Article from the Hawkesbury Courier – 17/7/2008
Blast from the past:The restored 1980 Ansett MC9 Crusader II, which has been hitting the roads around the Hawkesbury district recently.
Wheels on the bus turn again
by Samantha Thomson
A PIECE of Australian history has been preserved with the restoration of a 1980 motor coach, ensuring the travel standards of a bygone era won’t be lost to time and neglect.
Located in Windsor, the bus has been lying idle for more than10 years and it is believed to be the last remaining Ansett MC9 ‘Crusader II’ in Australia suitable for restoration. These vehicles became the backbone of Australia’s tourist development in the 1970s and 1980s.
The coach is fully steel with stainless steel skinning, except the top and rear headers which are fibreglass over steel to allow for ‘cosmetic styling. It has a Detroit 692 Turbocharged and Supercharger engine, is 3.378 metres in height, 2.44 metres in width, 12.280 metres in length and weighs 16.5 tonnes. The inside has been re-furnished with first class seats, a lounge, lavatory and buffet area.
Nostalgic Coach Restorations co-ordinator Mike Hollis said “to date, more than 150
interested parties have generously supported this project in so many ways”. “For this we are extremely grateful,” he said.
An official dinner launch of the christened ‘Spirit of Windsor’ coach was held at the The Sebel Resort and Spa in Windsor on Saturday, July 5. Guests were presented a special ‘boarding pass’ upon arrival.
Official guests included Bruce Baird, Bob Ansett, former Hawkesbury MP Steven Pringle and 2CH’s Ian Holland who was MC for the night, as well as sponsors who assisted in the project.
A group of volunteers worked on the restoration of the historic Ansett MC9 Motor Coach for the past four years.
“It is our intention to refurbish this back to its original condition so that people may once again see and experience the standards of travel of a bygone era. It is our intention to place this coach in a Canberra Museum,” Mr Hollis said.
For more information, contact Nostalgic Coach Restorations.