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Author Topic: 1947 Flxible Clipper  (Read 18644 times)

bingo66

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1947 Flxible Clipper
« on: August 14, 2013, 05:20:10 AM »
I purchased a 1947 Flxible Clipper RV a few months ago and I'm having it restored at Bob Rowsells shop in El Galan. I'll put some images up on the web and include a link on this thread later. It's going to be a long project but couldn't see such a fine piece of American history go to the junk yard!!

vetmom

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 06:26:01 AM »
Wow, how neat is that!  Didn't really know what they were so found some pictures on line but why are they called Flxible?  Looking forward to following the process :)  Good luck!

Cheryl
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

jagnweiner

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 07:27:11 AM »
Here's the answer from the Flxible Owner's website:

"The Flxible company was founded in 1913 when they released their first product: a flexible mount used to attach a side car to a motorcycle. They took the e out of flexible to make the name trademark-able."
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

vetmom

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 07:31:57 AM »
Ahh, now that makes sense, couldn't figure out how they were "flexible" :-[.  Thanks for the clarification.
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 01:11:55 PM »
I've put some pictures on the following site. They are a mixture of the Flxible at its original location in 29 Palms, CA, being loaded onto the transporter and pictures from the restoration shop showing the interior, engine and exterior of the bus.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/95137559@N04/

I have more pictures and will post as soon as I can. I'll also do a little write up regarding it's history and how I came to buy it.

jagnweiner

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 01:47:01 PM »
Neat!
-Scott
2000 Itasca Horizon 36LD

Wi1dBill

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 02:56:30 PM »
Very cool. Now you need to find an late 40's early 50's car to restore and use it as your Toad.

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 03:33:25 PM »
I'll do well to finance this project without going bust let alone finding the money for a vintage toad vehicle ;D It would be nice though!!

A little history about my Flxible Clipper:

Bought new by the Utah Parks Company (part of the Union Pacific Railroad) in 1947, the Flxible Clipper spent all of its working life taking tourists around the various National Parks. For a commercial bus, it's had a very pampered working life.

Taken out of service in 1965, it was converted to a motorhome and eventually found its way to the previous owners in 1972. Since 1972 it has been in the same family ownership and stored in the 29 Palms region of California. As a result the vehicle has almost no rust but has needed major mechanical work due to the fact that it has not moved for over 25 years!!

I saw a local advert for the bus some months ago and was amazed to see the bus re-advertised some time later without a serious offer being made. I contacted the family and learned that the grandfather who owned the bus had passed away and this was the reason for the sale. The only serious offer they had was from a junk yard who were buying the vehicle for the scrap metal. I didn't want to see that happen so agreed to buy the bus.

Since shipping the bus to the restoration shop, the engine (Detroit Diesel) has been fully rebuilt, new cooling system and radiator, new brakes, re-built clutch and front axle, new King Pins, new fuel lines and re-ferbished fuel tanks, new wheels (old ones were split rims) and new tyres.

Once the bus gets some test miles under it's belt, the interior will be stripped out and a complete new interior fitted. Final stage will be the exterior and I plan on keeping the original paint design.

vetmom

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 03:48:13 PM »
Sound like you are well on your way.  I've got to say when you get to the interior I hope you keep the wood ceiling, that looks really nice!
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 05:13:39 PM »
Unfortunately the wood ceiling will be going and replaced with a retro, cream leather finish. I've done some 3D models of possible interior layouts. The one I like at the moment  allows for a double bed in the rear and converted dinette and settee in the front to a double bed.


1275gtsport

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 08:52:42 AM »
Looks good. just 2 questions. where is the bathroom? and how long is it? oh and one more question why no build a bit more counter top? you can almost never have too much counter top. I am always amazed when I look at pictures on 40 foot rigs and there is only 9 inches of usable counter space.

Just saying you will have a mostly clean slate to work with and an opportunity to make a truly amazing machine. Of course you will also want to make it what you want. :)

1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 01:14:04 PM »
It's a really tight squeeze to get everything in!! This Flxible is 33ft long but 5 ft is taken up at the back for luggage space :( See photo.

I've added two shots of the toilet and shower room that are oposite each other. The idea is for the doors to each compartment to open in such a way that they become privacy doors. I know there is little in the way of counter tops but a removable cutting board on top of the sink will add some additional space. We have twin boys so need a second sleeping area other than the main bedroom at the back of the bus. The idea is for the dinette and the settee oposite to come together as an aditional double bed.


1joester2

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 02:11:39 PM »
I have to agree with vetmom. The wood ceiling trumps the cream leather.


I can't imagine cooking under a leather ceiling...steam and all....



Just my $0.02.
Common sense to many of us is, unfortunately, the higher education some strive to attain.

Joe and Carol
2001 Coachmen 220RK W/GM 7.4 Vortec

canuckrv

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    • The adventures of Oscar and the Galavan
Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 02:46:23 PM »
Very cool project. My dad probably rode on that bus he was a tour guide for UP for many years right after the war, in fact that is how he met my mother.
The adventures of Oscar, Frances and the Galavan
http://galavan.blogspot.ca/

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 01:12:35 AM »
I have to agree with vetmom. The wood ceiling trumps the cream leather.


