Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

1973 Crown Bus… RV… Transporter…?

It appears that someone has proceeded with some pretty extensive modifications to this 1973 Crown bus to partially turn it into a huge RV. Now they are looking for a successor to finish the job! It’s listed for sale here on craigslist with an asking price of $4,500 and can be found in Epsom, New Hampshire. Thanks to Barn Finds reader AMXBrian for sending in this find!

To give you an idea of the extent of the modifications, this bus (for sale for $25,000 at one point) is what they started with. That’s a lot of aluminum sheeting and pretty extensive work to raise the roof 2 feet! This is a 40′ long vehicle, similar to many class A RV’s.

Watch that first step out of the back door! We’re told the bus has had a lot of mechanical work done as well and that it has 10 tires (!) I now understand the seller’s choice of used tires rather than new. Personally, I think this could be the ultimate tow vehicle for a vintage race team; add a fold-dow ramp in the rear and finish the living quarters in the front and you’d be set (after a custom paint job or, even better, polishing the aluminum skin!) Sure, I just blew the GDP for many smaller countries, but one can dream, right?

Polishing the huge Crown badge would be a honor (on that finished transporter).

The seat of command. I think I’d want to upgrade a little. Perhaps to one of these?

Ohhhh…back to reality. While some work has certainly been done in here, it’s just a beginning. But the floor looks solid and if the roof doesn’t leak that’s half the battle won right there.

I think this is a view of the mid-engined (for performance?) Cummins 250 diesel engine which is attached to an Allison transmission. It is driveable so hopefully not a lot of work is needed there; the newish looking fuel filter has me hoping so. So what do you think? Do you share my vintage transporter thoughts or do you have some other idea for using this grand machine? Let us know what you would do with this ex-bus in the comments!

Comments

  1. h5mind

    Unfinished bus projects are a very effective way for a married guy to become an unmarried one…

    Like 45
    • jeffro

      At least unmarried one will have somewhere to live

      Like 46
    • Dirk

      Not always an entirely bad thing. (Becoming and “unmarried one”)

      Like 22
      • Fahrvergnugen fahrvergnugen Member

        Fellers, all a guy needs is a 2.0 that shares the passion for weird vehicles. Thought this one looked like a horse transporter rear-ended a bus. But could be a decent platform for a second home, in some ridicule-free land.

        Like 0
  2. Fred W

    The ad for the green bus says they are selling off their fleet of vintage Crowns due to CA legislation that will result in most of them being scrapped. I’m not sure which is worse, that or this.

    Like 6
    • Marc

      CA Legislation, Ca has gone after diesel power in the last 20 years, mainly big rigs, first they went after non-electrical controlled engines, then they went after electrical controlled engines with no emission controls (add on emission burn/catalytic converter bought some time). What I do know is in 2020, all diesel powered tractors with non catalytic converters will no long be legal for use in Ca. then in 2021 all catalytic converter equipped trucks with no DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) will then be banned…. that means all those old truck that are worth saving can live and work in 49 states, but not in Ca. I also believe this may affect farm equipment….

      Like 12
  3. Dirk

    Looks like a lot of work and expense for nothing, you could already stand up in the bus so why not just install your RV stuff and go with it?

    Like 4
  4. Rock On

    This thing is going to drain your money quicker than a Vegas slot machine.

    Like 15
  5. Jimmy

    Only the Koch Brothers / Soros / Gates / Buffet could afford to finish this and use it.

    Like 8
    • Fiete T.

      Gates has a 959. Seen it twice w/him driving. This is not even in his world, lol…he does have his high school Mustang convertible. Ballmer had his high school Monza replicated by a friend’s shop. Ever seen a $100+k Mona? I have

      Like 4
  6. Ron

    My question- WHY ? By the time all is said and done (that’s if you live long enough to finish it) you could have bought a new one with a new drive train for the same expense. Less trouble and you could have enjoyed it all that time. Without breaking down !! You have to draw the line somewhere Lol

    Like 15
  7. Tom Justice

    Everyone who reads this site knows there are precious few vehicles that need a good deal of restoration that you can get your money back on; in fact you will be deep in the hole for most of them. You do it because you can and love the vehicle; it will take A LOT OF LOVE AND MONEY to do this one. If you are out there send a post of what it looks like after you are finished.

    Like 7
  8. Dirk

    Looks like one of those decisions that’s made at about 3:00AM after a night of poker and a lot of beer when someone says, “Hey Clem, what you gonna do with that there ol’ bus out behind your barn?”

