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Old 12-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
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All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

I heard from a guy in Long Beach, that was selling 6 Crowns, that by Dec 31st 2014 the state of California will destroyed/scrap all city/government Crown school buses. Due to new very strict California emission laws they will be scraped to get federal subsidy money to get better "greener" school buses. Did anyone hear about this?
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:49 PM   #2
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

When we bought ours, the bus depot manager told us they either had to be fitted with a $10k exhaust device or be scrapped. School districts can get big grants for scrapping them. Private sellers aren't eligible for the grants but the buses are worth a lot in scrap. The guy we bought ours from even had a cash buyer but his intention was to scrap it. Once we told him our plan and price, he waited for us to come out to CA. Definitely got lucky.

Damn shame to see such great machines junked.
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

Yep, It's true enough. I'm one of the guys trying my hardest to get the word out about this
horrible situation in Kalifornia and I sure would like to see a groundswell of interest in these
fantastic vehicles both for continued preservation and use, re-use as conversions. They are
absolutely the finest ever built and I know personally of many still in use today by some
school districts that were built in the 1950's, most are re-powered now to either 6-71's
or Cummins, but the point is that the frame, drive-lines, coachwork is built to a standard
and of materials that will see any of them easily last for 100 years. One thing I keep seeing in
these kinds of forums is the questions about where to get parts and various details about
how they were spec'd out as built. The easy answer for all these types of questions is to
point out the simple fact that Crown Coach was above all else a Body and Coachwork
company first. All the fantastic engineering, innovations and structural and materials usage
were supposed to provide the strongest, safest and longest lasting vehicle possible. Remember
These were built and supplied for Western US customers with very little issues of road salts
and corrosion problems and getting any well maintained vehicle to last 50 years out here is
an everyday occurrence. As to the issue of parts and keeping them up and running, The most
important thing to realize is that they were always hand crafted to the customers specifications
and were fitted with all the major components supplied by industry standard manufacturers of
things like engines, transmissions, suspensions, axles etc. you name it and they are still to
be found today at most any truck equipment supplier anywhere across this country or even
worldwide. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to say that any Crown of any year
would be easier to find parts for because they use regular off the shelf truck components than
virtually any type of bus made by IH, Ford, GM, or whatever because they are essentially made
with proprietary unique parts and changed from year to year. Crowns don't have this problem.
Even if you can't find something specific to replace one particular part on it, I can promise that
it wouldn't take much effort to find something else probably still being made today that you can
use just as well to put in it's place. Remember that Crowns were always essentially custom
built and spec'd much like Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks have always been and there is no one
magic template for what defines a particular year or model. A Crown is very reasonable to
acquire and extremely easy to work on (they don't need much work once put into shape) and
cheap to operate. I've driven them off and on for over 45 years and I can say with no reservations
they are the most fun to drive and will get you into places I wouldn't try to take my car, I know
because I've done things like that on trips. I'm going to be offering my expertise and help to
anyone who is interested in getting or working with Crowns and helping me to save these
fantastic vehicles from the Kalifornia Holocaust which is what I call it. I intend to make myself
available to help save and get them into loving hands anywhere in the country as well as instructions
in how to drive and care for them and delivering them anywhere they will be safe. Enough for now.
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

http://pages.ebay.com/motors/link/?nav= ... 1353829219
Someone buy this!


Any Crowns I see for sale I'll just post in this link.

We got so lucky with our bus, I wish everyone could have one!
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

Thank you Crown Guy. I have learned a lot since looking for 1 back in late September. My is a '68 bought and used in the Seatle area and the McComb air force base which means the AF really took care of her. What shocked me was, I found the original sales receipt for the bus to Pueget Sound school district for $24,120. In '68 that was a lot of money but built like a tank. Wiki.com has page for Crown's too which is interesting.
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Old 12-27-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

I actually think that the older Crowns up to about 1972 or so were the better built and crafted because
of a labor strike that hit Crown about that time. They ended up losing a fair amount of the older skilled
craftsmen and from that day forward we who were working with them and driving them every day could
see a certain degradation of fit and finish and even some corner cutting taking place to save money on
production. One of the key indicators was the change in the dash boards from the long time classic
Crown instrument cluster mounted in front of the driver to the later style box type thing which was used
until they died. Overall it probably had no measurable effect on longevity or strength but it was noticeable
to those of us who were experienced in the older ones. I'm still interested in finding a good pre-1971 (approx)
detroit powered high end charter company ordered (not school dist) Crown preferably with full air-ride suspension.
I know they're out there and they are truly treats to drive and work on. Even if it's in rough shape as long
as the body work is not rusted out everything else can be repaired and brought back to a new condition.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #7
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
I still don't understand what makes a crown so much better than any other bus. In my opinion from a common sense stand point, crowns are less useful for a conversion than a strait walled bus. Its like the passenger vehicle industry. The more curves, or less flat surfaces makes everything more wasteful, costly, and time consuming. A simple body repair on a corner would be hell due to material being flexed more than just one way.

