Three Pedals: 1970 MCI Motor Coach

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There are times when I want to meet the owners of the vehicles we feature on Barn Finds and find out their story. How did you come into owning such a vehicle? What was going through your mind when you traded cash for the keys? These thoughts come vividly into focus when evaluating this 1970 MCI Motor Coach here on craigslist, where it’s listed for $4,500. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for the find. 

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The illustrations on the outside of the bus reminds of another point in time, a happier time, when police officers could enjoy a little R&R outside the working hours of a stressful job. Hop in the party bus, head to the softball field and then travel safely afterwards to the watering hole of your choice. This bus needs new batteries, unfortunately, so it’s not heading to the local pub anytime soon.

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But to that end, the seller has lowered the asking price by a grand to $4,500. It includes a stainless steel bathroom and apparently, a manual transmission. That makes sense since MCI didn’t start offering optional automatic transmissions until the 1968 model year, but I wonder just how many stick-shift buses are left. If you were to buy this GM-powered bus, how would you use it?

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Comments

  1. Chebby

    I used to drive one of these. It is a beast of a bus.

    • Michael

      I drove one too, it was a beast, I had to stand up to hold the clutch in when the assist went out in bumper to bumper traffic in Miami. It looks like an old Greyhound MC-7.

  2. Dave Wright

    Very. good quality busses, there are many in use by churches and other groups. Price is about retail. Not sure why it is on Barnfinds?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Why not Dave? We have featured a lot of buses over the years.

  3. KeithK

    F those million dollar class A s you see in the campgrounds. I see an awesome motor home project. Not sure if I would even change the graphics. ( Dad of two sheriffs deputies.)

    • JW

      I don’t know about not changing the graphics Keith in today’s war on cops society. I have a blue light run all night in support of law enforcement along with my stars & stripes and I’m waiting for some turd to vandalize my house. The bus is way cool tho especially the graphics.

      • Ron

        I seriously doubt the average person would think twice about the meaning of a blue light. As for the stars and stripes, I’ve seen plenty and not seen them being cause for vandalizing.

      • JW

        The stars & stripes is not my worry about vandalism, it’s the blue light which there are many in my small town and most know what they mean, that we support law & order and law enforcement. I will say no more as it already seems to offend some on here. Keith a double thumbs up to your sons from my family.

  4. Madbrit

    They make great motorhome conversion projects. I started one some years ago but found it could not pull the big trailer I wanted. So I ended up converting a semi-truck with a stretched frame and 24ft box. If the MCI was closer, I would take a look just in case….

  5. KeithK

    Thanks for your support JW. Lord knows they need it now. You’ve inspired me though. How cool would it look with a light bar or two on top?

  6. Leon

    My friend lives and travels in a 30 yr old converted Greyhound MCI

  7. j.boyd

    This isn’t far from me. Its sitting next to a mechanic shop.

  8. James

    If I had the money I would fix it up the way it is and donate it to my kids Christian school. They have two older school buses they use and a small 25 man church bus. If they did want it then it would be a great project bus.

  9. Jubjub

    Needs some funky period correct style stripe graphics! There was great looking bus out of Yellowstone, I think, a month or so ago on GSA auctions. Was just a single axle, but looked to be well preserved and had a wicked paint job. Ordinarily I would remember the year and model etc. but I think my brain took a dump!

  10. Skloon

    Have a 69 this one’s twin perfect length for an rv mine got converted to automatically though they can still rust though

  11. Jubjub

    It was an MCI. Found a pick of it or an identical one. http://geyserbob.org/attachments/Image/Buses-MC5B.jpg

  12. Howard A Member

    These had 8V71 Detroit fuel converter ( converts diesel fuel into noise) motors and 4 speed manual transmissions. Apparently, MCI made a coach for Greyhound that had a 12V71 and automatic, but returned to this setup. These had, I believe, air ride steer axles, which it’s why it’s so low in front. These hauled a lot of people a lot of miles, when buses were still the mode of choice, as air travel was still pretty expensive, ( not to mention, they fell out of the sky more often back then) My one experience with these, was I had to take a “Silver Dog” to Quad Cities years ago, in the dead of winter, I remember it was like 90 degrees in the bus and the windows were frozen shut. Everybody was yelling at the driver to shut the heat off, but he just starred straight ahead, didn’t say a word. IDK, a beast to drive, I’d think you could find a coach already converted. What do you do with 47 seats?

  13. Madbrit

    The Greyhounds with the 12V71 motors were called an MC-6. They built 101 of them. They were only legal in Canada and California because they were 102″ wide and the other states had a max width at the time of 96″. The Congress man who was helping push through the wider limits died and MCI shelved the project. The buses that remained in California were re-powered with the smaller motor. The buses had air-ride all around.

    Like 1
  14. angliagt

    Seeing this,& reading the posts here makes me think
    of a few of the buses I’ve seen in the past.
    First was seeing two of the Red & Black buses that they
    use in Glacier Park,at a shop near Columbia Falls,MT.
    Second was the buses at Yellowstone (Yellow & Black).
    And then there was an old Greyhound bus with the Blue & White
    signage on it,about an hour East of here.It’s gone now.

  15. David Miraglia

    always wanted a MC7, this one has the roof cap. Only the MC6 had a 12v71. MC7’s usually had a 8v71 engine. A 6v71 used on the good old GMC, Flixible transits of the day would of been too under-powered. And the latter 6v92, 8v92 engines didn’t make their appearance until the early 1980’s

  16. Daniel

    I am the present owner of this MC7 bus. I was shocked to find you discussing it on your site. I purchased the bus from the Dunn, NC Police Athletic/Activities League several years ago, and used it to haul Amish. I had 3 busses we called “Yoder Totters” and we’ve hauled them all over the country. The city didn’t remove the decals and so I didn’t feel I should pay to have them removed.

    I love driving this bus and never experienced the problems some of your contributors have mentioned. I replaced the original seat with an air ride (I don’t know how those early bus drivers survived those original seats) and I had a hitch, electric brake, and rear camera added so I could pull my camper behind it.

    It is setting low because the air bags are not inflated. Once you fire it up and the air builds up, she stands up and is ready to go (needs batteries through).
    We were at a truck stop in IL one time filling up and the Amish unloaded to use the restroom and grab some food. I had a lady come up to me and ask if we were police. I said “yes ma’am, undercover Amish police. We’ve been alerted that an Amish boy in the next community has been installing radios secretly in the buggies and we’re going in undercover to investigate”.

    I miss driving this old bus. We made a lot of trips. We’d planned a trip to take a load of Amish to Alaska but I needed to go back to work so I’m not able to drive anymore. It is a very comfortable ride.

    Thank you for posting it and all the memories you’ve all shared. The bus is still for sale is you are interested.

    • Paul Stevens.

      can you call me

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