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21 July 2008
From Bryce :
Well, after watching this site for a couple of years, I thought I was ready to put my project on the site. It is a 1959 Chevrolet Viking Short Wheelbase Bus with a 2 speed rear differential.
I got the bus for free from a guy who wanted it hauled off his property. It had an old conversion into an RV, complete with a 100 gallon propane tank, stove / oven and a trashed refrigerator.
The bus had no motor or transmission but I was told he had put a small block in it at one time.
To keep restoration costs down, I looked for alternative engine options (i.e., big block). Finding good used Chevy stuff cost more than I wanted to spend.
I found an old guy in the area with a 1972 Buick Electra for $200. It ran, so I took it home.
I sent the TH400 out for a heavy duty rebuild and tore the engine down. Bummer -- a little worse than I had hoped. Since I already had a good chunk of change in the rebuilt transmission, I was committed to B.O.P (Buick, Olds or Pontiac) power. I found a rebuild company out of Spokane that would sell a rebuilt long block for $1500 (no core required). Sold!
The vehicle karma gods must have been shining on me that day.
When the motor arrived, I ran the block and head numbers. Buick Stage 1!!! Bonus!
[ Engine pix ]
As you can see, the bus has been sanded [ pix ] , massaged and sprayed [ pix ] with PPG Epoxy primer.
Here are the other mods so far [ and a pix ] :
- Tilt front end
- Hydroboost braking system
- 1988 GMC Topkick front axle. Better brakes plus it dropped the nose about 2.5 inches. Now it's raked!
- 7 foot by 9 foot roof rack (for cocktail parties).
- The roof and rack are sprayed with white Dura-Bak to seal it all up.
- Body to be painted Volkswagen Cyber Green.
Still to come:
- Woodie sides with underbody cargo boxes.
- Power steering.
- Motorcycle carrier.
- Interior finish work.
I hope to have rolling down the road for it's 50th birthday!!