After two months of searching the country following serendipity’s beacon – yesterday we bought a vintage bus!
She is a 1961 GM PD-4106, serial number 446. She’s 35′ long and 96″ wide.
While the 4106 is best known for being the heart of Greyhounds long haul fleet, our bus started her life as a regional tour bus owned by Citizen Auto Stage out of Nogales, AZ – better known and still in business as Gray Line Tours of Arizona.
As best we can tell, she spent essentially all of her service life in Arizona and the southwest, the land of minimal rust and corrosion. We don’t know much about the prior owners who did the conversion into an RV, but according to the stack of receipts we found she was converted in 1989, and seemed to travel regularly between Yuma, AZ and Napa, CA (and since the bus has a built in wine cabinet, we’re going to assume the folks who converted her were wine lovers.). When she was converted the bus was also upgraded to a have an Allison v730 automatic transmission, power steering, and Mini-Max air brakes (which will eventually need to be replaced as they’re now obsolete).
She’s been sitting sad and lonely for several years now before we found her for sale in Yuma, AZ – roasting away in the intense 110+ degree sun.
Click here for a video tour of our new vintage bus!
We’ll be following up soon with a full post about how this old girl came into our lives, a tour of all the buses we looked at in our search, the adventures of getting her and of course we’ll continue blogging all about our adventures in becoming bus nuts!
We have much to still figure out, such as the house systems (we haven’t found the fresh water tank, for instance – and suspect it’s under the bed!). And there is some work to be done, such as it immediately needing new tires & wheels and brake adjustments to be safe to drive. There’s also an air leak that we’ve already traced down to being a hopefully simple fix. Our next major stop will be visiting with a bus guru in Arizona who has invited us to stop in and learn how to maintain this old girl, and help us go over the engine.
We suspect it’ll be many months before we even partially understand all that is here as we back trace all of the systems. We look forward to starting work on making it truly ours, such as converting the dinette into a dual desk office area, adding a solar electrical system and more.
For now.. we’re just very very happy to be.. HOME!