The uni body construction is one more reason I would never buy one. Hard and costly to mount a simple trailer hitch or belly tanks, and God help you if the rust starts taking over and you need to do any structural repairs. Again this is not the best way to build a vehicle if you are going to keep it for a long time or modify it.

The roof is another nail in the coffin. I have never seen one in person, but the way the other members describe the roof structure, makes me cringe if any repair is ever needed. Also that method of structure makes insulating that much harder.

Try changing a midship engine in a crown in your back yard without 2 or 3 over head cranes.

To me they are cute in the way of a old Volkswagen Van. Cute, rare, but not practical.

If I lived in the USA, (no crowns here in Canada due to not practical) I would buy all of them. Then I would mark them up and sell them back to people like all of you in a few years after Cali in done destroying them all.

My practical $0.2

Nat
Don't forget these weren't meant for conversions - they were meant to be the be all end all safest vehicles on the road. They have one of the earliest and most well designed crumple zones and are built like tanks. Even the grade of steel (90,000 psi vs. 45,000) is better than current running buses.
Yes they provide different challenges as far as conversion goes, but the quality in vehicle production is literally unmatched. People who worked for Crown actually put effort and care into their jobs and it shows. Even if they weren't being converted, there's many crowns that could be put right into service in states that don't have the excessive emissions laws like in kalifornia that should be bought up.

Also I think dismantling a Crown interior is less complicated that people make it out to be. If you look carefully, you can see the order in which things were installed and if you can reverse that process it might be a little easier. And yes I'm sure it's easier to concert a straight walled bus, but because the lower walls are actually wider in the crowns, we got a little extra room to insulate, then put cabinets against a straight wall without losing floor space. They also have pretty good interior height (not the tallest like Thomas) but enough for us.

Eventually we'd like to get a second Crown and turn it into a mini camper/tow truck but that's a long ways off. I just hope there are any left by then...
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:17 PM   #8
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

Well put Inkblots----
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

Some say they don't understand what sets Crown apart from most any schoolie ever built. The real question is what sets them apart from any Coach ever built. And I mean any.

What set's them apart? Number one is Safety built of the highest tensile strength steel ever. Including at the beltline and as well as the roof line. Biggest brakes in the industry: As well as engineered crumple zones front and back. And skinned in the finest grade heat tempered Aircraft Aluminum. A propietary buil from the ground up by hand chassis each and every Crown was a Custom Build.

Those are just the basics: For me it is the amidship configuration, that also sets them apart from the rest, the balance, handling are unequaled in my opinion: And I've driven many buses. They were built before planned obsolescence became an institutionalized American business model: Please, anyone, point to another 50 year old coach, still doing a daily route in any School District other than the Crown. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Other than Gillig, please point to another school bus Manufacturer whose product came off the line with a 10 speed transmission. And a stock 300HP.

And as to styling that pretty much speaks for itself.
Those of you who suggest the Crown doesn't lent itself to conversion: Well that's very subjective. Let's face it conversion is a process irrespective of what you have, and what the end game is: A conversion is a conversion is a conversion and it all equals WORK..to a greater or to a lesser degree depending upon one's vision:

http://yakima.craigslist.org/rvs/4265451882.html

A link. That will vanish. One of my pet peeves. But lest we forget I will upload a photo of one of the most comprehensive "conversions" of a most beautiful Crown. MOKI



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File Type: jpg crownconversion.jpg (39.6 KB, 1113 views)
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

What a beautiful bus/conversion! I'm drooling. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:52 PM   #11
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Re: All Crowns to be destroyed by California.

wow....shiny's ....pretty
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Old 02-25-2015, 02:06 PM   #12
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Is there still a chance to find an older Crown? Do you have any friends here in Arizona?
I'd be interested in a chat about this.
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Old 12-29-2016, 03:48 PM   #13
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coakes69 View Post
I heard from a guy in Long Beach, that was selling 6 Crowns, that by Dec 31st 2014 the state of California will destroyed/scrap all city/government Crown school buses. Due to new very strict California emission laws they will be scraped to get federal subsidy money to get better "greener" school buses. Did anyone hear about this?
Sigh....The road to hell is paved with good intentions and apparently recycled tires from old Crown buses.

