Weekend Edition: Goodbye Old Friend


This olelongrooffan has previously shared some of the vehicles my family and I  have owned over the years. But one of the most beloved vehicles was the one my older brother, Bus-Plunge, owned for over twenty years. I am, of course referring to the short bus that has played an important role in not just Bus-Plunge’s life but his kids, grandkids, family members and friend’s lives as well.

Should any of my fellow Hoons be so inclined to make the jump, please accept this olelongrooffan’s apologies for the wonkiness of the size of some of the old school photos. They are over a 1/4 century old by this point. Thanks.


Every year at Christmas time, Bus-Plunge, on the far right standing behind my Mom, would gather up whoever wanted to go for a ride and tour around the Queen City of the Ozarks and check out all the Christmas lights and decorations. In the image above, that is my Dad, TheGentlemanFarmer on the far left, Bus-Plunge’s PrvtRN is in the white slacks and Mom is on the far right. The dude with the pipe is the neighbor who went with Bus-Plunge to Colorado to retrieve that old Willy’s thejeepjunkie got running while this olelongrooffan was on my epic road trip.


Now that shorty bus is not the only oddball unique vehicle that has ever resided in Bus-Plunge’s driveway. He has this cool ass old Airstream that he and lovely wife put to great use. He currently has a later model Suburban to haul it around though. Last summer they had a great road trip through Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois and southern Missouri and this olelongrooffan would have loved to been along on that sightseeing trip.


Back when the Bus-Plunge made a living owning several “joints” in the carnival industry these are the trucks he and his Hooned up and down the highway in up there in the great state of Iowa.


One summer this olelongrooffan worked for them and drove this C-30 box truck towing a 24′ enclosed trailer. Yeah, I was all of sixteen years old that eventful summer and still remember it like it was yesterday. Fun, but loads of windshield time.


Meanwhile, Bus-Plunge piloted this bobtail towing a 32′ skeeball enclosed trailer while his PrvtRN drove his big ass blue one ton towing their huge house trailer. Yeah that summer was fun but after the kids started school, they decided to liquidate their stuff and live a more conventional lifestyle.


Conventional, that is, if you consider owning one of these three wheeled Cushman’s as conventional. Which of course Bus-Plunge does.


Soon he decided to get into all things air cooled. The only time this olelongrooffan saw his Volkwagen Thing it was painted white. A few years later I got a copy of this photo and wasn’t surprised to see it was painted camo. My fellow Hoons will see why this olelongrooffan wasn’t surprised just aways down.

ganeys westie

Yeah, he got into VDubs in a huge way. Not seen in this photo are the other two Buses he owned along with a handful of Type I Bugs. That boy in this photo? His name is LilJim. He is now pushing 40, has a burgeoning family and Hoons around in a M880. These days this olelongrooffan refers to him as NotSoLilJim. Yeah, as far as vehicles go, like father like son.

ganeys porsche

A little later Bus-Plunge picked up this cherry Porsche 911 to Hoon around with his lovely wife. He sold this when NotSoLilJim turned 16 and has never regretted that decision.


And Bus-Plunge doesn’t do things in a minor, tepid way. No Siree. He jumps in with both feet. After he tired of adjusted valves on a daily basis on his air-cooled livery, he unloaded all of them and picked up more than a few military vehicles. To his credit, they were put to use.

jims army jeep

Yeah, a big way. Not just late model ambulances but this jeepy thing as well. And that trailer out back, damn straight Bus-Plunge had to have one even if he had to drive several hours there and back to get it.

jims earlier model ambo

And, of course, for Bus-Plunge, one ambulance is not enough, let’s get another.

jims 5 ton gmc

Well, after his lovely wife denied him the authority to purchase an old car transporter truck and trailer to haul his cache of military vehicles around he decided to liquidate yet another collection of cool trucks and pick up this Stovebolt 5 ton to match his shorty bus.

bus n burb

Yes, back to the bus. A year or so ago, Bus-Plunge was contacted by an advertising agency about the possibility of using the short bus in a McDonald’s commercial up in Chicago. He kept putting them off and they kept raising his compensation until finally Bus-Plunge gave in and loaded that shorty bus on thehorsefarmer’s trailer and put his grandsons in his newish Burban and headed off to Chicago for that filming.

jimmcd com;

They even got Bus-Plunge a uniform to wear while driving that bus. The commercial was destined for broadcast over in jolly old England so Rust-My-Enemy, keep your eye out for it.


Well, as Bus-Plunge ages, he, like many do, has decided to liquidate a bunch of his stuff. And as the short bus was driven less than 100 miles last year and less than 125 miles the previous year, he decided to put it up on the List that is Craigs and see what he could get for it. I did a little Hemmings type research and mentioned to Bus-Plunge the value of that bus. He was quite surprised as he was thinking it was worth less than half the amount this olelongrooffan expressed.


