Thoughts on the 1977 School Bus as a Cat House

I’ve been scratching under my hat over a number of issues regarding that old school bus as a potential escape route, studying pictures taken last time in town.  Wondering how a person might get around various problems.

One that jumps out immediately is the fact there’s no way of locking the doors, either the front, or the emergency door.  So a person who didn’t fix that problem wouldn’t want to be a sound sleeper.  Or go off out-of-sight of it if he had anything inside he wanted there when he got back.

Another is that no obvious place to mount a spare tire seems to be included in the design. I suppose a person might rig a way to keep one on the roof if there’s no place underneath to hang it. 

Those wheels appear to weigh 75 pounds or more, though, so getting them up there would be a growth experience.

Interestingly, there appears to be an old Volkswagen living underneath there.

Evidently it was retrofitted to power a huge refrigeration air conditioning complex above the rows of seats, both sides.  My thought is that the shelves are nice, but the refrigerator is gonna have to come out.  Maybe the VW engine, too, so’s to make room for a spare tire.

Meanwhile, the windows don’t lock shut and some screens would have to be rigged to keep insects out and provide a disincentive for cats jumping out open windows to explore the highway.

I’ve always wanted something with a lot of switches to try to figure out as I drive along.

Nothing about it, I reckons, that can’t be overcome, but a challenge or two if the thing decides to jump into my life.

[I was watching for a place in here to use the word ‘footfeet’ because it’s such a novel piece of language history involving automobiles.  For the unaware, people used to call the brake, clutch and throttle pedals ‘footfeet’.  But there’s not a lot I can think of to say about the footfeet of this bus.  Hmmm, except,]

The footfeet appear to be intact, adequate and functional.

Old Jules

20 responses to “Thoughts on the 1977 School Bus as a Cat House

  1. Sounds like you found a challenging project! I am sure you will work wonders though!

  2. Oh, you mean a cat-house for cats. You had me excited there!

  3. I would think twice before removing the AC. That may come in handy.

  4. Think you got ya a real doable project there.. Shoot, pull that VW engine and save it,most likely has some real value to someone, that and the big AC unit you say you don’tneed ( how you gonna heat and cool that thing? Swamp coolers?

  5. Is it diesel? you can rig it to burn on peanut oil. Those biodiesel reactors arent rocket science either.

    And if you built the oil tanks/filters/dewatering system to be flat you could stick em on the roof with the tire… and you are in the desert so maybe passive solar dewatering of waste oil is in order too. The only problem with that is you would want a pump in order to get the oil up there. One more thing to break. But hey then you can fix it.

    • arifmvega: It’s a gasoline engine. Big V8. But if it comes into my hands I expect it will develop some non-traditional approaches to a number of issues as time and money allow. Gracias, J

  6. Looks easy enough to bolt the tire onto the front too.

  7. Evap coolers don’t work in the Houston area and a lot of other places that have humidity.

  8. You will need a cushion for the front seat. 🙂

  9. This would be like having 3 or 4 kids. I’m a “Chevy Man” but stay away from this. Nothing but trouble.

    • One Fly: I welcome the input. Considering it all. But I’m also faced with a pair of vicegrips demanding escape and evasion concepts to include four felines. Gracias, J

  10. Christopher Rowland

    Hey Old Jules, I have pretty much the exact same bus (76 c60, bluebird) that is converted to a motorhome. Mine has a spare tire in the cabinet underneath (it slides out, and does weigh a tone). The dualies in the back are attached to each other (split rims) so even heavier. Also, if you close the front door all the way, it is essentially locked. And the back door has a lock on it, so you CAN lock yourself in there if you want to. It’s a great thing for me and my wife and four kids, we go camping in it and the rest of the time I use it to haul lumber around. One downside, I found, is that it gets about 7mpg, although if yours is not geared as low as mine, you might get better mileage, but don’t expect much. Anyway, I love mine. Paid 3500 for it a few years ago.

  11. You are one of the only people that I have ben able to find with the same year and model of this bus!
    I was wondering if you were able to figure out the switch box at all? I plan to rewire most everything in there.
    I have been looking around for some wiring diagrams and I sadly haven’t found anything helpful.
    Hope to hear back from you soon!

    All the best,
    Aytu Campese

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s