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Is this a good deal? Sarah 8-5-03  
We're looking at a bus to use as a moving van to go across country. We may convert it later.

It's a 1992 Ford Carpenter 66 passenger school bus, conventional nose diesel, 124,000 miles, just taken out of service this summer. Seems in excellent condition, starts and runs great, stops on a dime, 6'6" roof. They're asking $3500.

Does that sound like a good deal? I think they may come down a bit in price, which is good, because we didn't know we'd have to paint it.
Re: Is this a good deal? Roger 8-6-03  
Sarah, Why do you feel that you have to paint it. You only have to remove the school bus lettering. Look through previous posts and you will find quite a few notes about the color on a bus.
Re: Is this a good deal? Andy 8-7-03  
Sarah,
That sounds like a very reasonable deal.
As far as paint, the law varies fromstate to stateand I think it depends only on the states law where the bus is regestered. If you look there is a string of about 15 posts on this topic from the only person I've ever heard of getting a ticket for this.
Either way you have to paint over any reference to School Bus, Stop when red lights flash, Etc. Many school bus "nuts" keep the yellow and school designs without any problems so you should at least be able to do your move in yellow.
If you can take a yellow part of the bus into a paint or hardware store you should be able to do a reasonable color match and just cover all school references.
Andy
Re: Is this a good deal? Mark O. 8-14-03  
I would be very cautious about purchasing any Carpenter body bus, particularly any bus that was built in the Mitchell, IN plant.

Recently, all of the Carpenter body buses have been the subject of a lot hand wringing due to an accident in Florida.

It seems, due to some really bad quality control, a lot of the buses left the factory with defective welds between the roof rails and the carlin rail (the rail above the windows). In some cases, the roof rails didn't even meet up with the carlin rail let alone be welded together.

In the accident in Florida, the bus rolled over and the roof caved in like an aluminum can.

While it is highly unlikely a converted bus is ever going to be in a rollover accident, many people do load up the roof with A/C units and storage units. The added weight and a few thousand miles of pounding down the asphalt could result in a much lower interior ceiling.

Due to the bad publicity and problems inherent with an orphan manufacturer with substantial problems, the price should reflect those kind of problems.

$3500 for a Blue Bird or a Thomas would be a bargain. $3500 for a Carpenter, particularly one on a Ford chassis, is way over priced.

Mark O.
Re: Is this a good deal? buster 2-24-04  
Sarah,
Which engine are you getting? Auto or manual? Good tires? Rust?

If you have to paint it--4 gals. of high quality ext. paint and a roller and a brush and two people. one day.
presto chango.

I hang artwork in the windows as opposed to designs on the bus.

Have fun.
buster
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