I have a dream
the march hare - project - page i
Findsomethingandburnit.com 2004-2020. Doc J.Vicious & Murph-O-Minion enterprises. Godfrey, ON.
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I can't say with absolute certainty when or where
my fascination for forward control buses
originated, but I've coveted a bus of my own for as
long as I can remember.

One possible origin; a fond recollection from my
childhood of a neighbourly TTC operator who
would allow me to stand at the front of his GM  
transit bus and operate the entrance door lever
while wearing his uniform hat (Sadly in these
ridiculous nanny times a kindness that would have
likely resulted in termination, if not public flogging).

There was just something about the nature of the
beast (Very likely a GM-TDH-xx53). It's presence;
the very sheer size and power of the thing! The
sound of the supercharged 6-71 Detroit diesel.
The massive horizontal steering wheel, and best
of all, still to this day - the swinging sensation of
the front end in a turn from sitting forward of the
steer axle.

Some years later, having then also become
enamoured with the prospect of the world ending
and daydreaming of post apocalyptic mobility
options (Being the cold war Reagan years, not
entirely an implausible scenario), there was the
"War Wag" - The fictional heavily modified and
armored mobile 'home' of the post nuclear
protagonists of the 1986 Jack Adrian novel
Pilgrimage to Hell. Although it's pedigree never
revealed in the book, forever in my mind's eye an
early 1980's Motor Coach Industries MC-9.

(Hello. My name is Jim and I'm a bit of a bus nerd.)
Getting from there to here has been a long road
however. Although it's not difficult to find a used
bus for sale, nor are they overly dear from the
perspective of sticker price alone, there are
challenges involved to be ceratin, the least of
which is where the hell to park a forty foot bus
unless... Well, unless you have a farm.

This particular problem having now been rectified.
It was finally time!
It very nearly didn't happen.

Odd ducks like myself with visions of those
beyond a condominium and the latest fancy Apple
offering tend to be excluded - or at least
overlooked; our dreams don't tend to fit neatly
enough within statute.

Although I managed to arrange insurance -
possible only in this Orwellian province because I
already owned a truck with a valid commercial
policy, I wasn't able to obtain a temporary trip
permit from the Ontario ministry of motor
bureaucracy.

The only alternative being a $2000 heavy tow.
Money which I simply didn't have.
Never having kissed the Blarney Stone and with
little remaining of my former prettiness, I can only
presume that the livery owner selling the bus, who
for obvious reasons shall remain anonymous,
intuited that I wasn't a total muppet, had taken my
meds, knew how to drive a bus, and wasn't going
to drive over children or blue haired ladies.

And so with borrowed dealer tag in hand, or
rather secured to the rear of the bus - and
sketchy work order proclaiming that the vehicle
was to be conveniently delivered to my address
for body repairs (technically true), I was able to
legally drive the March Hare 2-1/2 glorious hours
home from Ottawa.

Suffice that on the morning of the 33rd of Jaloon,
2018, I awoke to the 2004 blue Bird TCF that was
to be eventually christened The March Hare
quietly sinking into my lawn.

Each of us have our own unique aspirations. This
is mine.
So now what?

One unfortunate constant in what has passed for
my turbulent life to date has been, to say the least
- Uncertainty.

Several instances over the years of having to
vacate a laboratory just as, or soon after,
finalizing a configuration that fit my needs. Other
times trying to make do with less than ideal
surroundings, circumstances, or people.

Not this time brother.

Although only a meager 320 square feet, every
foot has been bought and paid for, and is if
necessary, mobile. This will be my work space
until the day that they pry my cold dead fingers
from her steering wheel.

Over the next (projected) two years, the March
Hare will be transformed from sticky-fingered
school taxi into a self contained nerd's dream
electronics and light machine work (zombie
apocalypse proof naturally) mobile laboratory
where I will be finally able to achieve the required
solitude to perform and record my mad science
projects and experiments, realize time travel and
communication with extra-terrestrial life forms, or
to simply dismember hitch-hiking prostitutes.

The following project pages will document the
March Hare's transformation from hillbilly lawn
flower to an awesome purpose designed rolling
paranoid geek nirvana.

So without further ado, let us begin.
As my life unfolded, there appears in hindsight to
always have been some manner of reinforcement
suggesting that a bus might one day offer the
ultimate freedom and mobility that I desired as a
bohemian, but without the literal Janis Joplin
interpretation of "Just another word for nothing left
to lose".

Naturally there was the influence of two iconic 60's
buses.
Further, Ken Keysey and the Merry
Prankster's 1939 IH, and Von Dutch (Kenny
Howard's) bullet ridden 1953 GM TGH-3102
mobile home, brothel, and workshop. The latter of
which, outfitted with living quarters and a machine
shop, particularly not an insignificant inspiration
for the March Hare project.

While on the topic of bullet ridden buses, I find it
necessary to pay my respects to the 1962 Eagle
Model 1 Highway coach sacrificed in the 1977
Clint Eastwood movie The Gauntlet.

Regardless, whatever the reason for my particular
mental malfunction, throughout the years my
coach fetish has endured.
Last updated Jan 4, 2019.
Well That Only Took 40 Years.
The March Hare?

Because madness of course! In fact not a Carroll
reference, but the call sign of one of the two pursuit
vehicles in the opening chase scene of Mad Max.

There's a hidden dystopian film reference in everything
that I do.
For the record. Over the last 32 years I've driven just
about every type of heavy vehicle ever manufactured on
virtually every type of road - or what more or less
appeared to be a suggestion thereof, as well as the
occasional frozen lake.

After years of waiting for this particular day however,
there's nothing quite as fine as finally driving your own
78 passenger bus home.

Ontario Hwy. 7 near Perth, the Clown Vic in hot pursuit.
You say "emergency exit", I envision a gunner's port.
Front lawn adorned with a bus and seven dogs. If you
listen hard enough you can almost hear the banjo.
Gratuitous forward control cockpit shot, a.k.a. My happy
place.