Originally Posted by Mulelover
I'm not in any great hurry to get the bus. Plus I'm cheap so I won't be spending, spending, spending
Just don't want to be so cheap I do myself out of a good deal.
I will check out Harlow bus sales, thanks.
I now know I want at least 24 feet behind the drivers seat. I like the look of the flat face, but would probably feel safer, in case of an accident, with five feet of engine in front of me.
I am buying a diesel for the pulling power, and maybe even a stick shift.
The midwest seems to have good deals on buses. Midwest transit is one site I have been checking out.
I almost bought from Midwest, the sales folks and web sight are excellent and their prices aren't bad, however the rust on their buses scared me. From the pictures folk post on here of buses that show a little "surface" rust until you start demo and then they have big holes in the floor pan and the window post are rotting. I decided I wasn't committing to nothing till I could go over it closely in person. I could have bought the same bus from them for probably close to a $1000 less, but I weighed that against the cost of a long road trip back to Wyoming and the potential of not coming back with a bus at all to the added cost of buying a rust free western bus that was closer but more expensive on the front end.
Harlow's had quite a few decent buses on their Whitehall, MT lot and a good line on many others including farther north up the road in Libby, MT, they're a pretty big outfit. Just for comparative purposes, I gave $2950 for my 1994 International with a 54 passenger Bluebird coach, powered up with a DT360 engine and a 545 automatic. 104k miles, runs out strong, shifts perfect and tight in suspension and steering, fresh brakes and came with a full 65 gallon fuel tank when diesel was over $3. Tires are on the downhill side, but zero rust anywhere and not even a chip in the windshield.
Smitty's right about private party sales. If you can find the bus you want at the price point you like it's going to be the cheapest route. I looked at several in the Longmont/Denver, CO area, most of them were in a pretty poor state of maintenance or just the wrong engine/drive train and size. I'm on a time line with my bus project and it was worth a little more money to get exactly the drive train/size I wanted without spending another few months driving all over hell and gone kicking tires.
Good luck with your search, finding a good bus that suits your purpose at a decent price is half the challenge!