From an environmental stand point, recycling that steel isn't without its problems: using energy to shred, melt down, and re-form the iron into "new" stock. Though that is better than leaving them to rust away somewhere while mining for more steel, it seems better to me to retrofit the buses as long as they are structurally sound. (And from the way they're built...)

To Coakes69: Ever notice how old Winnebagos could be repainted to incorporate the Van Halen logo into the striping?
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:51 PM   #15
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The lack of suitable modern underfloor engines in this country is one of several reasons that Crowns cannot be made to comply with the smog-nazis' diktats. Imagine a Crown with a current MAN or Volvo or IVECO engine - sweet! There's also the public perception that a bus is automatically unsafe merely because it's old. We all know that quality of design and construction is more important than having the latest doodads and gimmicks, but the parents and school administrators in this sue-happy world don't see it that way.

Yes, it's a crying shame that perfectly usable and safe Crowns are being crushed, to be replaced by some horrid flimsy disposabus that will be worn out in ten or fifteen years. There are still some Crowns being sold straight out of school service, so buy them now before they're all gone.

Crown's forever! (Even the later pushers like mine)

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Old 12-29-2016, 10:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Skunky Bus View Post
Sigh....The road to hell is paved with good intentions and apparently recycled tires from old Crown buses.

From an environmental stand point, recycling that steel isn't without its problems: using energy to shred, melt down, and re-form the iron into "new" stock. Though that is better than leaving them to rust away somewhere while mining for more steel, it seems better to me to retrofit the buses as long as they are structurally sound. (And from the way they're built...)

To Coakes69: Ever notice how old Winnebagos could be repainted to incorporate the Van Halen logo into the striping?
Or house the homeless, or give them away to other states, I can think of less wasteful options all evening. :/
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:26 AM   #17
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Yeah, it's crap. There is absolutely no reason to destroy these machines. When I first got the bus itch I really wanted and ended up with a Crown as my first bus after many years of searching for that "right one." I was concerned that parts would be potentially hard to find, or things would be "hard" to work on. Really though, it only seems that way when you talk to a mechanic these days that depends on a computer to read the codes for him/her. Once you explain what it really is (and if they're competent and you can provide them a book) they get it.

I was told by a major Class 8 truck maintenance company that they couldn't find air-bags for the rear because they didn't make them anymore. After searching, asking, and being pissed it took 1 call to Firestone to have them bring out the old moulds and spin up 8 of them for barely more than it cost to buy current Class 8 bags for other trucks. Only problem was time (~4 weeks compared to overnight or now.)

After really getting to know my bus mechanically I'm not concerned about much. The only thing I worry about are my front curved windows. Fortunately I have a spare set of old-new stock for that real bad day--But worse case I can change them back to flat panels with the addition of the divider bars and it's only going to look as good as a Crown.

Man. These Crown posts make me want to swap places w/the Crown for the MCI in my driveway. I guess I need a bigger driveway?

...if I want to have fun I drive my Crown any day over the slow ass MCI.

On a side note: I'd be skeptical of that post from Craigslist. That bus has been for sale for quite some time and never listed below $10k. Strange that it's all the sudden at $5k OBO. Has anyone called the posted number?
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
... There's also the public perception that a bus is automatically unsafe merely because it's old. We all know that quality of design and construction is more important than having the latest doodads and gimmicks, but the parents and school administrators in this sue-happy world don't see it that way.

Yes, it's a crying shame that perfectly usable and safe Crowns are being crushed, to be replaced by some horrid flimsy disposabus that will be worn out in ten or fifteen years. ...
John
At my employer we're having lots of little problems with the 2013 Blue Birds that sideline the buses for a day or two while the shop fixes something - usually electrical. On one that I was driving, the transmission wouldn't "go" and a mechanic had to come out and replace a little "doodad." Then I was on the road again.

Although not technically a defect, I think it's nutty that when you turn the key on the new BBs, you have to wait for the engine to start after the computer boots up!

The one newfangled device I really appreciate is the "Child CheckMate" system that forces the driver to walk to the back of the bus to shut off the alarm when done with a route. I don't want to leave some poor soul aboard because I had a brain fart at the end of the day. (I think these could be retrofitted to older buses, though.)
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Old 12-30-2016, 12:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by serpent View Post

After really getting to know my bus mechanically I'm not concerned about much. The only thing I worry about are my front curved windows. Fortunately I have a spare set of old-new stock for that real bad day--But worse case I can change them back to flat panels with the addition of the divider bars and it's only going to look as good as a Crown.
yea thats a big concern of mine is having to replace the curved windshields.
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