Originally Posted by LookingForBus
I'm brand new to this community and am looking to go in on a bus. I'd really love to find myself a rear engine Crown specifically rear mostly for maintenance convenience. So far I've only been able to find two listing of 1989 Crowns which is my ideal year however they're both on the opposite side of the state. So I thought I could use y'alls help
What everyone said above. If you think you can just conjure up a Crown of the year and equipped as you want you just don't understand. Even here in Kalifornia where they were born and live (d-sadly) they are all gone from the operators who had them. In the wild as it were. Now only available in precious few from various sources of questionable repute. Always at higher and higher prices as the supply dwindles.
Mostly all with various mechanical issues needing repair as well. Some are just plain beat to death, but the Crowns can take it and can be repaired, all it takes is lots and lots of money. But it's worth it once they're repaired because they were built to last for decades and can be kept running like new with maintenance and repairs. The good thing is that once repaired they stay fixed and a private owner can't put enough miles on it to break that item again.
By the way, that remark about the rear engine being easier to work on shows your lack of understanding. All rear engine buses have issues with accessibility for the stuff buried in the front of the engine bay and close to the front bulkhead and top of the bay. They can be truly nasty.
The standard, underfloor, laid down pancake engine Crown installations are in many cases much easier to work on and access things. You can get to the top (cylinder head) and bottom (crankshaft) of the engines quite easily and working on them is a breeze. A floor hatch lets you get to the rest of the engine equipment if needed. Detroit 6-71's have many components that need access right under the floor hatch but the Cummins don't have anything on that side of the engine and it can all be reached from the sides through the access doors. Very easy to work on and one reason, among many, why commercial operators liked them so much.
It's always a matter of finding whatever happens to come up, and it's usually not anywhere near what you might want or prefer. Your "Ideal Year" will end up being the one that you can buy and you'll either take it or not. ANY year for a Crown is "Ideal" since they were essentially unchanged for decades except for the individual customization ordered by the original owners. The rear engined Crown II's were only made for about 12 years from about 1979 until Crown shut down in 1991.
When looking for Crowns you need a rough idea of what you want and look for that general configuration. Basics only. Standard underfloor engine. Rear engine Crown II. Those are essentially the only basic choices. For everything else from there you're entirely at the mercy of the fates for what might become available. Totally a crap shoot. You have no control at all, but be ready to decide what you can live with. All Crown II's are 40ft long so that's fixed, but underfloor engined Crowns were mostly 35ft with some 36, 38, and even a few 40ft versions made. You get whatever is for sale. Same with Engines, and Transmissions, and other things, you take what comes up, or not.
You may think you can find the Crown of your dreams with all the things you want already there, but that's not the way it works. You find what you can find and then decide if you can live with it. Crowns can be modified with enough money to match what you want because the parts can still be found so there is that, but don't ever expect to find the exact configuration you desire. Ever.
Here in SoCal right now I don't know of any Crowns available, of any kind. There are a few on the internet at various sites I've seen, with one right here on another thread that happens to be a Crown II. As the others have already said you need to get over your problem with going long distances to pick it up and bring it home. That's a built in feature of acquiring a Classic like a Crown. If you balk at that you may not like the other little Learning Experiences and Challenges that will inevitably come with the Crown. It's all part and parcel to the experience, so deal with it, it is what it is. Consider it the initiation ritual.
Getting it home from across the country is a tried and true test of your character and determination to own it. If you can't do that then you aren't ready yet for all the other follow-on Thrills of ownership. You obviously don't really want it bad enough, yet, to go to the ends of the Earth to bring it home. Until you do it'll remain a fantasy unfulfilled.
Find a nice, safe, much cheaper conventional mass produced school bus from some district near you and count your blessings. Once you have some Learning Experiences with that then you can evaluate better the wisdom of trying to get a Crown, of any kind. Things will look different to you then for sure.
Sorry for the rant but you hit a nerve with me I guess. I always see various folks wishing and hoping for some perfect Crown configuration and that's all they'll ever consider getting. Those Crowns are like Unicorns, they don't exist anywhere, and never really did actually. You only ever get the Crowns that will most closely match what you want, and then expect to modify and customize it yourself to turn it into what you really want. We all do this. Even mine are not the final result I want and I expect to make changes and upgrades to complete them as I really want. All it takes is Money, Time, and finding the parts I need. You must be clear on all this or you'll never be able to get a Crown, of any kind, that meets your wishful thinking aspirations.