Last weekend, I was having dinner with my friend and business partner. ¬†After our carry permit class, we try to get dinner, unwind from the class, debrief, and figure out how to improve our business.
Over the course of this discussion, the idea of owning a bus came up. ¬†It was part of an impractical-but-useful solution to one of our larger expenses. ¬† My partner mentioned that he had a friend who owned a bus, so I asked him to find out how much he was asking.
A few days later, he called me and said simply, “We bought a bus.”
“I don’t know.”
Does it run?
“It used to. ¬†It probably still does, but they lost the key.”
So we own a bus. ¬†It’s a 1987 Ford B700. ¬†It’s 20,000 pounds empty, has a 429 motor that doesn’t leak oil, and an air horn.
Under the hood, it’s got a couple of issues. ¬†There are some melted vacuum tubes leading to a vapor box. ¬† The vapor box is used to cheat obsolete emissions standards and doesn’t do anything productive. ¬† There’s also some belts missing. ¬†The belts drive an air pump that pushes clean air into the exhaust system, again, just to cheat emissions standards that we don’t have anymore. ¬†Nothing necessary–or even useful–is broken.
Part of the $1000 we paid for the bus went to a locksmith who came and made us a key.
The interior of the beast is 3/4 converted to an RV. ¬†There are 4 folding bunks in the back, minus mattresses. ¬† There are two RV sofas that fold down to beds, plus seating for another 12 people. ¬†No kitchen or bathroom facilities.
We’ve done some research and come up with a few choices for this impulse purchase:
- Flip it. ¬†We should be able to at least double our money quickly.
- Finish the RV conversion already in progress. ¬†This wouldn’t turn it into a fancy motorhome, but it would make a great deer shack on wheels. ¬† I figure we could make this happen for about $500 and turn it into a $3500 toy to sell. ¬† Or take deer hunting.
- Turn it into a full RV. ¬†This would be more expensive. ¬†My estimate is a $5-6000 investment to make it a $10-12000 RV. ¬†It would take most of the summer to do, which means we wouldn’t be selling it until spring. ¬† I quit wanting to do this when I saw the bus in the light. ¬†There’s not a lot of rust, but it’s more than I’d want to fix to make the outside look as good as the inside, in my head.
- Party bus. ¬†What’s a better way to spend a Saturday evening that shepherding a drunken bachelorette around with her friends? ¬†It’d take about $2000 to outfit the bus, plus insurance, plus licensing, plus the fact that drunken bachelorettes are obnoxious.
- Auction. ¬†We got an estimate for a $3000 sale, minus a 20% commission.
- Stunt-jumping. ¬†I saw a video of a guy jumping a bus over 20 motorcycles. ¬†I could do that. ¬†I’m sure one of the race tracks around here would pay good money to have us do that one weekend. ¬†Afterward, we’ll melt the bus for scrap.
- Sell the engine and scrap the body. ¬† That should bring us at least $1500.
We jumped into this with no real plan, but there are a few ways we could make our money back. ¬†I’m expecting a healthy profit on a pretty short timeline.
What would you do if you owned a bus?