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Old 01-09-2007, 10:59 AM   #1
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Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

Jay Leno is showing off his bus on his website. The conversion is far from done but he is converting it into a motor home, and of course he is putting in a better engine.



Quote:
1961 Flxible Starliner

It takes a lot of horsepower to pull a racecar up a hill, and if you're a trophy-winning racer like Big Dog Garage general manger Bernard Juchli, then you want to travel in style, which is why you need a bus... a 1961 Flxible Starliner to be exact.


Everything's new but the roof.
The Flxible Company had a long and varied life that lasted from 1913 to 1996. Over the decades, they manufactured motorcycle sidecars, ambulances, funeral cars, city busses, and large intercity coaches like the Starliner that eventually found its way into Bernard's possession.

In 1913, Hugo H. Young and Carl F. Dudte dropped the "e" from the word "flexible" so they could trademark the name of their unique motorcycle sidecar mounting. As the automotive industry blossomed, so did Flxible by branching out into the manufacturing of busses and other large vehicles.

When they bought the bus-manufacturing business owned by the Fagoel Coach Company in 1954, they started selling busses to major cities and continued to do so until their doors closed in 1996.

When Bernard found his Flxible in Tucson, AZ, it was badly rusted and in a state of deep disrepair. His first instinct was not to purchase it, but when his wife Rosalie located all the parts needed to repair it in Nashville, he decided to go ahead and purchase the bus for use as a mobile home and as a way to transport his racecar to the track on weekends.

With $3,500 plunked down for the bus – that's about 19 cents a pound – Bernard and his wife drove it back to California where work began. All the mechanics were fixed, the entire exterior, save for the roof, re-skinned, and a new super-charged turbo diesel engine ordered from the Detroit Diesel Corporation.

When installed, the 552 cubic inch engine will generate 400+ horsepower, which is plenty of oomph to haul a racecar up a hill at speeds that a racecar driver like Bernard is accustomed to.
Here is his segment on the bus:
http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/...ml?vidID=54798

And his mechanics segment:
http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/...ml?vidID=54525


BTW I love that new Caddilac ad they show before those videos.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:13 PM   #2
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Check out the video on the firetruck turned motorcycle rescue vehicle. It's got a great lift unit, would work well for say a toy hauler/rv conversion.

Thanks for the link steve.

-Richard
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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Update on the bus, the engine is in now, they had a custom alluminum radiator produced for it.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/...ml?vidID=78432
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

Another update: Bus is up and running now.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/...l?vidID=122549
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

man if I had the money and could find one of these babies I would love to have one.
forgive my ignaorance but I'm not familiar with the model.
who is the maufacturer what kind of a power plant does it have?
have not looked at the videos yet it may answer my questions will look a little latter when I have time
dale
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

The videos will answer your questions and more. The bus belongs to Jay's shop manager Bernard. He bought it to haul his racecar.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

did you see the one on ebay today that was a 1949 tour bus I think it was a flxible as well.
I think it was ending today was going for $3000.oo at the time
forget how I looked it up

I think I looked it up as commercial bus or tour bus.
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:59 PM   #8
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

oh yeah it had a rear door no windows, a round rear like the flxible and a really neat ribbed rear bumper that curved are the entire rear and I remember the bumper being recessed as well
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Jay Leno's Conversion Bus (1961 Flxible)

They just shot a fourth segment on the bus:

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/...tml?vid=231753
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