A few weeks ago I purchased a school bus. It was an as-is deal, and despite best efforts, starting the engine was not in the cards. So I had it towed to a mechanics shop – trebidation filling my chest.
The auction to purchase ended up costing me $1700. But is was well under the budget I had set so off I went to claim my prize. Arranging the tow seemed to go well, until 5:30 on the morning it was due to happen, and I got a call that the Tow truck was, itself, in the shop. With a recommendation from them, I was able to get another truck scheduled for the end of the day for an additional $500. But … cringe … still within original budget.
I met with the school, and papers were transferred, and I now owned a non-working school bus. Course I had to get a picture, then rush off, back to work.
At work, I buried myself to try to keep from thinking about the bus, and all the scenarios of what could be wrong … was I going to be stopped before I even got going?
Alas, I shouldn’t have worried. Around the 10th of May, the mechanic called with news. Remarkably, there was very little wrong with it. The biggest thing – after battery, coolant, adding fuel – was that rodents had made a home inside the the turbo unit.
The critters had packed all sorts of materials into the throat, making it impossible for air to pass through, and preventing the engine from firing up. Once they got the towels, rags, and straw out, starting the engine blew the rest out … all over the mechanic. Or so he said.
The benefit to me is that the actual repairs were minor, mostly tune up, fuel and coolant flush, and done. Then I got the bill … $1500.
All in all, I originally budgeted $4000 to just acquire a bus. My naivete nearly bit me in the butt. I never considered the towing, nor the potential mechanical issues. The universe has been kind, and happily, I am the proud owner of a fully operational 84 passenger school bus for the total of $3700. According to my research … a steal. The only thing left was to transport it to a parking space.
Happily, a good friend offered a rental on their side yard. It was already qualified under city codes for parking a large vehicle, and being on a cul-de-sac, reduced the potential for unhappy neighbors. So I can say goodnight to my girl, all snug in her spot …