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Old 09-06-2005, 05:21 PM   #1
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Location: high desert, California
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Lola has a home

After much discussion and convincing, my lovely wife Marilyn relented on the "Bus" issue. She agreed to the purchase of our new family addition, recently named, Lola, after the Kinks song of the same name, (wifes idea not mine, I prefered Helga or Olga in keeping with our nordic named car theme i.e Heidi, Sven, & Olaf all subaru wagons) We purchased Lola from Patrick Young of the Fresno Wheelchair Project to the tune of four large, and what a wonderful purchase it was. She's a 92 Ward on an International chassis, with a DTA360 turbo, a Spicer 5 speed manual with electric disk brakes and a wheelchair lift. The odometer reads 12,000 something miles and she was a Humbolt county, California handicapped bus, so no frame rust at all and hardly any wear. There is only seating for 8 school kids so 4 adults and the rest is handicapped spots, which is no big deal as I plan on puting in couch style seating against the drivers side wall and swivel seats along the passenger side; seating for 10 adults ultimately. She's going to be a hardware store hauler/mountain bike shuttle/travel trailer puller, so being a 24 foot "short bus" is a feature. We recently drove her "Down the Hill" to Bakersfield for a Lowe's run and came home with a pallet of 40 pcs of 16 foot choicedek boards and a pastle of other fixin's. Marilyn particularly enjoyed rolling the plastic shopping cart onto the wheelchair lift and loading it into the bus then unloading the contents directly inside and then depositing the cart back to the parking lot. My only concern, if you could call it that, is no air suspension, so its a stressfull ride down highway 58 with all the truck damaged concrete. I need to track down a scrapped u-haul truck with air ride and swap suspension. Add a rooftop airconditioner and a bit of soundproofing, a decent sound system, window tinting and a cream colored paint job and I'm in like the proverbial Flynn. I've posted pics of Lola on the gallery here: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/Lola
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:50 PM   #2
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Sweet looking machine!
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:09 PM   #3
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Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
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Very sharp looking bus! I like the amount of headroom you have with that high rise passenger compartment. I have about 3" clearance in the center of my bus, but I sure wouldn't mind a bit more...
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:27 PM   #4
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thanks

Thanks guys, everyone who sees it thinks I stole it, I got such a good deal, except my neighbor above me, who thinks it's an eyesore. Oh well, I put up more privacy fencing and bought an rv cover so it should placate him a bit. I figure the headroom thing is because its a handicapt bus as the seats are short too to allow more space for the wheelchairs and their handlers. We're pretty comfy in it though as I am an inch under 6 feet, and my wife's 5'8".
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:56 AM   #5
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So it's been awhile but Lola's ready to roll

So after many weekends and weeknights spent up in the bus or working on bus related things in the house (my 20 month old daughter says DA DA! everytime she sees a school bus, picture or real life, henceforth all school busses are to be known as DA DA's!) I am ready to start using Lola for stuff. In fact we tried to use Lola to tow a ton of trash or so from around the yard, mostly refuse from converting Lola, to the dump. We got there at 12:04 in the afternoon, they closed at 12:00 so I spent the rest of the day working on a short circuit in the brake lights, and adding extra headlights as I dont think the stock setup illuminates directly in front of me well enough. My 6 month preggers wife informed me that she can't ride in Lola anymore because she gets josteled around too much, aint that a kick in the shorts. I suggested she try sitting in one of the captains chairs as they are old Mercedes Benze seats and I added an inch and a quarter of memory foam to them to boot but she's not biting. I guess if I was full of fluid I wouldn't want to get bumped either. So anywho here's a link to the photos I just posted to the album: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/Lola
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Old 06-21-2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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Lola's first trip to the mountains

We used Lola this fathers day weekend in her mountain bike shuttle configuration for an epic cross country ride known as the Cannell trail. it starts up at Sherman pass at 9200 ft and finishes in Kernville Ca at 2800 ft. It's 26 miles long, five of those miles being dirt roads the rest technical singletrack with some serious rocky rooty downhills. To start the ride we had to get up some seriously steep narrow windy mountain roads. Lola handled them without a hitch. comeing back down was an adventure as well. I just stuck her in third and coasted down at about 25 mph she spewed quite a bit of white smoke untill the engine eventually warmed up which had me a little worried but that went away on my climb up to the campground we stayed in. Here is a pic of us at the start:
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