I found your website about buses, and was surprised to see the picture of a bus leased by Northwest Trailways in 1978 (MCI Courier 96). It is identical to the bus we toured in during the 1980s with the Penticton based country-rock band Lonestar Cattle Company. Our bus had also been used in the Rockies where the wraparound windows gave spectacular views of the mountains.
One of the destinations on the bus was "Twillight Drive". So that's the one that we showed on the front. It also became the name of our indie racord label, Twillight Records.
We rebuilt much of the interior of the bus to meet our needs. We had a lounge up front that included seats facing both directions on both sided behind the door. There was a table between each set, and we had a TV/video and stereo setup there as well as a fridge. The very back of the bus had the seats taken out (behind the side door/harch) and walled off to carry much of our equipment. In front of that we had bunk-beds. Between the lounge in front and the bunks in the back we kept the regular seating. I believe the seats were original and in excellent condition, without rips and tears. They reclined as well.
Besides the band and crew, we sometimes also had wives and girlfriends aboard, as well as guests. On overnight trips we would put plywood on top of the seats for more beds, using foam for padding. The wraparound windows made sleeping difficult on summer nights when the sun would come up at 4 AM. We'd often play until two, then pack up and head for the next city, and it was already light by the time we got all loaded. We had curtains on the windows, but light still came in.
The bus had about 5,000,000 miles on it. We blew and engine in Kansas once, and had to go all the way to Calgary to find a replacement and ship it back to Kansas. We averaged about 50,000 miles a year.
|This picture was taken in Saskatoon in the early summer of 1983. There was a major rainstorm the night before, and we had to unload everything from the cargo bays in the belly of the bus as water rose up over the top of the wheels. We are fixing the windshield wiper on the driver side. One of the fellows helping us fix it was the fellow who sold us the bus. For the life of me I can't remember his name, but he had restored at least three other buses of the same vintage (1956-7). The trim is removed from around the driver side back wheel because we had a flat around Lloydsminster and had not had time to put them back on.|
|This is a picture of Tim Newcomb behind the wheel. I thought the multi-panel side window had the look of WWII bombers with it's little handcranked window that open, and the fan mounted on the post.|
|This was also in Saskatoon while fixing the windshield wiper. The fellow in the blue t-shirt is the fellow who sold us the bus. He live(d) in the lower mainland area of BC, possibly Coquitlam. It's a long time ago and memories fade. Sorry, no name to give you. The fellow in the plaid shirt is the late Gaylord Wood.|