I can't imagine cooking under a leather ceiling...steam and all....



Just my $0.02.

Have scrapped the leather look following a conversation with the restoration shop!! Too heavy and expensive. Will be going for a veneer so yes the wood effect is staying.

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 07:48:30 AM »
It's alive!!!

After 30+ years stood in the California desert, the guys at H-B Industries have done a great job to get the Clipper running and still manage to keep most of the original drive train and engine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH3kYLzjlp8


therealsimpsons

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 09:01:02 AM »
Awesome! Can't wait to see the progress and the finished product.
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
400 HP C9 Cat
06 Honda CR-V toad with Blue Ox

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2013, 10:11:23 AM »
All mechanical work has now been completed. Bus bodywork is being sandblasted and primed, ready for paint. :)

Conquest aka Robert

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  • 1996 gulfstream conquest ultra 102
Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2013, 11:44:59 AM »
 :D ;D ;) :) 8) What more can I say Awesome RV looking forward to updates. :)
1996 GulfStream Conquest Ultra 102  04-19-2011.
2009 Honda Ruckus
1984 Southwind for 6 years.
1 Wife
6 Children who needs pets

vetmom

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2013, 12:01:26 PM »
It's pretty exciting, really looking forward to pictures ;D!
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2013, 01:06:04 PM »
The Flxible has now been sandblasted and stripped. Even the guys who stripped the bus couldn't believe what great shape the bodywork was in. I think it's down to 7 layers of lead based paint and 40+ years in the California desert :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtS0-NwWwS4&feature


driftless shifter

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #21 on: September 18, 2013, 04:35:08 PM »
What direction you goin' with the paint? Vintage livery scheme would be cool. Might even make a movie star out of her! Nice supplemental income to boot.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2013, 05:50:40 PM »
Hi Bill,

Same paint job as before (blue and white) but I'm having the fenders, wiper arms, side mirrors and Flxible sign on the front chromed.

Ernie Ekberg

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2013, 04:56:39 PM »
You are to be commended for your labor of love- BRAVO!
Ernie Ekberg, Weatherford, Tx
Prevost Liberty Classic XL
www.ernieekbergflooring.net

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2013, 05:05:20 PM »
Jay Leno's shop foreman was featured on Xtreme RV's recently with his Flxible as he restored it for the Flxible Rally in Ohio. I have never seen so many in a parade!

He used pressed tin sheets like in the old buildings for his ceilings. You might be able to You Tube or something and find that segment.

If I had the time, I would chase one down in a heartbeat - they are just an All American looking rig, not unlike vintage Airstreams. I look forward to your progress.
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
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SuperMike

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 02:06:10 PM »
Just as a matter of interest and I hope Bingo does not mind, but he has been running a similar thread on the RVOC forum, where we are both members, here in the UK. Personally I think most of us on the RVOC thought, at the beginning that he was barking mad, but now are just a teen tiny bit jealous. Perhaps we will have a rally when the Flxible reaches these shores to welcome it to it's new home. ;D

http://www.rvoc.co.uk/forum/rv-general-chat/12469-1947-flxible-clipper-motor-home.html
SuperMike, Management & Lady Faith Finness ( A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel )

"Youth is wasted on the young." (George Bernard Shaw)

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"Most problems can be fixed with a 10lb hammer." (My Dad, God rest his soul)

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2013, 07:14:35 AM »
Just as a matter of interest and I hope Bingo does not mind, but he has been running a similar thread on the RVOC forum, where we are both members, here in the UK. Personally I think most of us on the RVOC thought, at the beginning that he was barking mad, but now are just a teen tiny bit jealous. Perhaps we will have a rally when the Flxible reaches these shores to welcome it to it's new home. ;D

http://www.rvoc.co.uk/forum/rv-general-chat/12469-1947-flxible-clipper-motor-home.html

Thanks SuperMike, much appreciated!!!

bingo66

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2013, 09:27:41 AM »
The bus restoration is coming along at a pace :)

Some images of the bus getting its first coat of primer. Lots of bodywork still to complete and all of the interior to sort out but there has been a lot of progress made!!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 09:29:18 AM by bingo66 »

vetmom

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Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2013, 09:49:55 AM »
Pretty exciting!  Great to see it coming along so well.  Thanks for the update.

Cheryl
2000 Damon Escaper DP
2013 Honda CRV
Frederick, Maryland

canuckrv

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    • The adventures of Oscar and the Galavan
Re: 1947 Flxible Clipper
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2013, 02:44:50 PM »
I love this project. Are you going to keep the Ketchum sign in the destination window? My dad was a tour guide for the Union Pacific and we lived in the Challenger inn in Sun Valley until they built a house in Ketchum. He most likely road on that bus.
The adventures of Oscar, Frances and the Galavan
http://galavan.blogspot.ca/

 

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