Curbside Classic Capsule: 1973 Gillig 40′ Bus – Big Red

This is a very welcome recent addition to my neighborhood: a bright red classic Gillig bus.  And of course like so many other Oregonians, it hails from California. Most recently, Marysville, where the current owner bought it from a church recently and drove it up. I’m not really jealous of his bus, as it’s too big for me, but I would have loved to make that drive.

We’ve covered Gillig buses in depth before here, so this is going to be just a quick look at this particularly fine example of the breed.

This is the big boy Gillig; a full 40 feet of solid steel. Unlike Crowns, which are built with a lot of aluminum alloys and are considered the very finest of the classic California school buses, the Gilligs were built of steel, and lots of it.

I’m quite certain the owner told me it had a CAT diesel engine back there.

It’s teamed with an Allison 6-speed automatic, whose shifter can be seen on top of that console.

This bus is in very nice original condition. It was owned by a church, who had bought it from a school district.

I kind of hate to see this one get converted into a “skoolie” camper bus, as it’s in such nice shape still.

The new owner did remove some of the seats before the trip up to Oregon, and used it as a primitive sleeping area.

If I see some serious progress being made, I’ll do an update. But so far, it’s just sitting there.

This is one of my all-time favorite bus faces. All business!


Related:  CC Gillig School Bus – Built Like a Tank

Bus Stop Classic: Crown Motor Coaches – California Royalty