We are getting rather excited over here, as we may have a place to park at a friends place in exchange for putting in a garden. They have fairly extensive mechanical knowledge and plenty of space, so it could work out nicely! They will give us a solid answer here in the next few days, and we will be on the way!
In the mean time, of course I have been looking at every available bus on the entire internet, driving myself entirely insane with not having a place to park one. Though, to be honest I have been doing that to myself for a few years now, so it isn't anything new!
Though, now that there is a very possible location in our grasp I am starting to take the available buses more seriously. We are lucky enough to have a budget of right around $5k to get our big yellow monster and I have found a few that I think fit our needs.
I have done a fair amount of research involving the mechanical wants and dont wants, but I also get that there has to be a certain amount of compromise between what is available and what is perfect. This is most true in our case, as we have a shorter time than most to find and convert.
That said, what do you all think about these few?
This one is just down the street from where I will work on it, which makes it a very tempting buy in itself! I am not sure what engine a "24 valve" is, and I haven't read anything about the Allison 5000 trans. Thoughts?
Public Surplus: Auction #1760472
This one is just up in Washington, and my wife Heidi loves it. It is right at the top of the price bracket and getting it shipped would probably push us over a fair chunk... but it is an awesome bus! My thoughts on buying such a large vehicle of that age is that it could be a mechanical nightmare and is likely to break the bank in that area. It has a 3208 CAT and a 643 Allison, which seems like a pretty decent setup, though I can't guess the rear end ratio.
GILLIG 1968 C190-12
This is one of 4-5 being sold out of Phoenix. It is the only one of the bunch that appears likely to stay under our budget and leave us room to get it shipped. Being an Arizona bus, I assume little rust and the mileage isn't, but once again I am not sure about the engine/trans. The rear end appears like it would be good for highway cruising...
Public Surplus: Auction #1773080
Here is the other in the Phoenix group that we might be able to afford.
Public Surplus: Auction #1773068
Any help on deciding which one of these might be the most sound investment (using that term lightly here) mechanically, considering we do intend to drive it as often as every 2 months for 1000+ for the next at least 2-3 years before we park it somewhere a bit more long term.
Advice on shipping, or hiring a driver would be awesome, too! (or direct me to a good thread?)
Thank you all for any advice and for all the great information and ideas that are already on here. I am excited to hopefully be able to add to it in the coming months and beyond!