Monday, April 6, 2009


Instead of sending a bunch of emails to everyone who wants to follow our but project, I decided that it would be a wonderful idea to create a "bus blog" for everyone's viewing pleasure.

I suppose I should start with some sort of introduction to how this whole process began:
It was March 5th, over a month ago now, when Jesse found the ad on Craig's list and emailed it to me. He had made a habit of it by this point, because he knows that I miss living in a bus, and that it has always been my dream to have my own, custom-build it, live in it, and drive it around places. He also loves old diesel things like I do, so he's always got en eye open for cool stuff.
He had sent me a couple others this week, but this one actually had a price tag that I could [almost] swing...
The ad read as follows:
"Coach Bus - 1990 Prevost best offer

Coach Bus - 1990 Prevost 8V92 Diesel.
This bus has been used for commercial charter work, but the engine is no longer running. Can be used for parts, or rebuilt by someone with the know-how and ambition. Make an offer and it's yours.

* Location: Harvard MA
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests"

I responded with something to the effect of: "I wish I wish I wish I wish I had more then $250 to my name!" I emailed the guy anyways, and let him know that I was interested, and wanted to make an appointment to swing by and check it out. I decided on the following Saturday, not really believing that by that time, the bus would actually be there, unsold, waiting for me to check it out.
Surprisingly enough, however, when Saturday morning rolled around, the bus was still there, and Jesse and I got ready to check it out.
"I don't know, Jesse, you sure you still want to go up there? There's no way to afford it, and I don't want to waste your time." I remember saying.
Jesse just shrugged his shoulders, "What do we have to lose?" he asked. Good question.

We drove up to Harvard, MA to the small, independent bus company where the bus was sitting, crippled, next to the large service barn. I immediately jumped out of the car, and ran to the door of the bus, pulled it open, and climbed inside.
This was no ordinary bus... this was a legit coach bus, outfitted with all of the luxuries, tons of storage space, and a bathroom! Immediately, my mind began to run wild with ideas and plans for what I would do if the bus were mine. First of all, I'd turn all of the luggage compartments underneath into a giant grease system... !!! I ran up and down the aisle a few times, (waaaaay too excited at this point to smell the overbearing pee smell that had drenched the cabin) then met Jesse around back, where he had disappeared into the engine bay. The size of the engine was huge - 12.6L displacement, which would total over eight times the size of my little VW, Gaia!
I'm guessing Jesse's excitement was parallel to my own. After we found someone to talk to us about the history of the bus, we ended up standing outside in the cold, listening to the bus maintenance guy tell us everything he knew about it for over an hour. I hardly noticed the time pass.

The following week was spent mostly in front of my email, contacting various people, and trying to get a plan together. As soon as we left that place, I knew I had to have it. Jesse knew I had to have it... we just... HAD to have it. There was no debating it.

I sent a text message to a good friend of mine - someone who has known me for quite a while. "I need to borrow [insert absurd amount of money here]" was all it said. He knew I was serious.
I emailed Jesse, "I think I can buy the bus. Can you figure out towing?"
Jesse had already been thinking from the other side. He had found information online about every mechanical component of the bus, how it all works, where it all is located, the specs, the known issues, where to find parts, what they are worth... He spoke pure technical bus for days...
... actually, he still hasn't really stopped.
There remained only one problem: where to put the bus?
You can't just stick a bus anywhere, you know... we scrambled to find a place: searched Craig's list, looked for rentable storage units (they won't let you live IN your bus while it stays there), but eventually a mutual friend let us put it on his property, alongside a menagerie of other cool vehicles.

I drove to my friend's house, and we went to the bank.
Jesse found an awesome tow company that had experience with busses, and could be there on Monday...

Monday afternoon, we drove back to Harvard, MA and sat in the window seat at a dunkin donuts, eating apples from whole foods, and watching for our tow truck to go by.
I grabbed a piece of paper, which happened to be a DD job application, and drew out schematics for how I envisioned putting the bus together.

A few hours later, and $2200 more broke, (towing cost $700), we pulled into Dave's yard with this following behind us:

It was then carefully backed into its resting spot, which is where it shall stay while it gets refurbished and rebuilt!

You can view the complete photo album of this day here: BUS ALBUM DAY 1

Oh, and this is important: here is a picture of the original interior!

Now, stay tuned and watch it metamorphose into something amazing!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Amazing Ania!
    Thanks for brightening up my morning.
    I know of some peeps living out in Western MA in buses with wood stoves, etc.
    Very inspiring.
    Can't seem to find an email on here for you but hope to stay in touch.
    Peace. :)