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Old 01-23-2010, 01:08 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77

Is there any way to tell a TC from an All-American at a glance?
Optimism is a mental disorder.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
NewSkewlHauler's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Goodland, KS
Posts: 233
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: 8.2L Detroit N/A, Allison
Rated Cap: 65
Re: Bluebirds

I think the AAs have fancy wheels. Everyone I've seen has had them...not saying it's all of them though.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: Bluebirds

It looks to me like the TC2000's have flat glass windshields and the AA's use a curved glass windshield as well as a differentlooking grille assembly, my prefference would be to go with the flat glass TC from a cost/availability standpoint if replacement was ever necessary. I have no knowledge of any other differences except for the trim details.
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northeast CT
Posts: 201
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran RE
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Bluebirds

TCs were offered from 87 to 03 I believe. Aside from a few grille tweaks in the early years, they kept the same design throughout - single rectangular head lights with parking lights mounted inboard.

All Americans have gone through several changes. In the 80s they used dual round head lights, positioned vertically. In the 90s they switched to a dual rectangular headlight design. The link Josh posted is an example of this. They tweaked it toward the end of the 90s, and the "A3" design was in production until last year.

The easiest way to tell is the head lights - single are TC, dual are AA. Blue Bird used similar body designs for all of their models, and the only noticeable difference is in the front end design.

Glass was always an option. Every full-size bus Blue Bird made in the last few decades has offered a 4-piece flat windshield as standard equipment, with an option for the 2-piece curved. Wheels are an option too.

Check out and see the current design of the All American. It has young bus nuts ooh-ing and ah-ing, old bus nuts cringing, and some Blue Bird dealers hanging their heads in shame.
The conversion of Miss Euphegenia, a 1999 AmTran RE:
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: downriver, detroit mi
Posts: 794
Re: Bluebirds

Does anyone know for sure if BB built front engine AA's or TC's with the cummins 8.3?
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:00 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 236
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas SafTLiner
Chassis: FE
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 60
Re: Bluebirds

Yeah, it's definitely different, but not so bad in my opinion. I don't see any reason anyone would cringe, it's a school bus for crying out loud. The primary users don't care what it looks like, as long as they can still sit next to eachother.
This is the rear engine model:

This is the forward engine model:

I definitely dig the new dashboard.

Unsure about the engines though. I haven't run across any yet with the 8.3, but I have only been looking for a few months.
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