Bus Stop Outtake: Crown Bus – The Well-Schooled Bus

Jim Brophy is taking a well-deserved break from his seemingly endless Bus Stop Classics series, which is one of the best things to happen at CC. We know have what I consider the most comprehensive collection of bus articles on any single web site; please do check it out.

Eugene is a magnet for folks wandering in their old converted buses. One of the nicest ones in recent times is this fine old Crown, certainly a former school bus thanks to the special outside mirror; most likely from California, where they were made and used so widely. They are considered the best built school bus ever, and there are some remarkably old ones still at work down there. This one flew the coop, though.

These buses most typically had underfloor Cummins diesels laying on their sides, and the exhaust (sound and smoke) was a memorable experience for anyone who lived where these were used. LA Unified School District must have had hundreds of them, and I’d see groups of three, four, and five on the freeway on my morning commute, laying down a smoke screen.

What made the Crown so legendary was that it was built to an extremely high standard, with 90,000 psi ultra-high tensile steel covered with aluminum exterior panels. Ultra strong, so that 30 years or more of the daily grind didn’t faze its structural integrity. And then they invariably went on to have second lives, either south of the border or in the hands of folks like this.

I would have like to be there when this one started up and pulled out, for an intense nostalgia trip.

Jim’s excellent in-depth post on the history of Crown buses is here.