Driving History: Crown Bus Restoration
It’s a classic, in every sense of the word. In the mid-1960s, this Crown Bus was a workhorse for the U.S. Postal Service. Today, nearly 50 years later, it’s the pride and joy of the Puhlman family, a family of car collectors and builders. AI Puhlman purchased this 40-foot behemoth in 1975 in Los Angeles. It was what was known as a “Hy-Po”, which is short for “Highway Post Office.” With a ceiling height of 6’6″, Al- who is 6’4″ and a bus nut to boot– thought it would be perfect to transform it into a motor-home. And it’s not just any RV– it’s a real head-turner. Now it’s a true family heirloom. Through the years, the Crown has carried members of the Puhlman family all over the continental United States, logging some 150,000 miles. Al’s son Scott says it’s now more of a showpiece, although it’s still the #1 vehicle in their collection.
That’s not to say it’s on its last legs. On the contrary, Scott says his favorite thing about the Crown besides the paint job-is driving it. “It’s a driving experience like no other,” he says. It takes some expertise because the engine has been upgraded with an immense amount of power. But Scott says it handles better and responds better than any of the modern diesel pushers out there.
Indeed, it’s clear there’s a lot of affection for the Crown, and not only by the way Scott speaks of it. The family has restored it numerous times, updating and beautifying it to fit their needs of the moment. Final Touch Coach Works worked on the most recent paint restoration, shown in these photos. Scott Puhlman is effusive in his praise. “I just can’t say enough about you guys, it’s been an incredible experience working with you. All the way through, the process was a joy.”
BJ, the Bear, and the Big Rig
As a young English child, Paul Cox took a vacation to the United States. In his time here he saw the cult classic television show “BJ and the Bear” about a trucker and his best friend Bear, who also happens to be a chimpanzee! But it wasn’t the chimp that caught young Paul’s attention. He was entranced by the big rig in the show and it became one of his dreams to own it. Owning the big rig is one thing but he did even better—he found an old, broken-down big rig and rebuilt it completely, all the way down to the last rivet. This truck was his pride and joy and it was on track to be identical to the original model, with one exception—Paul wanted to put an even better paint finish on it then the one he had fallen in love with many years ago. And that’s where we came in. Paul brought the big rig to us and we were able to give it an amazing paint job and a sparkling finish. The big rig, crowned “Big Lucy”, looked phenomenal but the best part was helping the childhood dream of a man come to be.