BienCuit the american bus

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pierrox

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I realised that I registered years back but never really introduced myself. I think I did it to be able to read a thread about rebuilding steering boxes as there is not tons of info out there. Why did I need this info? I was in the process of improving the steering on our 1971 bus...

So here is our early bay:

IMG_0236.jpg

Yes, it's an american bus living in America. But why does it have a vanity plate which looks french? Long story short: I'm french and married to an american lady. We live in France and I have a 1976 latebay bought new by my parents. In the very early stages of us dating, this bus came up on The Samba 35 miles away from her family. It had been in a garage fire and was for sale for $3000. My wife (she was my girlfriend then) was on holiday at the parents, and went to see it. It only had one owner before the guy selling it (they each kept it for more than 20 years), and had only been used in the spring and fall. Despite the damage, mainly due to the firebrigade intervention, it was in really nice condition. It would have been stupid to pass on it...
So we bought it, got it towed to her parents. And a week later, I met the in-laws for the first time. And the bus. I thought it would be a summer project but it took many years (and a pandemic) to (almost) finish it.

Here is a before/after in the same spot:
IMG_7865.jpg

Photos don't do it justice but we tried to keep most of the original paint which has a really cool cooked patina. We clear-coated it to protect it. The right side had to be repainted completely as the paint had peeled in places. It became a labor of love and the idea is to take a road trip across (some of) the US and bring it back home afterwards. Where it'll join the tin-top.

And yes, the vanity plate is its nickname. Means "Well Cooked".
(plenty more photos on its instagram biencuitbus)

Work sent us to London until the fall, so we drove with the 1976. Which is why I became a bit more active lately on this forum, looking for weekend trips and shows to attend!
 

Journey

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Cool introduction and a nice looking van. Unicycling?:)
 

pierrox

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Thanks everyone for the welcome!
I know it's a late bay but here is the other van:
1eSortie1976.jpg

According to the family album, the van is about one week old then. My sister and myself are pretty impressed as you can tell.
Unicycling?:)
Well spotted and yes I do... Do you?
The above van as it is now, along with one (of several...) unicycle. I actually learnt (and re-learnt) in the UK!

IMG_3231.JPG
 
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Journey

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Thanks everyone for the welcome!
I know it's a late bay but here is the other van:
View attachment 2953

According to the family album, the van is about one week old then. My sister and myself are pretty impressed as you can tell.

Well spotted and yes I do... Do you?
The above van as it is now, along with one (of several...) unicycle. I actually learnt (and re-learnt) in the UK!

View attachment 2954
Nope. Just think it's pretty cool. How fast did you learn it?
Awesome photo with your sister.
 

pierrox

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Nope. Just think it's pretty cool. How fast did you learn it?
It took about 30 hours to ride in a straight line. Then more to steer under control. And more to mount without a wall. But I started in my 40s and it's less easy as you get older. You should give it a go, it's quite fun. I went to Bus Fest the year I started, and there was a guy riding around on a mountain unicycle, it was pretty cool and motivating to get better.
 

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