This week on BUILDING A BUS we go to a car show, find dead batteries, and have a huge announcement about the future! The picture above is a shot from a car show that I had the privilege of representing and talking about my father’s 1982 Mustang and our 1956 Pd-4104. Having this bus at a car show was a really neat experience because of all the gear heads who respected the style of this bus and wanted to know more about it. I had an interesting experience of having a few guys come up to me and ask me to start it up because they just wanted to hear that engine run. It made me appreciate this bus a lot more after meeting other people who know its history and share in the joy of seeing older vehicles out on the road. I cannot wait to have this finished so everyone can enjoy food from Blue Sparrow all winter.
We were fortunate enough have been parking the bus in a parking lot that was hosting a car show, so we didn’t have to drive the bus anywhere to attend. This week we also saw our first break in the weather where it got a bit colder at night, which gave the bus some issues starting. Having owned a diesel truck in my life I know the importance of making sure the heating block is functional and being used when the temperature goes low. When I arrived at the car show I went to start the bus to pull it close to the other classic cars, but to my disappointment it cranked and cranked and never turned over. That action then sadly made the starter only emit a click and silence, my batteries were too low to turn over the giant engine. So I knew I had to charge the batteries and check the block heater.
Making sure everything was operational was my first task, I knew there was a male plug coming out of the back of the bus engine but it was all cracked rubber, and frayed. Before plugging in this terrifying cord, I made sure to replace it, and double check to make sure it wasn’t going to explode or anything. After getting it all replaced with new wires, plug, and protective cover I was relieved to hear the sound of the generator revving up when I plugged the heating block in. I let it run for an hour before starting the bus up, and to my satisfaction I was soon listening to the purr of this classic 2 stroke engine.
I also won a Moscow Mule basket at the car show, that was nice.
Luke has the hardest part of this bus build and I wanted to make sure he gets proper respect in this post. I have had the absolute pleasure of working with my hands on this bus and figuring out the best puzzle I have ever done, making a bus and kitchen. My tasks often can have pictures taken of them when they are finished and even with the dirt and a few cuts, the job is quite rewarding. Luke on the other hand has a job that is not rewarding and extremely stressful in this whole operation, he has to deal with the DMV and the issues we have been having.
Errors were made by the notary we used when we purchased the bus and those errors snowballed into weeks of angry phone calls and broken promises from the state. Luke has been constantly lied to and ignored by the phone center of the DMV. He as been told the plates have been rejected, he has been told he would get a call back (never did), and he has had the same 30 minute hold each time he has called them. The way that this system operates is extremely frustrating and outdated, and Luke has to deal with that crap. Thank you Luke, for being as patient as possible with them and making sure we can drive this bus soon.
With that being said Luke did finally get through to someone who has so far been a huge help and we should be getting out plate in the next week or so. These are some high hopes we have but we are excited to finally see a light at the end of this bureaucratic nightmare. Hopefully we will see you at this bus in the very near future!
Until we get the plates I am still updating the lights on the outside, and adding new features to make driving this rig easier. You can see the marker light are now working above the rear wheels, and I have installed new LED back up light and a back up beeper to the rear of the bus. This beeper was a give from my Uncle Larry and it is greatly appreciated.
Now that we have a timeline for getting the plates in we are hopefully going to be getting this bus inspected at our garage, and they taking it to Kevin for the final installs. These next two stages have been highly anticipated and we cant wait to be done and actually get to cook on this bus.
Over the past two weeks we (blue sparrow staff) were interviewed by the University of Pitt Newspaper where they wrote a very nice article about us adding the bus to our fleet.
Thank you again for reading this and following this drawn out story, like I said above, this is a light ahead of us. Until next time, peace.