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  #1  
Old 06-24-2009
Randy Dupree's Avatar
Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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Default driving a 78 FC 250 miles.

Hey guys,i just drove Buddy Luces coach 250 miles,a 1978 FC 33' with only 31,000 miles.
This is a steel spring,non-turbo 3208 cat powered bird.
I'll give you my thoughts on driving,engine etc in a few minutes.
My dogs are wanting to be fed!!
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #2  
Old 06-24-2009
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At 12 noon today Carol and I met Brenda Rogers at lanes packing house for lunch.
Brenda is a retired BB employee that was in charge of rallys and keeping customers happy.
Lanes is a peach packing house that has lunch and gifts,its located down the street from the wanderlodge plant in Ft Valley Ga.

A few weeks ago Brenda had called me about selling the Luce's personal BB.
The Luce family owned and ran the school bus factory and the wanderlodge factory for many years,selling out in 1999.

This BB is a 1978 garage kept 33' FC.
With only 31,000 miles on it.
Since i only live 250 miles from Ft Valley I went and got it and drove it to my place near Gainesville,fl.

Since i have only driven one steel spring bird before today (and that was a short drive,Gardner did most of the driving that day) i really didnt know what to expect.

This coach also has a non-turbo charged 3208 cat engine,i have driven them for many miles when i was in the trucking business,so I knew what to expect there.

To tell the truth,i have only driven FC's for maybe 1000 miles total in all the years i've played with birds.

The Luce coach has a fresh tune-up,valve adjustment and new injectors,along with oil and filter change.
It started easy,and was very peppy,after checking a few things we were off to Fl.,a 4 hour drive most of the time.
Not trusting the fuel gauge we stopped and bought fuel and checked the air pressure in the tires,then off we went,we had been at our Ga. property and we were in our 95WB,Carol drove it towing our astro van and I drove the FC.

Of course the Luce coach did not have a plate on it,and first thing a Ga. patrol was right behind me when I got on I-75 heading south,I pulled over and let him go by,pretending to be talking on the phone.
The cops gone I pulled out and of course I floored the throttle,Hmmm,not bad for a N/A cat!

Since I had promised Carol I would only run 65MPH or so thats what we ran,that and the fact that 65MPH was pretty much wide open,the tach was reading 2500RPMs,i think the throttle linkage may need an adjustment.

After a 4 hour un-eventfull run heres what I think of a steel spring N/A cat powered FC.

Since I was driving i can only talk about the drivers area,but they really ride pretty smooth,with an air ride seat it would be a very nice ride.
The 210HP cat in this bird ran pretty strong,it held its speed well in the hills we have in south Ga and north Fl.
In my opinon what these early coachs need is an air ride seat and a good cruise control system,so if any of you have been scared of buying a steel spring coach,don't be,they are not bad at all.
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

randy@randydupree.com
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2009
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Suska Suska is offline
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Location: Cape Cod, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
At 12 noon today Carol and I met Brenda Rogers at lanes packing house for lunch.
Brenda is a retired BB employee that was in charge of rallys and keeping customers happy.
Lanes is a peach packing house that has lunch and gifts,its located down the street from the wanderlodge plant in Ft Valley Ga.

A few weeks ago Brenda had called me about selling the Luce's personal BB.
The Luce family owned and ran the school bus factory and the wanderlodge factory for many years,selling out in 1999.

This BB is a 1978 garage kept 33' FC.
With only 31,000 miles on it.
Since i only live 250 miles from Ft Valley I went and got it and drove it to my place near Gainesville,fl.

Since i have only driven one steel spring bird before today (and that was a short drive,Gardner did most of the driving that day) i really didnt know what to expect.

This coach also has a non-turbo charged 3208 cat engine,i have driven them for many miles when i was in the trucking business,so I knew what to expect there.

To tell the truth,i have only driven FC's for maybe 1000 miles total in all the years i've played with birds.

The Luce coach has a fresh tune-up,valve adjustment and new injectors,along with oil and filter change.
It started easy,and was very peppy,after checking a few things we were off to Fl.,a 4 hour drive most of the time.
Not trusting the fuel gauge we stopped and bought fuel and checked the air pressure in the tires,then off we went,we had been at our Ga. property and we were in our 95WB,Carol drove it towing our astro van and I drove the FC.

Of course the Luce coach did not have a plate on it,and first thing a Ga. patrol was right behind me when I got on I-75 heading south,I pulled over and let him go by,pretending to be talking on the phone.
The cops gone I pulled out and of course I floored the throttle,Hmmm,not bad for a N/A cat!

Since I had promised Carol I would only run 65MPH or so thats what we ran,that and the fact that 65MPH was pretty much wide open,the tach was reading 2500RPMs,i think the throttle linkage may need an adjustment.

After a 4 hour un-eventfull run heres what I think of a steel spring N/A cat powered FC.

Since I was driving i can only talk about the drivers area,but they really ride pretty smooth,with an air ride seat it would be a very nice ride.
The 210HP cat in this bird ran pretty strong,it held its speed well in the hills we have in south Ga and north Fl.
In my opinon what these early coachs need is an air ride seat and a good cruise control system,so if any of you have been scared of buying a steel spring coach,don't be,they are not bad at all.
Nope, not bad at all
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1973 31FC
Cape Cod MA
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2009
rob rob is offline
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Location: New Mexico
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Default

Ive never driven anything but one. Dont know about them high fa-lutin new fangled air bag 80s coaches
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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one thing is for sure with a steel spring coach,you don't have to wait for the air bags to inflate!

I was disappointed that Buddy Luce could not make it down to see us off,i really wanted to meet the man that was behind the birth of wanderlodge,and who ran it from 1963 until 1999.

He sent his son down to open the building and get the coach started,just in case I didnt know how.
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #6  
Old 06-25-2009
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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How old would Mr. Luce be? Have to be disappointing to see things as they are. Perhaps that is his reason for not attending. Might have nothing to do with it.
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The Bella Mia Sold
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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Buddy Luce is 87 or 88 years young.
he has an office downtown and a secretary,he goes to his office every work day.
Yesterday he had a dentist appointment,88 and still has his teeth.
I bet it makes him sick to see the place shut down,and all of his employees not working.

I stopped at a tire store to check the air in the tires,an old man came over and told me he worked at BB,he retired after 45 years,he said Mr Luce knew everyone in the plant by name,and that in all the years the Luces owned BB they never lost money.

A few miles down the road I stopped for fuel,another old guy came over and we had the same conversation,he was along time BB employee,retired.
He was as proud as a new father to see that 78 bird.
He helped build it,I shook his hand and thanked him for building such a fine machine,he was all smiles when I drove away.
Proud men.
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

randy@randydupree.com
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2009
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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All kinds of mixed emotions. Nothing lasts for ever. Neither the machines or the men. I'd love to see pictures of the coach and hope that it goes to a new home were it is appreciated, used and preserved.
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1987 PT 36
The Bella Mia Sold
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2009
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Too bad we can't keep them all, Like in a Museum, Maybe in Archer, or SC.
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1988 FC, Silver Edition
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is online now
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pictures?
ok,heres a few!
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

randy@randydupree.com
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