More tales from the legendary Gillig archives
Hey there fellow Gillig owner
Well, I guess we're both the luckiest guys on earth, as we drive the "Bugatti of Buses" the unequalled Gillig Coach.
I took my Gillig to Nepal a few years back, had to haul some Sherpas up Everest when they couldn't hack the altitude. (Lucky I had a turbo)
I got my Gillig in a swap with some long haired guy with tattoos named Tommy Lee. I traded him straight across for my ex, Pamela Anderson, who for some reason only liked double 40 footers.
My bus is a 1961, with 4,158,000 original miles. Tommy paid $11.00 for it at auction. Still haven't had to do anything to it except check the air pressure in the tires, and add a half pint of oil every other leap year.
Yeah, I now what you mean about Gillig's legendary pulling power. One time there was a freght train near the big Gillig temple in Hayward, pulling about 1500 cars of pig iron and depleted uranium. Apparently the right rear wheel had a blow out and it derailed.
The engineer saw the Gillig logo on the front of my bus, and recognizing the unrivalled quality of construction, pulling power and massive torque, waved me over. Always willing to help those in need, me and some of the old timers at the Santa Fe yard swapped out my Goodyears for some 52" steel wheels , welded a bracket onto the massive Giillig rear bumper, and I hauled the load to Brazil and back,......twice. I got paid 23,000 dollars an hour for my time, and I think they got the better of the deal.
Another time I was heading out near Utah on I-80, hittin' about 130 mph, and just for fun I up-shifted into 4th and punched it. Just as the front tires were coming back down to the pavement, I snuck a peek in my mirrors. Wouldn't you know there were a couple of state troopers with a radar gun, in a black and white Shelby Cobra.
I yanked the wheel hard to the right, and did a couple of 360s to scare 'em off, but they were on me like a Crown owner at a Free Differential Conversion workshop. I knew I had to think fast, so I double clutched and threw it down into Granny Gear at about 110 mph. (lucky I was in a Gillig, a lot of buses won't take this kind of punishment)
The troopers hit the back of my (solid steel, not aluminum bodied) Gillig and exploded in a fireball so big I thought the Army had resumed nuclear testing. Knowing their lives were in my hands, I thought quickly (easy to do in the spacious, comfortable roominess of the Gillig cab) and threw the bus into a long sideways slide, then used the easily accessible dash mounted door opening lever (not buttons like some other buses who I am too polite to mention) to open the TWO (not one) entry doors, and the vaccuum sucked the troopers in, simultaneously extinguishing the flames and saving their lives.....I tell ya, it was nip and tuck there for a moment.
(Later on in the day, 3,500 vestial virgins from the Mormom Tablernacle Choir did a command performance for me, but that's another story.....)
Yeah, you're right guy, those Gilligs are SOME buses. I'm driving mine to Antarctica next month for the great Penguin Cook Off. Had a great time last year, but I had to pull out a couple of D-8 CATs that got stuck in the snow. National Geogaphic wanted to do a cover story on the Gillig, but, that's another story....
And hey, give those Crown owners a break. They already suffer enough at a continuous 59-60 mph.
Gillig bus #123
451 Incredible Drive