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Old 06-19-2020, 02:03 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 0
Red face 1947 Ford - "Purple Gator"

She has arrived! I'm new to the site, new to the concept, and new to the community. I have wanted to tackle a conversion for more than 20 years, and I finally found the perfect project!
I've already named her. I have a million ideas and zero experience. I have the most supportive husband (that doesn't mean he's not a little nervous for me), especially when I told him I wanted to learn to weld and do most everything myself! This is just a tiny introduction, so I'll post more, as I get to know her!

**If anyone has any information on this bus, I would really appreciate it. I'm having a very hard time finding anything out. I do know its a Wayne body because the medallion on the back has made it 73 years! But I can't find anything on how it is supposed to look. It was gutted when I bought it.

Any advice is SO welcome!


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Old 06-19-2020, 02:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NE Oregon
Posts: 148
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
That thing is awesome, but I am glad it will be you investing the time and money into that and not me. I love to see projects like that. The old busses look so much better than my modern flat nosed box.
I hope it goes well and that you are mentally and financially prepared for what lies ahead.
Please keep us posted with progress pics.
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:30 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
banman's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Moved to Zealand!
Posts: 1,517
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
I won't lie, I love curves!

If you don't have somebody to show you the basics take a beginners welding class at your local community college or maybe there one at a "Makers Space" near you.

To prevent being overwhelmed by different ideas and directions:
Decide on some basic things first --
What is your end-use-goal for this project?
1) restored 1947 school bus?
2) resto-mod rat-rod?
3) custom camper?

Then get more specific about how do you want to use the bus like:
If it's a camper-conversion do you envision driving x-country 1000's of miles or will you only be driving to the nearest lake a few weekends a year?

There are NO wrong answers but there are right answers only known by you -- and your right answers can change through time but the more you get right upfront the less rework you'll do later...

For instance, those sweet curves I mentioned -- I have a '54 Willys Wagon -- I got it in 1993. I rebuilt the original SuperHuricane flat-head 226 motor. It ran great. I drove that thing x-country twice. Turns out the Continental engine company originally designed that motor to run factory generators in the 1930's. Willys needed a cheap available design and bought the rights to make them in the early 1950's. Not a big surprise that wasn't the best powerplant for driving on the interstate in the 90's...
Fortunately I was able to sell the rebuilt motor and transmission to someone else doing a restoration when I re-powered mine with a more modern GM engine/transmission. (where the term restomod comes in -- my Willys looks original on the outside but when you lift the hood you at least step into the 20th century...) If I only wanted to drive my Willys at under 60mph and only locally, the ol' flathead engine would still be find -- but for modern speed, power, towing, reliability and ease of getting repair parts changing to a modern drive line is the way to go...

Oh, and as my wife always reminds me "if there's a part of the project that you don't enjoy doing, pay somebody else to do it! Keep the project fun for you or it won't get done..."

The Murder Bus
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:07 PM   #4
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 3,235
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Great find! I'd sure like to see a big bunch of "before" pics and to know what drive line it has.

As another old bus owner I can tell you that the line of people who want to look at your bus and ask questions NEVER ends. We've had to come up with a plan that gets one of us out of the bus at rest stops before actually parking or the "rest" never happens.
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Old 06-19-2020, 11:23 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,794
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
46 or 47 wayne

Look for a bus owner “Tango” here on this site. His was a 47, I think. I have a 54 wayne and a 58. There are some around.
William. 785 2077600
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Old 06-20-2020, 11:11 AM   #6
Bus Geek
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 3,007
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Tango s thread was 46 chevy shortie
good luck
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Old 06-20-2020, 12:33 PM   #7
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,782
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Do you have any auto or mechanical restoration experience?

If you don't mind me askin how much did you pay for that?
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1947, ford, unexperienced, wayne

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