    Like 8
  9. David

    The coach would be a lot of work, sweat, love, hate, and a ton of cash by the time it is finished. The bad is when you are done you still have a converted 1973 bus that will little to no resale value. It does one thing going for it that modern coaches do not have and that is the twin screw rear axles (they both have power to them when engaged) new coaches have an air lift tag axle. The bad is it has a mid engine 250HP diesel that will be a gutless pig on the highway. I have owned several coaches and I would not buy one this size with less than 500 ponneys pushing it. This pretty much is past it’s day and would only be finished by someone with the vision and love to do. And very deep pockets.

    Like 6
  10. Martin

    Being the owner of a Bluebird Wanderlodge, I am fairly familiar how much you can spend just maintaining a good commercial bus. Let alone doing something like this project.
    And when you are done you need to repower it because that old 250 will mean you are very literally down to 15 mph on any kind of hill. Possible as low as 10, but certainly low gear. It would be almost undriveable.

    Like 6
    • Phil Tenney

      A 250 cummins is not that slow I had a 250 powered HT950 ford with a 250 and it ran darn good empty and it weighed around 27000 empty.Even my 220 cummins was decent empty and it was just a little lighter than the ford.

      Like 0
  11. Billie Bob Norton

    Bring the whole family for some “National Lampoon Family Vacation”!

    Like 3
  12. Mike

    Looks like a prison bus from a horrible 80’s action movie.

    Like 11
  13. John Corey

    I get it. I wouldn’t DO it, but i GET it. I came VERY close to picking up a Scenicruiser for conversion to a hauler (trickier given its rear mount engine), just for the screaming cool factor Alas, I would have needed to cut down some very nice, big, old trees that frame the driveway, just to get it’s 40 feet in off the road – and the flat-lift required to get the hauled car up and over that engine would have been a bigger project than this bus. It’s nuts, but fun to imagine. Remember how cool those cab forward transporters were (like the Mercedes one in the 50’s, and the later Corvair-based one in the US). I get it (still won;t do it).

    Like 7
  14. newfieldscarnut

    1973 Clown Bus

    Like 4
  15. Bubba5

    Mess…

    Like 4
  16. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    It takes imagination, determination and a lot of money to do a project like this, plus it might help to be somewhat crazy.

    Like 5
  17. Steve

    I believe this is an old prison bus. The door in the rear on the driver’s side is where a guard with a rifle would sit, watching the inmates as they are transported. Don’t ask me how I know this lol.

    Like 3
    • George

      Prisoner 86574, er I mean @Steve.

      Like 1
  18. Lawyer George

    Just thinking the number of these useless beasts littering open spaces is depressing. Then thinking that rebuilding it to a buyer’s tastes is even feasible is like what happened to the to the American dream. It does’nt exist any more. I picture going out to look at one, meeting the owner who had spent $20K but “lost interest” . The “hard work is almost done. I think to myself “the poor” guy.

    Get these on today’s highways and you’ll find cars passing you on the gravel apron.

    Like 2
  19. Scott

    It’d make a super cool shell for a tiny house. Though I’d love to see someone actually put it on the road again.

    Like 1
  20. David Miraglia

    Good for storage. Nothing else.

    Like 3
  21. Jeff

    What is the current price for scrap Aluminum?

    Like 0
  22. CJ

    For the money one would spend on this dog, buy a nice Lexus, Acura, Cadillac, Lincoln,etc., cruise down the highway, stay at some nice hotels, enjoy life…..

    Like 3
  23. Rob M.

    That thing would be great in another Mad Max type movie. Cow catcher on the front, weld some skirts over the wheel wells, a couple of gun turrets on top and it’s on!

    Like 1
  24. George

    I’m not sure that polishing it would be the way to go. Painting too. That sheet metal is pretty lumpy and wavy.

    Like 1
  25. Steve D

    I was at the Crown Coach factory in LA many times in my youth. Back when they made real things in SoCal. Cool place. Shocked this one is in New Hampshire.

    Like 0
  26. Dave Wright

    I owned two like this. Crown is a California company and this one is one of several they built for the US post office as portable sorting stations. It is actually a factory built custom. The other one I owned was built for a movie vehicle with a large rear hydraulic lift gate for loading and unloading heavy camera equipment very similar to this one.

    Like 3
  27. doc

    Does anyone know whatever happened to this bus? I’m extremely interested if it’s still available … or if the new owner is feeling overwhelmed about now. lol I have owned several Crowns, so know exactly what I’d be getting into. Any updated info would be greatly appreciated!

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.