On The Buses: 1960 Bristol Double Decker Bus

This 1960 Bristol bus has been sitting in the same location for the last 10 years. It is going to need some work to bring it back to life, but it does offer a number of possibilities once the work has been completed. Barn Finder Roger located this great vehicle, so thank you for that Roger. The bus is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

With a hand-made aluminum body, external rust in the vehicle is never going to be an issue. The frames on these old buses are also incredibly robust, and while it isn’t specifically mentioned, hopefully, there is no rust to deal with there. The bus does require some cosmetic work, but that is more to do with paintwork rather than repairs to those aluminum panels.

The driver’s compartment on this bus has certainly seen better days and will require a complete repaint to bring it back to life. The windshield is also cracked, and a replacement will need to be sourced. It also appears that a number of the gauges and controls are either damaged, or they are missing altogether, so this is something that will need to be addressed. If you’re not particularly hung-up on total authenticity, there are a number of companies that produce aftermarket components that would serve the purpose quite well.

Powering the bus is a Gardner diesel engine, which is backed by a manual transmission. The engine was rebuilt around 15-years-ago, but the bus has been parked in its current location for 10 years. The owner doesn’t state whether the engine turns freely, but he does say that it will require a battery, new tires, and some refurbishment.

So I guess the big question now would be what to do with this bus if you bought it. I guess you could do what the current owner has done for the past 10 years, and use it as a stationary billboard to advertise businesses. You could also refurbish it and conduct some form of tour business with it. A mobile cafe is also a possibility. I have seen these used as a mobile home, with kitchen and living space downstairs, and sleeping quarters upstairs. They aren’t as fast or as flash as a Winnebago, but if you’re a retiree who is off spending the kids’ inheritance, then you’re hardly likely to be in a hurry. The owner is asking $15,000 for the bus. That may be expensive for a project like this, but there are plenty of possibilities there to be considered.

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Comments

  1. Jeff Lavery Staff

    Wow – forgot all about this. Maxwell Silverman’s was one of the go-tos for students in the areas when their parents came to visit and celebrate special occasions. Also hosted drunken senior-day events in April. The bus was always parked out front.

    Like 3
  2. Kenneth Carney

    Now THAT’S a bus!! Sure wish they had
    these when I was on the road playing
    music. There would’ve been enough room for all of us to sleep topside while
    the driver worked below. Last time I saw
    or rode one was in ’76 when we were in
    Florida visiting Disneyworld in Orlando.
    Not far from the park, there was a KOA
    campground that used a group of these
    to shuttle patrons to and from the park.
    What a blast it was riding on the top deck
    looking out at the Florida scenery. Now
    that I live here, all the sparkle has gone
    out of it. Instead, everything looks flat,
    dumpy, and run down. Too bad our
    transit system doesn’t have these, their
    ridership rates would be through the roof.

    Like 7
  3. Francisco

    I wonder how many people barfed in this bus.

    Like 1
  4. Ralph

    Free would still be too expensive……

    Like 2
  5. LAB3

    Where would you drive this at? Seems like it’s a good way over 13 feet high.

    Like 1
    • J.T. WILSON

      Go to the link and read the ad. The dementions are listed.

      Like 1
      • Chinga-Trailer

        And I thought all the dementions were a product of the electoral process and serving in Washington!

        Like 6
      • LAB3

        13’4″ I’d have guessed considerably higher than that. Guess I’m out on this one, could’t stand up in it.

        Like 1
  6. sluggo

    Here in Portland Oregon some enterprising lads have one nicely re-finished and seem to do well with charters, Tours and scenic trips locally and popular with the tourists. I talked to them at the All British Field Meet at PIR. They often do pub/brewery tours as Portland up till recently had more breweries per person than any other US city and is still known as “Beervana”. Sometimes bachelor/bachelorette parties rent it too. (Portland ALSO has a lot of strip clubs). But now that Cannabis is legal, They are doing farm tours and weed related tours.
    See: https://doubledeckerpdx.com/
    ” Originally coined an omnibus, our Double Decker Buses are antiques renovated into the most comfortable way to ride. As you look through the large windows of our Double Decker, you will experience travel in a new way. Whether you are going to the next Ducks game, or a wine tasting, our striking, spacious bus is sure to give you a new perspective.

    Corporate events and weddings, seminars and concerts draw big crowds. With our Double Decker Bus, you can bring your own crowd, whether family, friends or coworkers. Our Double Decker Bus seats 30 people, with a built in mini fridge on each level. Relax and enjoy the experience while your mp3 player forms the backdrop to the conversation. Don’t forget to add “Bohemian Rhapsody”, there is sure to be a singalong.

