The Ups and Downs of Part-Owning a Vintage Bus
It was a rather warm Saturday in September in the late 1980s, when I was young and impressionable, when my best friend invited me to the yard of a Lutheran church in a nearby suburb, to show me something amazing that he had discovered.
We jumped into his monstrous dark brown 1970s Ford Falcon and were soon pulling into the Church’s driveway. What he was excited about was parked at the far end of the yard. It was a 1950s AEC bus, very similar to the one pictured above, except in very crusty condition.
A friend of ours had somehow acquired this fossil, and had somehow managed to drive it from somewhere in Nhill, in western Victoria, (Australia) to where it now rested, a distance of 392 km, a miracle in itself.
The interesting thing about this bus was, despite its age, it and others like it were still doing the rounds of the Melbourne public transport system ten years prior to this, before the Victorian government did a massive modernisation of the public transport system in the early 1980s. The buses, and this one, looked a lot like this:
My friend an I marveled at this piece of history, and wondered if we could maybe make it into a large campervan…
We told our friends at our youth group at the Lutheran Church that we attended about our find, and word soon reached our Youth Director. Before we knew it, he called an informal meeting, inviting us and our friends.
Ten Mad Lutherans
This meeting resulted in some big plans being made, and started with the creation of The Lutheran Youth Access Group, to formalise our plans for this vehicle. There were ten of us involved, including our Youth Director.
First came the purchase of this “Asset”, for a mere $6000, from our friend who drove it to its parking place. Before I knew it, I had invested $600 of my savings, and was a proud part owner of a tenth of it.
Next came finding a new home for it. It was decided that wedding photos taken at the church…