We are often asked where we bought our bus. It was a long road to finding the “perfect” bus for us! We set out with a list of criteria that we hoped for and it took us nearly a year to find it. In the end, the bus is almost exactly what we laid out in our criteria!
We wanted something low mileage, rust free, direct from a school district. We wanted a bus between 28 and 35 ft. We also preferred a Bluebird and needed a diesel for our Waste Vegetable Oil conversion. We were looking for a Cummins 5.9 engine with a Bosch P7100 injection pump. Ideally, we wanted an Allison MT643 transmission, but this is one area where we did not meet our first wishes. This was partially because this was either a really rare engine/transmission combo or non-existent. We still located a bus with an Allison transmission, an AT545.
1992 Bluebird TC2000
5.9 Cummins Diesel
Bosch P7100 Injection Pump
79,000 miles when purchased
Rust-free Southern Bus
34 ft. Long
Brand New Tires
We searched for what seemed like ages. Some of the best places to search are public surplus auctions at sites like publicsurplus.com, GovDeals.com. We also called local school districts, checked Craigslist and eBay regularly, and I even drove to Kentucky and Tennessee on a bus-search for a few days and came back empty-handed. You can get buses at dealers too, but they tend to be very expensive. I even flew with my Dad to Florida to buy a bus we located and we ended up flying home without. It was a difficult task at times…
We found Two Birds on eBay, owned by a private school in Pennsylvania. They owned the bus for 10 years and only put 9,000 miles on it. It was originally from Fort Benning, Georgia, hence the lovely rust-free body. We bought it outside of eBay for $3,850, which was their Buy it Now price. We didn’t want to chance losing the bus over a couple hundred bucks (where the bidding was at). We have heard of great buses going for LESS… but we were happy to get what we wanted for this price (NOTE: We also have seen many, many people pay way more for a bus). Buses are cheap… you can get a used bus for less than a van of the same year. You just have to be patient and know where to look.
It happened to be an hour or so drive from where I had a concert in Eastern Pennsylvania. Here are some photos from when I found Two Birds, and the drive home from Pennsylvania. I knew immediately that it was the bus for us after so many dead ends.