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Old 07-01-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
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Location: Danville, California
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
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Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

My wife and I have taken the plunge. I was in college and met my wife while we were both driving Crowns. We both moved on from being bus drivers (best job I ever had). She went on to be a transportation director at several school districts in California and I went on to become a senior district administrator in several California school districts and college systems. I retired as a college vice chancellor and started a software company called TransTraks. We sell transportation software to school districts and contractors. My wife and I have always talked about how fun it would be to convert a Crown. In my administrative career, I oversaw the hiring of hundreds of bus drivers who drove Crowns, plus several Transportation Directors who managed fleets of these wonderful yellow tanks. Frankly, I never figured I would be driving one again. My last Crown I drove as a school bus driver was a 1968 tandem 91 passenger Crown.

We have purchased a 1988 Crown Supercoach. We intend to convert it as a mobile training lab for our transportation software business and have living quarters in the back. We will also use it at trade shows as our "booth" and demo area for our software. It is typical of the late model Crowns, with 78 passenger capacity, mid-ship under the floor Detroit Diesel 6-71 turbo. It has a great Allison automatic transmission. We debated over the manual vs. the automatic and decided that our legs and knees were no longer those of a 20 year old, so automatic was the choice. Late model Crowns are getting rare as school districts in California are getting huge credits from the state to have them decommissioned and literally crushed (dirty evil diesel). We picked this one up from a contractor who is not eligible for the huge grants. We got it for $6,000. A school district would never sell it for that amount since they could get a grant for 10 to 20 times that amount to have it crushed. This Crown has rear air ride suspension, and a tilting steering wheel (something I never had when I drove my 1959 through 1968 Crowns while working for a school district).

We drove up from Southern California on a weekend. The place I am going to store the bus while I am converting it was not going to be open until the Monday after our travel. My wife and I live in an nice town near San Francisco that prides itself on a small town ambiance. A huge transit school bus parked out in front of the house is not a normal sight and we had to get special permission and a permit from the police. The neighbors were cool, understanding, and excited about our adventure. All want a ride in her once she is completed.

We picked it up in San Diego County and drove it back to the San Francisco Bay Area where we live. It took the I-5 Grapevine mountain climb from Los Angeles like a champ, passing every truck on the road. It got a little over 10 mpg on the trip. It has a 100 gallon diesel tank.

I intend to update this project as it moves along with photos. Below are several pictures of our new baby. First step will be to remove the seats and prepare the necessary modifications to get it registered as a "house car" as California calls RV's.

Stay tuned!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crown-Dash1.jpg (55.3 KB, 5756 views)
File Type: jpg Crown-Front-Door1.jpg (63.2 KB, 5740 views)
File Type: jpg Crown-Passenger-Side-View (800x600).jpg (324.8 KB, 5765 views)
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

She's a beauty! Welcome to the madness.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

one of the best looking school buses made, congrates
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:35 PM   #4
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I have to say my family LOVES the look of those crowns.... If we decide to step up to a full length bus, I suspect we will be searching high and low for 1 as good looking as yours. Congrats!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Welcome...and what a sweetheart! --- Gotta' love the classic look of the old Crowns. Can't wait to see it evolve so please do keep up the pix.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

What a beautiful bus!! Can't wait to see the updates.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

I have to say, I thought my new bus was pretty. That Crown is sweet.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:13 PM   #8
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Well, I guess it's kinda ok
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Welcome my good friends....that is one nice ride!!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:27 PM   #9
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

My 1973 Blue Bird looks good, ( especially with the exhaust stacks in the back ), but those Crown buses are very good looking.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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Re: Journey Begins - 1988 Crown Conversion

Quote:
browncrown
Well, I guess it's kinda ok
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