a big project that went awry. I decided they might be just the thing to facilitate a 2nd story on the bus.

The 1st engineering project I set my mind to was how to 'set' this 2nd story. I was an airframe specialist (sheetmetal fabricator) in the Air Force, worked a bit in sheetmetal shop in Alaska, knew how to build a standard house. I simply applied those skills to my latest acquired skill (bending/manipulating glass) to mold my bus the way I desired. So the 1st foundational support became the transition braces. I designed a prototype out of cardboard and took them to my local welder. I needed 18 of them but wanted to have a prototype first. The final design must have considered 1) weight 2) design 3) functionality. Each transition needed to be within a certain weight/have 12 holes pre-drilled (strategically placed) and conform perfectly to the slope of the bus roof.

Took 3 attempts before the perfect design presented itself and then it was mass produced. :0)

After transitions were bolted on, the panels went up. Windows went in (designed, built, installed by moi). Then the front was to be accomplished. I was making this up as I went along (which becomes more evident every step of the way. There was no level consistency about the exterior curves of this bus. It had that hand-built quality about it. "Well, huh..." would erupt from my mouth no less than once a day.

The most important consideration on my mind daily (still is today) is WEIGHT and WEIGHT PLACEMENT. I had no intention of falling over on the freeway or getting blown over or having the entire top collapse into the lower structure. Much more thought was given to this than overall height...which becomes funny later on!
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File Type: jpg floor underlayment2.jpg (298.2 KB, 679 views)
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Looking forward to pictures.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Welcome, and looking forward to more of the story and pictures.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

This ought to be interesting....
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Welcome to the Madhouse...sounds like you will fit in just fine here! Can't wait to see more pix and what your engineering skills produce. We can certainly use someone with sheet metal fabbing experience to light the way on many people's projects. And any Vet has earned the right to do things his way. Once again, welcome!
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Year: 1969
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Thank you all for your 'Welcomes'! If I could figure out this gallery thingie ma jig I would post some detailed pxts.
I didn't get the hang of keeping up with pictures too much at the beginning because I lost my camera in a bus fire. I purchased 2 buses in the same month. One bus was perfect and was going to be my knock around bus. That is the one that broke a fuel line while scaling the Gifford Pinchot forest in WA. Lost the whole bus up there while en route in the mountains, tires/paint and $50,000 worth of renovation and tools. Word from the wise...ALWAYS CARRY A FIRE EXTINGUISHER!

So if anyone wants to hold my hand who has accomplished setting up an album for this site...I'm all ears!

I don't have a photo of the bus when the VW bus was on top. Trying to run down a friend who does have one though.
Photo is after transporting it 100 miles via the freeway. Lost a few shingles, had only nailed them on w/ roofing nails. Went back and replaced nails with screws. This design inadvertently encouraged wasp building domains. Thousands of wasps were created by accessing the access behind the shingles. Sprayed organic spray, then caulked and painted every shingle. There, that should take care of that! No more wasps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus Dec 2005.jpg (126.0 KB, 578 views)
File Type: jpg Honaly AfterPaint copy.jpg (1.03 MB, 578 views)
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

More pxts., modifications between 2002-20011
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #8
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Wow! That's an impressive top level. Sweet looking too!
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

Now THAT is a classic "Prankster-Mobile"!!! --- And I can definitely picture the VW on top. Can't wait to see how you build it out.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: 1969 Loadstar Honaly

I like the Werner work platform. So many uses.
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