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Old 10-09-2021, 10:34 AM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
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Crown coach rescue - the story of bringing Stevie back to life.

Although Crown made lots of school buses, they also made coaches and this is the story of our rescue of one such Crown coach from a salvage/scrap yard in Idaho.

I hadn't planned to make this into a video, since I'd lost most of the actual video footage, but at the request of a few people I was able to cobble together photos and my few short clips and make a YouTube story about our adventure.

"Stevie" is a 1974 humpback "Atomic" Crown which originally lived as a staff transport bus for the Idaho National Lab...purchased under a contract through the Atomic Energy Commission. For some reason, some of these Atomic buses had a raised roof line that gives the interior a flat floor (no wheel well humps) and makes the storage bays taller...huge, actually.

This particular bus was parked 8 or 9+ years ago and had sunk nicely into the sand, but she apparently wanted a new life and so was a willing participant in my rescue efforts.

https://youtu.be/flaVvDcOv50

NOTE: This video is for entertainment only...I don't recommend using pond water for coolant and I did change that out after we got home.

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Old 10-09-2021, 11:21 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
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Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
great story, fantastic bus.....love the rear clearance lights...
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:04 PM   #3
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 31 ft. HDX
Engine: CATC7
Rated Cap: 36,300 GVW
So, is that what they call "Boondocking" ? Pretty funny that the Screamin' jimmy started right up and drove a few hundred miles home. Who needs good tires, coolant or plates and insurance for a quick drive anyway! lol!
I bet that was a pretty dusty drive in that beast.
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Old 10-09-2021, 12:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jimmythomas View Post
So, is that what they call "Boondocking" ? Pretty funny that the Screamin' jimmy started right up and drove a few hundred miles home. Who needs good tires, coolant or plates and insurance for a quick drive anyway! lol!
I bet that was a pretty dusty drive in that beast.
Haha...yes, indeed! Dusty is an understatement. But it was fun.

I should clarify that I did have a temporary registration permit (a 3-day trip permit) and insurance. Here in Arizona, if you're a resident, you can get a permit even if you don't yet own the bus and have a title. In fact, I had to go through the bonded title process for this bus...because there was no title. I wrote about that experience here, somewhere.

Fortunately, the tires were in good physical shape. I'd scoped those out during my first visit (when I bought her) so when I returned a couple of months later to do this, I felt pretty confident in them. If I'd needed new tires for the return trip, it would have drastically changed my plans. No way I'd get tires in that little Fiat rental or in my friend's car.
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Old 10-09-2021, 02:41 PM   #5
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Coachwork: BlueBird
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I am impressed. Starts up-- no air leaks, drives hundreds of miles. Truly an amazing rescue.

What a find!
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Old 10-10-2021, 12:03 AM   #6
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This looks like the beginning of great saga. Thanks for sharing it
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Old 10-11-2021, 01:02 PM   #7
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I live 30 minutes from where you got your bus. I have lived here all my life and remember those buses running around back in the day. Good luck with your bus!
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:31 PM   #8
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Nice bus, a real treasure. Maybe we will get a crown one day.
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Old 10-12-2021, 07:05 AM   #9
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Beautifull..nuclear yellow, a cubical Fatboy in the basement and submarine pistons in the desert.. what is not to like..Stevy is wandering again.

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Old 10-12-2021, 08:33 AM   #10
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Love it. Too bad the footage was lost, as I really enjoy watching the roadkill style junkyard rescues.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:25 PM   #11
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Hi Ross
Thanks for taking the time to put this together for all of us to enjoy.
Epic adventure for sure.
Cheers.
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:11 AM   #12
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Atomic 244

I tried to rewatch it with a friend. The video was blacked out yet the audio still played. [user error?]

Below is a photo of Stevie's brother, a 1974 Atomic #244, taken in Idaho over 4 years ago. Same paint, too.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCF0018_212133452277257.JPG (90.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old 10-13-2021, 09:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
I tried to rewatch it with a friend. The video is blacked out yet the audio still plays.

Below is a photo of Stevie's brother, a 1974 Atomic #244, taken in Idaho over 4 years ago. Same paint, too.
Very much a brother! Thanks for sharing...that's a beautiful brother.

BTW, I just checked YouTube and the video's there. Odd that it didn't play...I didn't change any settings. It would certainly be less interesting without the images. I can't imagine listening to me for that long without distracting photos.
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Old 10-21-2021, 01:58 AM   #14
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown Super Coach
Chassis: Built on a Crown Chassis
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Ross. Every day I like your style a little more.
Kind of interested in your Gillig with the 10 with the reverse pattern and the CAT.
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Old 10-21-2021, 02:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mokibrabrant View Post
Ross. Every day I like your style a little more.
Kind of interested in your Gillig with the 10 with the reverse pattern and the CAT.
Why thanks, Moki, that's very kind. I am going to sell the Gillig. It's a great bus and fun to drive, but we've just got too many buses and storage fees just went up. And...if your interest is more in the "that's cool, make a video about her" vein then I'm working on that, too! I am...finally...starting to film things and make videos. It's actually sort of addictive...
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:28 AM   #16
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Year: 1986
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Why thanks, Moki, that's very kind. I am going to sell the Gillig. It's a great bus and fun to drive, but we've just got too many buses and storage fees just went up. And...if your interest is more in the "that's cool, make a video about her" vein then I'm working on that, too! I am...finally...starting to film things and make videos. It's actually sort of addictive...
I'm working on a couple "interests" myself that might bring me to the mainland in an untimely fashion, like in the middle of winter. If so I'll give you a shout. Maybe I could check out your menagerie.

And that Atomic looks to have very very good bones.

If that CAT had a Turbo
we could start getting into some serious discussions. 10 speed helps. And I'm dyslexic reverse patterns don't really bother me much.
Had that reverse thing going on with the 8.3 and the 6 speed in the 35 foot Super 2...

All the best.....Moki
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