At first sight of the old disused vehicle, the restoration team knew the project would be a monumental task. Excuse the cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

A daunting task, and certainly not one to be undertaken lightly, a full restoration of this type can take many years of considerable expense.

Similar projects have to be farmed out to specialty shops; those with the special knowledge and equipment to do the job and so one. Statistics prove that often a motor vehicle’s restoration once started is left unfinished, and the vehicle and parts can be purchased for a fraction of their worth.

Only when a vehicle is completely placed back into the condition it was first sold in is truly considered to be restored. Various aspect of any automobile may be repaired without the vehicle being restored. Basically, a motor vehicle which that does not run can be repaired to running condition, but that simply means it will now run and does not mean that any part of the motor vehicle has been restored.




Nostalgic Coach Restorations – a non-profit organisation, was formed in 2005 to fully restore what is believed to be the last remaining Ansett Pioneer MC9 motor coach in Australia, suitable for restoration. During the 1980s, MC9s toured throughout Australia on regular intercity passenger express services, and were widely used in the tourism industry.

Boasting a stylish exterior, with a comfortable and elegant interior, these spacious, fully air-conditioned vehicles delivered an exceptionally smooth and safe ride.

In its heyday, the MC9 was considered to be the best and safest motor coach in the USA. Technologically ahead of its era, the MC9’s innovative aircraft design and numerous safety features, made this vehicle a coach captain’s delight to drive, and a pleasurable comfortable ride for passengers.

Your contributions will help our volunteers maintain this restoration project and keep this classic motor coach on the road. Thereby, the public may once again see and enjoy the travel standards of a bygone era.



Automobile restoration is the process of repairing the degraded aspect of a motor vehicle to return it to an overall authentic condition – meaning to renovate an automobile without updating or upgrading it, and keeping in line with how it would have appeared when first offered for sale.

Interior and chrome trim of the time period had to be used throughout the Nostalgic Coach Restoration project. Besides repairs done to correct obvious problems, repairs on the MC9 coach were also done for cosmetic reasons.

The complete restoration of the MC9 included not only repair of the parts which can be seen – the body, trim, chrome, wheels, dashboard and accessories and the passengers compartment/seating area – but also parts which are not necessarily visible or otherwise evident.

These include, various mechanical parts, storage compartments, frame, driveline and all ancillary parts such as brakes, accessories, engine cooling system, electrical system, air conditioning, and so on.

As part of the intensive, labourious project, each part had to be thoroughly examined, cleaned and repaired, or if repair of the individual part would be too costly, replaced (assuming correct, quality parts are available) as necessary to return the entire coach to its original condition.

Chrome and trim required stripping and repair or refinishing. Fasteners with tool marks, damaged threads, or corrosion needed re-plating or replacement. Overall, the frame had to be thoroughly cleaned and repaired. The frame had to also undergo a proper polish.

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Countless vehicles destined for restoration projects tend to lost their original engines and have similar capacity or model related engines installed. However, the engine on Nostalgic’s MC9 was in reasonably good condition from the onset of the restoration project and was thereby maintained.

All related engine components were inspected. Actually, the engine and all of the ancillary components such as starter, radiator, distributor, carburetor, generator or alternator, and all parts were thoroughly inspected and corrected to factory specifications.

The engine itself, plus the transmission, clutch, overdrive unit and even the driveshaft were first measured for wear and later meticulously cleaned. All of the parts including engine block, crankcase, head, transmission housing, etc, were also inspected for cracks or other damage.

All moving parts from crankshaft, pistons, camshaft, oil pump bearing and bushings, flywheel, water pump and all others were cleaned and measured against factory specifications.

Needless to say, there were replacement of all worn bearing and bushings, seals, gaskets, belts and gears. The same with the transmission, clutch, differential and all other moving parts of the power line and drive line. Most of those parts were imported from various sources throughout the United States of America.




The MC9’s interior was repaired or replaced and some components had to be custom-made. For instance, wooden parts had to go through the same meticulous inspection, with a comprehensive repair process consisting of replacement of rotted or termite-damaged wood, and refinishing to match the factory specifications. The new timber used on the MC9’s partitions, pelmet boards and buffet consists of authentic Australian Blue Gum.

The airline-type seats were repaired before re-upholstering. The standard passenger seating on the MC9 consists of 22 forward-facing two-passenger recliner seats. These are all track-mounted to facilitate rapid changing of seating plans to suit operator’s requirements. The MC9 also has a five- passenger rear cross-seat.

All of the parts showing wear or damage which were originally painted were stripped of old paint, with any rust or rust related damage repaired, dents and ripples removed and then the metal refinished, primed and painted with colours to match the original factory colours.

The instrument panel, or dashboard contained various gauges, each of which had to be inspected and cleaned and repaired. The amp and fuel gauge needed replacing. Overall, the whole panel was brought back to both operational and cosmetic standards of the MC9.



In a complete restoration, the repair and refinishing of an automobile’s body and frame must go through careful inspection and subsequent repair, and re- coating as necessary to bring the vehicle to as first sold condition.

The MC9’s restoration project was no different – with the exception that the amount of work was almost five-times greater in volume because of the vehicle’s body length.

As part of the restoration process, repair of the coach’s frame was important since it serves as the foundation for the entire vehicle. The frame was first thoroughly inspected for straightness, twisting, alignment, rust damage, and condition of the mounting points for the body, suspension, and other components. Any problems had be repaired – a rather costly process.

Luckily no rust was present on the MC9’s side body panel because it is manufactured of stainless steel. However, a number of bin doors on the starboard side were damaged, and consequently had to be replaced. The restoration team imported those parts from Motor Coach Industries, USA.

The re-installation of the repaired or renewed panels requires that the panels must align and that their shape ‘flows’ and the gaps between panels are correct. Consistent gaps are very important to a quality finish on the classic MC9.

Doors must open and close properly, and there should be no interference or rubbing. Steel or aluminum door skins and wing/fender edges were adjusted and polished.




Model: MC9 Crusader II
Year: 1980
Manufacturer: Motor Coach Industries
Ansett Fleet # 2PC851
Engine: Detroit 692 Turbocharged – Supercharger 350
HP: 350
Transmissionn: Eaton 5 Speed (Crash)
Fuel: 545 litres (100 unusable – used for cooling)
R of C: Approximately 2.2 kms per litre
Engine oil: 26.5 litres
Radiators: 2 (1 either side) total 87.1 litres of coolant
Air conditioning: Carrier Transicold
Height: 3.378 metres
Width: 2.44 metres
Length: 12.280 metres
Weight:16.50 tons

• Fully steel with stainless steel skinning, except the top and rear headers which are fibreglass over steel – allowing for cosmetic styling.

• Aircraft-style utilising more than 4,500 DC3 rivets

• Aircraft seating and HTS runners – allowing for quick change configurations

• All windows are emergency exits for enhanced safety

• Air controls – air operated

• Pressurized and air conditioned luggage bins

• Front and geometry allowing for straight tracking incase of any tyre blowout



With today’s increasing focus on customer service, our coach captains and stewarts are equipped with the knowledge and skills to adapt to customers’ needs, and anticipate the use of technologies that help improve the customers’ experience.

In the face of these challenges, we utilise safe work practices and frameworks to enhance road safety, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability.

Our in-depth market research helps us to find out what customers desires and can be used from the customisation of our service. Being focussed to deliver effective customer service, our goals are:

• Safety

• Punctuality

• Comfort

• Cleanliness