The public fascination with FLXBUS continued into the SOPAC region. Successful event stops in Tucson, Palm Desert, San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area all reminded us of the truly unique nature of this charismatic vehicle from which we spread our caffeinated treats.
“Compelling” is the word we revert to, as well as the adjective we hear most from people as they wander circles around the FLXBUS. We’ve driven other vehicle combinations, some emblazoned with flashy graphics designed to catch the eye of passers-by. However, beneath those colorful vinyl wraps were obviously modern truck and box trailer combos. No matter how hard one squinted there was never even a shadow of vintage character. This Flxible bus is the real deal: she’s pure, classic, post-war riveted beauty. It is this unadulterated essence that draws people to the door with their curiosity.
It was with this public sensibility in mind when we visited Catalina Island, one of the Channel Islands 30 miles off the coast of southern California. After disembarking from the high-speed ferry at Avalon pier we meandered through town taking in the sights and sounds of a Sunday tourist invasion. As we turned a corner into an open plaza there, idling patiently, was parked a 1953 Flxible Visaliner. Suddenly, we were the ones on the outside, peering in windows, compelled to approach, examine and admire. The driver, obviously anxious to get to his lunch break, reluctantly answered a few of our questions and with a barely concealed lack of interest looked at phone pictures of “our” bus. We found out that “his” bus, along with the several others in the tour fleet, had been purchased new in 1951 and ’53, brought to the island, and had been hauling tourists around the dirt roads of Catalina ever since. In the relatively closed, island system off the coast of southern California the vintage character of our FLXBUS kin has endured. -- Stephen and Susann
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