We are in search of a good home for bus #101, our 1947 Canadian Car-Brill IC-41.
Canadian Car & Foundry licensed this design from American Car & Foundry in the early post-World War II period. As the company’s most popular post-war intercity coach, they were often seen throughout North America. Our example was built in 1947 by the Canadian company but is virtually identical to its U.S. cousins. It provided Pacific Stage Lines’ front line service as #228, and later #6228, until the arrival of MCI Coaches in the early ’60s. It was then sold to Horizon Coach Lines and renumbered #101, serving them as a charter bus until the late ’70s or early ’80s. After its retirement, it was neglected and left to sit outside, falling into a state of disrepair. We acquired it in 2006 with the intention to restore it to operating condition, but decades of neglect had left it with expensive structural damage among other issues.
#101 has been sitting for approximately forty years, spending most of those four decades sitting outdoors. Only more recently was it moved indoors for storage. It does not run and therefore does not drive. The shifter and clutch pedal for its four-speed manual transmission appear to be stuck; good thing it’s stuck in Neutral out of everything it could possibly be stuck in! The extent of structural damage is severe. The steel frame is badly rusted and cracked in several areas. It can still hold the weight of a person or two and allow for the bus to be pushed or loaded onto a trailer, but most of its integrity has been compromised.
#101 is powered by a 779 cubic inch Hall-Scott gasoline engine. Hall-Scott was ACF’s in-house brand of engines. It is a single overhead cam horizontally-mounted inline six cylinder. We were told its transmission is a non-synchromesh Spicer. The odometer shows approximately 490,000 miles or 790,000 kilometers. Despite its issues, #101’s aluminum body is still in good shape with no damage or rust and most of its windows are intact, including the difficult-to-reproduce curved windshield. It is a complete bus with absolutely no missing parts and even some spares included. Our efforts to restore #101 were stalled by the cost required to fix the structural damage alone: $25,000. A full restoration could easily exceed $100,000 and possibly enter the millions. With the existing costs of maintaining our operating fleet, working on other projects, renting our facility and no source of the funding we need to restore it, our loss is your gain. #101 in its current state would make an excellent parts donor for an operating IC-41 or existing restoration. It would also make a good candidate for restoration due to the good condition of its body.
If you are interested in purchasing this coach, please contact us by clicking here. We are asking $3,000 or best offer and can assist with transportation at your own expense. Please note that a flatbed trailer will be required for transportation due to its structural issues.
by Bryan Larrabee
A few months ago I was having coffee with my friend James Pearson who happens to work for 911
Filmcars. They provide an array of vehicles for the film industry. In passing I happened to ask about a
derelict GM Oldlook bus that had been stored for some time off Byrne Road in Burnaby. The bus had
mysteriously disappeared. James wasn’t sure where the bus went and I mentioned that if they decide to
scrap it, keep us in mind because we might want to take some seats and other parts.
The discussion was forgotten by both of us until a rainy Tuesday afternoon in December. Around 3:30
pm I got an urgent call from James. The Oldlook bus had been parked at a film set near the Golden Ears
Bridge for a few months. 911 Filmcars had to move it immediately and they decided to ask James to
arrange to have it towed to scrap.
James asked if the Transit Museum could have it if they paid for the towing and they said yes but it
would have to be moved immediately. My first call was to Dale Laird, our President, to ask “Can we take
this bus? At the very least we could part it out and scrap it to recover our towing costs”. Dale was
concerned about finding a place to park it because the City of Burnaby won’t allow us to park unlicensed
buses outside in our compound. After some discussion he agreed we could take it.
My next call was to Angus McIntyre who is on our Board of Directors. Angus has a good contact within
Mundies Towing and if anyone can get us a tow truck on short notice, it’s Angus. He was very doubtful
and asked if there was any way we could make arrangements for the next day. I said I would try and in
the meantime he would call Mundies. As Angus was arranging for a tow truck for noon the next day, I
was finding out that the bus couldn’t wait. It had to be gone that night. We were going to miss the
chance to acquire the bus.
I texted Mundies to say “Sorry it won’t work for us, the bus has go tonight”. My phone rang
immediately and Mundies said “Tonight is better. We have a truck clearing in Port Kells right now!”
So I called James back and told him we could do it after all. He made arrangements with the movie lot
and we agreed to drop everything and meet the tow truck at our Roseberry shop. I arrived 10 minutes
before James and was moving a bus out of the shop to make room when the tow truck with bus in tow
came sailing around the corner.
The driver showed his skill and backed the derelict Oldlook right into the shop, disconnected and drove
away. It was 7pm. It only took three and a half hours from the first phone call to delivery of the bus.
This left James and I standing there looking in silence at an extremely dirty bus full of junk and smelling
like musky mold. James looked at me and broke the silence by saying “What have we done?”
We had to leave a licensed bus outside while we rallied the Board of Directors to decide what to do with
the derelict Oldlook. I immediately evoked a “cone of silence” over the bus until all the Directors were
informed and the Board had a chance to discuss the fate of the bus. I didn’t want our volunteers to start
posting pictures until the directors had a chance to consider options. In the meantime James was able
to tell us that all the glass on the bus had been replaced, the fuel tank had been cleaned out and various
bus parts were stored inside. All the seats were intact except the driver’s seat. There were old wasp
nests to remove and a layer of dirt both inside and outside of the bus. We had to use N95 respirators to
work on the inside of the bus.
I bought some rubbermaid containers and we used them to store bus parts as we removed them. We
found garbage and mouldy cardboard that fell apart as we tried to remove it. We pushed the bus
outside on a Sunday and Kyle Little power washed part of the exterior as Harry Vagg and I worked on the
interior. Over the next week, Jason Sharpe and Matthew Walker joined in the cleanup.
At the Directors meeting it was agreed that we will have the bus assessed first for structural integrity
(the floor, bulkheads and suspension). The second assessment will be for mechanical condition
(driveline, engine and transmission). We will ask a Detroit Diesel mechanic to give us a
recommendation. We understand that if the Museum keeps the bus, it will become a long term project.
The bus was given fleet #740 when it first operated in Victoria and later assumed the current fleet #678
when it saw service in Prince George. This information is not verified but if we keep the bus, should it
be known as #740 or #678?