A Retired Bus with a Bright Future
The Daimler “Fleetline” is a double decker bus that was built in the UK between 1960 and 1980. This particular bus starting its life in Liverpool, and was brought to Victoria, BC in the 1980s as part of the original Double Decker transit fleet Victoria is now famous for. After many years of service as a transit vehicle, the bus was purchased by a local sight seeing company who primarily focused on cruise ship tours and hop on hop off day tours of Victoria.
The bus is powered by a rear mounted Gardner engine, the same engine that is used in many fishing boats. The transmission sports a fancy “Self Changing” gear box, which is essentially a manual stick shift without a clutch. The 4 geared bus is designed to drive slow along specific routes, making many stops, never really pushing its powerplant. Although these buses are intended for the urban environment, I am headed to Vancouver Island to purchase one located in Sooke, BC and transport it to Whistler, BC.
This journey will very likely be the fastest the bus has ever traveled in its 50+ years, and no doubt travel the most diverse terrain it has ever seen. The overall journey will involve climbing the Malahat highway, squeezing on the Ferry at Nanaimo, and driving up the Sea to Sky highway. But before any of that can happen, the seller needs to pick up his dang phone!
That’s right, without officially making contact with the seller, I headed to Vancouver Island hoping to figure out the details along the way. Moreover, I only have a few days to make this deal happen and transport the bus to the mainland, as I am heading to northern BC in a few days till next winter. What I don't know is Sooke picks up the American cell towers, causing roaming charges, which is why the seller is not picking up my phone calls. Although I believe he is avoiding me, I carry on to Sooke to see the bus in person because deep down I know this is the build I need.
Once I get to Sooke, I receive an email from the seller inviting me to the property. As I drive out there I notice I am getting more and more remote and when I finally make the turn up the driveway I start to be concerned. Greeting me at the top of the driveway is a heaving honking donkey, several goats, ducks and chickens and no bus anywhere insight. For a brief moment, I feel I may have been tricked into coming out to this remote farm at a once was logging camp for god knows what reason. However, these anxieties are quickly extinguished when I meet John, the owner of the bus and caretaker of the once was logging camp. After getting acquainted with Bamboo, the extremely protective guard donkey, we walked around the back of the house, through the trees, and into another lot to find not one, but five double decker buses!
Patrick Sills is the owner and creator of Double Decker Coffee Roasting. The purpose of the Build Blog is to share the story of the physical build, its components, Patrick's growing education in the coffee industry, and the overall creation of the business. Warning: if run on sentences, poor sentence structure, or simple spelling mistakes bother you to the core stop reading! The Build Blog has a very loose format, I am a builder not a writer, just thought some people might be interested in the story. Enjoy!