    Not sure what you would like to experience? We offer a variety of options, custom to your desires. Our tours have taken people to the many brew pubs and distilleries in downtown Portland, to the rustic countryside, where the most quaint of wineries open their doors for limited tastings. Click on our destinations page for more ideas to make your day extraordinary.”
    ————————–
    Pick up your party at the PDX Airport, Hit the Cannabis shop, then tour the christmas light displays all over town… (It happens, I know people who have done it)
    Does that answer the question????????????

    Like 5
  7. Fred W

    McGuires Irish Pub, a restaurant chain in the FL panhandle, has used these buses for years to attract attention. They even load them up with animatronic drivers and passengers!

    Like 7
  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    I watched a driver-training video for these. In order to qualify for your certification, you have to take one of these and put it through a controlled skid, 180 degrees. They take you out to a flat paved lot and wet it down then you have at it. Quite interesting to see these buses get through their paces.

    Now this unit. BeFORE attempting to get the engine to turn over, I would ensure that the fuel injection system is free. Those systems can be seized by varnish buildup alone. Attempting to start them can get you into a lot of trouble…

    Like 3
    • Ralph

      Kinda explains how easy it was to find someone able to spin a 360 with one in Live and Let Die…….

      Like 2
  9. Coventrycat

    Big British money pit

    Like 2
  10. Ike Onick

    Maxwell Silverman’s hammer.

    Like 3
  11. luke arnott Member

    Anything like this is a money pit.Doesn’t have to be British thank you!Happy Christmas anyway.

    Like 3
  12. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking double-decker bus. I got to ride in a few while I was visiting England with the family on holiday. I can see this being restored to driveable condition, install a modern diesel engine, and used to tour the countryside with. :)

    Like 1
  13. Dan T

    There’s one on a small lot in downtown Asheville NC that’s a coffee shop. You can sip and eat from the upper deck and watch all the weirdness pass by. The current beer capital of the U.S. 34 breweries with a population of less than 100k. But it doubles on the weekend. Good car spotting area.

  14. Derek

    That, I think, is a Bristol Lodekka (so called ‘cos of the floor height).

    Eastern Scottish used to run them back in the days before that witch and bus de-regulation…

    Like 1
  15. Thomas North

    Drop modern drive train in it. Get rid of the diesel and air bag it. Then make it a camper. I work with young weight lifters and powerlifters. Would have to make it comfortable to transport them to competitions

  16. #69pacecar

    The guy driving the bus in “Live and Let die” was actually the instructor for London Transport at the time of filming, some amazing driving.

    Like 1
  17. sluggo

    Just to make clear several brewers magazines have crowned Portland Oregon the top brewery city in the US, But I have heard competing claims so decided to find out.
    According to : https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2016/11/01/which-u-s-cities-have-the-most-microbreweries-per-capita-infographic/

    ” In the United States, the epicentre of the global craft beer revolution, there are now more breweries and brewpubs in operation than at any point in the past century. In 2014 alone, the nation boasted 3,418 craft breweries and they churned out 22 million barrels of beer. Which city can claim the title of America’s craft beer capital? Most people would probably point their finger at Portland, Oregon. The city has gained a serious reputation among beer lovers with a mammoth 68 microbreweries in operation, the most of any American city.
    However, when it comes to the number of breweries for every 100,000 inhabitants, a different Portland steals America’s craft beer crown. Portland, Maine, has 17 microbreweries in operation and a population of just under 67,000 people. That equates to 25.5 breweries per 100,000 people, the highest rate per capita of any city in the country, according to Smartasset. Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina come second and third with 21.9 and 21.6 per 100,000 people respectively. The other and more famous Portland in Oregon comes in sixth overall for microbreweries per capita with 11 for every 100,000 of its residents.”
    ————————————
    So it depends on how you wish to interpret the data. Id just be happy if people stopped moving here, Maybe Asheville wants them,. I hear its nice. There is a good performance shop near there, Carolina Auto masters and the “Dynocologist” Jeff Creech can sort out your hot rodding needs.

    However its all very subjective. To save BF readers the pain, I read a ton of beer related articles and just depends on websites and writers how you want to spin it.
    This one rates California as #1 and Oregon as #2
    See: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/every-state-in-the-usa-ranked-by-its-beer

    And in double decker bus topics, Here in Oregon at Antique Powerland, there is 12 museums and stop in and visit, But the trolley museum (With functional tracks and you can ride on them) Has a double decker trolley from Hong Kong thats very cool.

    • Francisco

      I thought this was an automobile site.

      Like 1
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        I agree Francisco, I just like beer and motors. Well, chicks also. I really do not care if they came from Mars. Have a great new year, take care, Mike.

        Like 1
  18. Ian

    When I was a student, back in 1962, I had a summer job as a bus conductor selling tickets on a double-decker bus. It was on the Isle of Wight in the south of England. Those buses had an open rear platform. Some of the double deckers had a slightly lower roof height than standard for roads with low overpasses.
    I’ve been told that a Detroit diesel engine is an useful upgrade.

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