Hey folks - sorry for the delay, life intervened.
I also love the "Fatty Whompus" sticker. It really gave me a chuckle when I saw it. It might actually survive, despite the name-change of the Bus. (I also like the "Fire Putter Outer" - obviously someone had a sense of humor!)
I have no idea what H.E.R.C. stands for. I did a bunch of research before I picked up the Bus - long story short, the seller had to repair a brake cable before I would even consider buying it, so I gave him $50 and told him to call me when it was really
driveable and not just pretty much
driveable - so I had time between seeing it and getting the VIN and when I actually "bought" it.
It turns out it started out as a school bus, and then it was converted to an ambulance (which explains the blue light bar) then some dude bought it for a work truck. I think it was the work truck guy who put on the H.E.R.C. labels and spray-painted it - best I can determine from my friend Google is H.E.R.C. could mean Higher Education Recruitment Consortium or Heathcare Environmental Resource Center or heck, it could mean Hello, Everyone! Random Camper!
The presumed-H.E.R.C. guy then traded the Bus to this farmer for some tractor parts. It sat on the farmer's property for seven years or so, before he decided he wanted a minivan and listed it on Craigslist. Which is where I came into the picture.
As for the light bar - oh heck yes, it's highly illegal here. I purchased the bus in Ohio, and had barely gotten five miles into Michigan before I got pulled over by a State Trooper and his partner in a special enforcement SUV. In an amazing stroke of luck it turned out the older, cooler cop had converted a school bus into an RV about fifteen years ago (small Skoolie world!!) and we spent like ten minutes inspecting the bus telling me what I had to change, remove, install or repaint.
I think the light bar is cool as heck (and works!) so I'm having a guy install a "cover" for it that can cover or uncover the light bar with a flip of a switch. I'm also having the guys at http://www.gaugeplates.com
make a custom bus switch panel for me. I bought on Ebay a duplicate Blue Bird Mini Bird panel almost identical to mine that just happened to be on Ebay for $20.00, figuring that it might come in handy. So I'm shipping that over to the gauge guys, and they are going to use that as sort of a template - but adding switches for the light bar, the light bar cover, and some audio/video/lighting switches for stuff I haven't even begun to purchase yet, much less install.
I'll have more pictures soon - thanks for the encouragement, and @roach171 - I know I'm doing it wrong. But I love your console! I'm going to have to track down a van conversion place - would save me a ton of effort!