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Old 02-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #1
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Help! I think I am going to buy a second vintage bus.

Well, over coffee this morning I came across a 1961 western flyer coach for sale for $2000.00. This is a picture of the style of bus it is http://busexplorer.com/PHP/MidPage.php?id=954

It is 38' long, 6 cylinder chev diesel pusher with a 5 spd transmission. It runs and stops, that's all he knows. It was ran by greyhound on a winter route between the north west territories and saskatchewan, then auctioned 10 years ago. The owner left it sitting for 10 years driving it very little. He sold it last year to a man who planned on converting it and turning it into a rental property in a small town in the praries. With an ailing father, he has decided to sell it. It has a new dometic fridge, 4 burner stove with oven, toilet, tanks and other stuff. The bus has an aluminum body so should have little rust and large under bus storage which would be nice.

It needs new rubber, a few peices of glass replaced (flat), and possibly some wiring updates as it can only be started from the engine compartment and needs a new battery. It has new brake linings and starter. He claims it does not leak.

The catch is, I think I could convice my wife to support me in buying it if I agree to sell our skoolie.

So, I need some help before I see it this weekend.

Can anyone help narrow down what kind of drivetrain it has? What should I be looking for when I see it as big red flags? If we decide to go ahead I will have a garage do an inspection on it before we buy.

What do you all think? I have always wanted a vintage bus like a flexible or a crown so this meets my coolness requirments. However the idea of starting over after having just gotten my other bus almost finished is a bit sad. I don't have much disposable income right now as we are buying a house and moving to BC in the next two monthes. I am a bit leary of getting into a money pit.

As you can see I am very excited by the idea of this new addition to the family.

Can't wait to hear from you all.

-Richard
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:02 PM   #2
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Western Flyer

That is a great looking bus. Some information you must know. This great old bus is a tremendous financial burden. Power is most likely a GMC diesel.
A wise person would make a list and count the costs. If ya sell your present bus, no camping for quite some time. Folks often ask me why and how I got 11 buses. It is called the evolution od buses or my learning curve. It is very easy to buy a bus and pretty tough to sell. You are a clever guy so making new parts fit an old bus should not be difficult for you. I think there a few bus/auto museums who have this type of bus. Go to bus and photograph all ya see. I'm interested, not to own but to enjoy old buses. If I caqn help in some way, send me a note.. Frank
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:48 PM   #3
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Well, if you don't get it, will you forever look back on this as "the one that got away"?

BTW, it does look really cool. It would be sooooo cool to convert it, just try and make sure you do it right, if you're going to do it at all... I think white walls would look nice, but then.... No one ever accused me of having good taste...
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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The best thing to do would be to grab it anyway even if you can't decide...then either go with it or sell it. Sounds like a lot of work has already been done to it...a brand new Dometic refridge ain't cheap...them things sell for around a $1k */-
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:13 PM   #5
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I have to jump on the buy-it wagon. The west coast might have crowns, but Minnesota has TWO New Flyer assembly plants to go along with Polaris, Arctic Cat, General Mills, Target, Best Buy, 3M, etc just to name a few.

Frank probably has a better grasp on the transmission in that thing. I would imagine it was one of those goofy V-drives. I certainly do like the look and even if you do plan to redo the interior, atleast you have the stuff already like the fridge and stove. Investigate what type of tires and wheels it has. It might be as simple as new rubber and it might require new wheels and tires. Also, I know some of the older buses had a less modern air brake system that might need updating, but I don't know for sure when federal mandates changed that stuff out. If Greyhound was still using it even 20 years ago, I'd sure it would have been upgraded, but again...there are far older and more knowledgeable people on this board than me. I can, however, tell you it has a definite cool factor.
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:47 PM   #6
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Coooooool
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:36 PM   #7
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those old buses are gorgeous. Why is it that bus builders decided to not give a **** about asthetics some time in the late sixties?

Is it just the body that is aluminum? How 'bout the frame? Seems like one of those old buses should be quite a bit lighter than a modern steel skinned bus.

what sort of mileage do those buses get. I would think that the v drive layout would also add to fuel efficiency since a transverse mounted engine does not suffer the considerable drive loses associated with a right angle power transfer. Or is there still a driveshaft which means it has double the power loss with 2 right angle transfers. What the heck is the proper name for that? Hypoid gear? All I know is there is a 10-15 percent lose of power with it.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldog12


Coooooool

Is that a real vehicle? I have my doubts as it has duals on both the front and rear of the vehicle.

Yeah, I am so tempted. But the house we have fallen in love with doesn't even have parking for ONE bus, not to mention TWO.

But, we are going to give it a bit and decide calmly and make an educated decison, unlike the last bus. Which has cost thousands in mechanical work. If it still around this sunday I'll go and see it. Then I will decide. Thanks for the words of encouragement and I'll keep posting on the projects.

-Richard
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Is that a real vehicle?
Sure is, and yes, it has duals on all four
http://www.futurliner.com/
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainkf
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldog12


Coooooool

Is that a real vehicle? I have my doubts as it has duals on both the front and rear of the vehicle.

Yeah, I am so tempted. But the house we have fallen in love with doesn't even have parking for ONE bus, not to mention TWO.

But, we are going to give it a bit and decide calmly and make an educated decison, unlike the last bus. Which has cost thousands in mechanical work. If it still around this sunday I'll go and see it. Then I will decide. Thanks for the words of encouragement and I'll keep posting on the projects.

-Richard
Yep, that's a real bus. I saw it in Nevada, during a bus convention. The insides was fixed up like a 50s diner and yes, it was way coool.
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