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Gillig vs Crown again Andy 7-8-03  
I would like to get the opinions from people who have driven both. I've been a Gillig fan for some time but I've read that a Crown is a better bus to drive. Before I buy one I'd like to hear from the drivers what they think
Re: Gillig vs Crown again Mark O. 8-10-03  
I have driven a lot of miles in both rear engine Gilligs and mid-engine Crowns. Both have advantages and both have disadvantages.

One real advantage of the mid-mount engine is the wheelbase is shorter so the turning radius is much tighter.

One real disadvantage of the mid-engine is the engine is in the middle. With all of the running gear under the floor it limits you as to what you can mount under the floor--tanks, gen set, etc.

One advantage of the rear engine is it is more conventional than a pancake engine. If you understand the NHH Cummins and the DD 6-71 pancake are virtually identical to their upright engine brothers you shouldn't have any problems.

One disadvantage of the rear engine buses is they do have problems with getting enough air through the radiator to cool the engine on steep grades or in high heat situations. Even the Gilligs with the high capacity air scoop had problems.

As far as driving goes, I prefer the ride of the Crown but I prefer the driver's compartment of the Gillig. I have found the Crown to ride smoother than the Gillig--the Gilligs I have driven tended to really pound the pavement.

The Crown driver's position is really close to the side window, closer than any other bus I have ever driven. If you are tall or large bodied you will find yourself way to close to the side window and having to peer under the top of the windshield. I have never had the same sort of problem or feeling in a Gillig.

On balance, I prefer the Crown. While some have likened the Crown and Gillig as Cadillacs and Lincolns, they are so far and away better than anything that Blue Bird, Thomas, et al have put out there really is no comparison. I have 30+ year old Crowns and Gilligs that have fewer rattles and leaks than brand new Blue Birds.

Just like you will find people who like Cadillacs better than Lincolns and vice versa, so you will find people who prefer the Crown over the Gillig.

I have owned and driven both a lot of miles. I prefer the Crown.

Mark O.
Re: Gillig vs Crown again Pat Young 7-27-03  
Both buses are good, but after owning both, the only advantage to having a Crown isthe aluminum body. Other than that there is nothingextraordinary about a Crown. It is not the "Cadillac" of buses, anymore that a Gillig is the "Lincoln Continental"

They use the same running gear more or less, same engines, same axles and differentials, etc.

However, the drawback to Crown is that they make one model, period: the mid engine. You can get Cummins and sometimes Detroit in a Crown, but that's it.

The Crown storage area is hard to access because it is deep. The Gillig rear engine buses have center storage, with doors on both sides, much easier to bet to your things, and no lifting heavy things over the back bumper.

If you are gonna work on it yourself, the Gillig is better constructed. If someone else works on it, who cares. But the mid engines are very specialized, a rear engine bus (made ONLY by Gillig) can have a motor swapped out in less than 5 hours.

My preference is Gillig. Plus some Crowns come with those stupid curved windshields. You break one, you are Screwed. Gillig uses flat glass all the way around. Plus Crown uses these terrible little screws of which no driver is available. etc.
Re: Gillig vs Crown again Andy 7-27-03  
Thank you for answering Pat. I was hoping that either you or Buskid would give opinions. Especially your mechanical advice.
I am noticing alot more Crowns for sale than Gilligs. I guess if I spend the real going rate I'll get a Gillig but I'm going to keep looking for that "special deal".
Also I want to let you know that I really respect you for what you do with The Wheelchair Project. I've been raising an abandoned boy from Mexico City (well now he's 16) for the past 3 years and it's been a very rewarding experince.
Re: Gillig vs Crown again Pat Young 8-3-03  
Wow Andy that is really cool. It is alwasy great to find people with heart. where do you live?

Patrick in Fresno, Ca
Re: Gillig vs Crown again Andy 8-3-03  
I'm in Los Angeles. Also I'm going out of town for about 6 weeks but when I get back I think I'll be looking to buy a bus. I'd like to get a gillig (or maybe a crown) with a 10 speed trans. I think I'd prefer a Gillig with a mid engine Cummins (I've heard they are a little more powerful than the 3208's). We can talk about it when I get back.
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