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Live the Post-War Dream! 1948 Flxible Clipper

The Flxible company (one ‘e’ short of Flexible to coin a patentable trademark) made this generation of Clipper bus from 1946 until 1967. This 1948 Flxible Clipper hails from a location near Londonderry, New Hampshire. Thanks to reader “AMXBrian” who located the rust-red bus listed here on New Hampshire craigslist with a modest $2500 asking price.

I wonder what Hermann Rorschach would think if I said those primer blotches look like Calvin… and a turtle? The clearly non-original paint may have seemed necessary at some point, but it might be a deal-breaker for many historic bus shoppers. Most Flxible Clippers of this vintage feature stainless panels, but sadly none adorn this specimen.

This slice of 1948 could make a solid foundation for a retro-styled RV along the lines of the popular vintage Airstream trailers. The seller suggests that the prior owner headed in that direction and a propane generator comes with the sale. Flxible Clippers enjoy a strong following including this rich Flxible Owners web site.

The seller reports that the previous owner converted the Clipper to a Ford Y-Block and an Allison automatic transmission. This bus ran when parked in this location but will definitely need attention by someone with a passion for these classic people-movers.

This six-window bus represents the medium-sized Clipper; Flxible sold five and seven-window versions as well. Would a 900 HP version be too much? It might be cheaper to start with a government auction diesel school-bus but that’s rather “been there, done that.” The $2500 asking price leaves room for possibilities. How would you fill this bus?

Comments

  1. Marc G

    I’ve been keeping an eye on these old buses for an RV conversion as I get older and the Flxible Clipper had caught my attention before. You can consider this one either a blank canvas or a money pit. Sometimes its more about the love than the bottom line.
    I’ve still got some time before I even think of retiring but I’ll keep dreaming about hitting the open road till then.

    Like 1
  2. Rube Goldberg Member

    Although before my time, these were the coolest looking buses, until they turned into a breadbox. I believe these had Buick straight 8’s originally. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, this was the way to get somewhere, especially in rural areas. Every old movie has buses like this. These look really sharp when restored, and the stainless sides is what made them. With something more user friendly in the power dept., this would be a great, fun way to travel today.

  3. SquareLeft

    Having traveled for too many years while being involved with different kinds of amateur racing, RVs wore out their welcome with me a long time ago. They are, however, very useful for that purpose since your tow vehicle becomes your home when you get there. The cramped quarters, poor fuel mileage, large storage footprint and high upkeep costs are all reasons for there being so many used ones available.

    That said, I still get a lot of questions about when I’m going to buy one. My answer? If I’m traveling on land, I like “fast sedans and good hotels”. It’s cheaper in the long run and much more comfortable!

  4. Dirk

    The question is… Is this Flxible fxable?

    Like 1
  5. jw454

    Well, you could build a Gornicke Bus replica.

    Like 5
  6. Philip

    When I was in grade/high school, the bus company had one of these, and we would be taken on our field trips in it. It was green and yellow. We all liked it better than the regular school buses, but the seats had covers that would poke through your shirt like pins. Would love to have one, but no where to store it or any other use for it than nostalgia.

  7. David Miraglia

    Being the only bus driver here, Since I was a kid I always liked Flx’s.
    That baby is my type of bus. Like the Beetle, got to have my Flxible in
    my future collection.

    Like 1
  8. chad

    trade in C7 & Allison? (current might not due!).

    a bus company round here has a sm fleet (15?) of exotic lookin kinda artdeco busses restored (Peter Pan Lines). Can they be from the 30s? Quite amazing looking! They come out for spec events and a few of the parades. My jaw drops a few when seein them. Spectacular…

  9. Caty

    A 1958 Flxible (it had a sign in the window) converted to an RV passed us on I95 last week. It was towing a vintage VW bug.

    Like 2
  10. Phillip Tenney

    The engine looks to be a Lincoln version of the Y block design as evidensed by the rib showing on the rocker arm cover.

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