Well, it turns out that a grandfather down Texas way was on the lookout for a bus just like this to tote his grandkids to school, Hoon around bar hopping with a bunch of friends, use it in parades and general stuff like that. Which is exactly the same use for it Bus-Plunge had over the years. Hell, sixteen of us rode in it to my Mom’s funeral a whiles back. She loved the bus by the way.


Well, Bus-Plunge and that grandpa struck a deal and on Saturday morning one of the truck drivers who works for grandpa showed up to pick up that short bus and take it to its new home. That is NotSoLilJim in the yellow jacket.


All loaded up and off to make some grandkids very happy and provide a ton of memories for a whole damn bunch of other folks.


A final handshake as Bus-Plunge and the driver exchange goodbyes and the short bus rode off into the distance.


And as Bus-Plunge put it, “We had a blast with it over the past twenty years but it was now time to turn it loose and let someone else have fun with it.”

If any of my fellow Hoons are interested, a video about this bus and few other novelties Bus-Plunge owns can be seen here.

Oh yeah, that 1954 shorty school bus sold for $16,000.00. Yeah, Bus-Plunge was surprised as hell about that. 

This olelongrooffan calls that “Well Sold.”

Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan

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24 responses to “Weekend Edition: Goodbye Old Friend”

  1. Wolfie Avatar

    That $ number is a surprise,Had it figured at $8,500.Tops
    Cool bus ,nice story.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I would have put it somewhere around $12-14K, so that number does not surprise me. 59 years old, not a huge number of them made in comparison to passenger cars, and almost all of them used commercially until they were pretty much used up and unceremoniously discarded as scrap. I can't imagine how few are left.

      1. Wolfie Avatar

        That puts it in perspective.

  2. McQueen Avatar

    Love your stories , feel like I'm right there watching it all happen

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      That's why we come here.

      1. papamarc Avatar

        You are coming here, tonight?

        1. MVEilenstein Avatar

          Why, did you buy a yellow bus?Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  3. Tom Lee Avatar
    Tom Lee

    When I see the size of the truck and trailer used to haul it to Texas, I just have to laugh.
    Bus, how many times have we hauled your vehicles on that 18 ft flatbed that used to be mine, but is now in your stable?
    John, great post.

    1. busplunge Avatar

      Hey Horsefarmer….. I remember a trip home from an auction with a 52 F-8 Ford Ex Air Force Dump Truck. I have never seen your wife so mad….
      It's always exciting to take a trip with the Horsefarmer… trips more than 50 miles involve a chase vehicle. lol.

  4. dead_elvis Avatar

    OLRF, here's to hoping you never tire of sharing your stories with us! I really enjoyed this.

  5. Fenian Avatar

    Nice piece and thanks for sharing those family memories with us.
    Those red and white Missouri plates in a couple photos bring back a lot of childhood memories for me. Odd how something as simple as a license plate design can do that.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      I remember black and white truck plates from back in the day, too.

  6. vetteman61 Avatar

    I think this is the same bus now for sale in Missouri…. am I wrong? http://kansascity.craigslist.org/cto/3532869945.h

    1. vetteman61 Avatar

      Whoops, I had thought this story too place a while ago and that the bus was for sale again. I just realized this must be the article that sold the Bus from the story we just read.

  7. 0ToTuttiFrutti Avatar

    Wow, someday when I'm a grandpa, I'll be looking for an old bus too. Good stuff.

  8. klaw_smutco Avatar

    <img src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8515/8465037958_729776c044.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="IMG-20120710-00077">
    Snapped this last July. I knew the Shorty Bus was something special when I saw it parked outside my local Braum's while on a frozen yogurt run. Small world…

    1. Busplunge Avatar

      I was taking my granddaughters out for ice cream. Sadie's 3, Sophie's 5. I got a photo of them somewhere eating the ice cream
      <img src="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=606661989359853&set=pcb.606662299359822&type=1&theater"&gt;

  9. topdeadcentre Avatar

    My life will not be complete until I own a shorty bus with a rounded-down back roof…

  10. oldcarjunkie Avatar

    A very attractive bus for sure. Some great memories for you. I'm surprised at the strong selling price too.

  11. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I spent a good deal of the movie The Apostle being distracted by the bus.
    <img src="http://pics.imcdb.org/5040/1147.jpg&quot; width="512">

  12. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    Man I loved this story, thanks! Here's that ad from the UK: http://chillibean.net/perl/media-2.1.pl?M=academy