1988 Crown Coach School Bus Conversion

August 24, 2019

Over a decade in the making, I finally took the plunge and bought a school bus to convert it into an Orient Express style train car for the highway. It’s been aptly named the Disorient Express.

This is something I’ve been thinking about ever since moving to California in 2004 and riding in friends buses and art cars at Burning Man. In particular I’ve always had my eye on Crown Coach school buses. Besides their beautiful 1950′s styling, they were well built with standard big rig parts making it easy to maintain and the skin is aluminum so it won’t rust. I almost bought one back in 2007 but the buyer backed out at the last minute so I abandoned the idea knowing one day I’d get back to it.

That day came in November of 2017 when I was browsing eBay and Craigslist as I like to do from time to time. This beautiful 1988 Crown from Merced School District came up for sale with only 84k miles on it. I knew right then and there that this was what I had been waiting for.

A few days later the project was in full swing. I had friends coming by to help to remove all the seats and get the bus ready for its new life; a dining car and lounge suitable for entertaining as well as a sleeping quarters, bathroom, and kitchen. This project has been a huge undertaking including extensive woodworking, plumbing, and electrical. None of this would be possible without the help of many willing and able friends who are just crazy enough to follow along for the journey.

Here are few photos of what the bus looks like now but if you’d like to follow along with the progress checkout the Disorient Express on Instagram.

Categories: Cars, Woodworking

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