Well i’ve gone off the deep end now, the new Shortbus in my driveway: full story

Now to the outsider, casual observer, it may seem like a rash, impulsive, and a little out of the blue, but the purchase of a 1991 Ford E350 Diesel Short bus is and will prove to be a very sound decision. Much like finding the trailer, diligent searching of the Craigslist want ads again proved to be a powerful tool for me. It’s as if this van just popped up yesterday. I had not been watching this one like some of the others I had been following for months, but I wasn’t always doing searches for “Diesel Van.” I was considering it as a next step later on down the road, but the story behind this little van made me snag it up fast.

I shot off an email wanting to see it at 8:30 am today. I guess I saw it last night maybe on the CL, maybe I saw it this morning. Like I said, this one really came outta the blue. I saw it, I called, and then I was setting a meeting to meet the guy at 2:30 pm. Up until this morning I was really leaning hard on an old ’67 Chevy Ice cream truck, but it was a 2 hour drive just to see it, and I knew I would somehow need to buy it if I made the trek to Watsonville. I had no co pilot so it was going to be complicated for the satisfaction of immediate gratification. I can’t drive two trucks home.

So, I decide to do one more search for vans this morning, and per my friend Cheri’s suggestion off the Facecrack, I searched for “diesel van.” 7 listings for Diesel van. This one was second or third. Emails exchanged, phone calls made, and cash was acquired, to obtain just the slightest bargaining edge. Cold hard american greenbacks can almost always shave a few bucks off a sale between two reasonable parties. It’s the good stuff, ready to go. And people Like cash, Johnny and all. Off I went, to the navy base to see this beast, and bring it home.

This Beast apparently saw very little combat in its days as a student transport. Story has it and shoddy body work confirms some sort of Crumpled front right fender rendered this bus to the Durham Yard and was never repaired and put back into service. It sat for 12 years and performed various tasks as a maintenance truck, possibly. Guy said it maybe hauled parts around the yard. They kept it running, basically.

Well it may have been slated for the glue factory, but one day it went up for auction, and a man bought it, did or had the body work done, got the front clip repainted poorly, and let it sit at his yard for several years, where it apparently was non-op for some time. Most of this van’s life has been spent resting, waiting, pining for the Fjords, but somehow it was spared from being parted out. That’s great news for me, cuz we about to wake up all of Oakland! Now for some of the Technical Details, that’s all the “Story” this van came with. The rest is for me to write.

7.3 Liter Ford Diesel motor, 1991, with just under 23,000 original miles All working doors and windows, including the Driver-opened passenger door. all the outer important lights work, the upper cabin lights have been blacked out (temporarily). wiring seems to be in place. 1 driver’s seat that needs to be replaced with something a little more, ah hem, sittable. 4 unbolted bench seats, can hold 8-12 little bundles of trouble, depending on how you pack them. 10′ x 6′ x 5.6′ cargo bay emergency exits clearly marked bus rules, laminated for safety Special Bus driver’s “Looking back at your ass” overhead Mirror crappy Audiovox stereo that I think came out of my salvaged black 1968 Pontiac Firebird – not functioning and not sticking around Safety pop-out windows at the back Big ass wheels and tires at 75{2bcc608746b8120fea6644f9ae3522f13f10aa6a77c573f716eef1394619f5d9} maybe. almost all of the little light covers are present and accounted for, 2, maybe 3 are missing, but I can’t reach the roof anyway, so.

Yeah, that’s the long of the short-bus.

now if you didn’t see the very first photos on facebook today, you can see a couple here too:




So, needless to say I liked what I saw. It has a few issues, but all of them solvable. Tomorrow is off to the DMV, then on the phone making calls about things related to trailer. Priority one is a trailer hitch. Setting up appointments, figuring out the new plan, what to do with the van is priority 2. I say, kitchen-ette. a 3 basin sink, handwasher, and a little tiny prep counter. Lets see if we can’t design a unit that goes inside the box. I really don’t see why not. Let’s hope the Health Dept. sees it the same way. I think they will, especially if I go thru a known “taco-truck” building company with a rep with the health Dept. They will know what needs to be done in order to pass and get the necessary permits.

Wish me luck, and join our mailing list. We’re having a fundraiser here at home base, Friday August 13th. Email james@wheresthefist.com for more info. all you can eat, meat and veggie pies being served up from 6-9 pm. maybe I’ll see you here!

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