Old school busses are popular fodder for hot rod builds. Chris Pulley is building this 1957 Ford B500 bus as a rolling billboard for Beyond D.A. Bus, a nonprofit devoted to engaging people with any disability in activities they may never have imagined themselves doing.
Chris knows of what he speaks; he has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a form of Muscular Dystrophy. That hasn’t stopped him from water skiing, snow skiing, scuba diving and driving the wheels off his handicap-modified 2010 Dodge Challenger SRT on the Hot Rod Power Tour and at the race track.
Nfamus Metal Fab in Cleburne, TX, is handling the metal fabrication and suspension work. The Ford will lay rocker thanks to a full air suspension featuring an Air Lift 3H air management system and four Viair 485C Gen 2 compressors. The air suspension also makes it easier to get in and out of the bus.
The drivetrain came out of a 2003 Ford E450 school bus. Diesel Dynamics in Dallas, TX, rebuilt the 7.3L Power Stroke diesel and 4R100 four-speed automatic transmission. The wheels are custom-made 24 x 10 Big Bores from Tennessee Wheels and Tire. Other features such as the Dakota Digital gauge cluster, TMI seats, steering column, brake upgrades, and other items came from Summit Racing.
BraunAbility donated a RA300 Transit Ramp that will allow wheelchair access through the modified rear door. Adaptive Driving Access is installing hand controls and a six-way transfer seat base that turns to let the driver easily move from a wheelchair onto the seat. A track system will be installed in the floor to lock wheelchair passengers in the bus.
The D.A. Bus was shown as an in-progress build at the 2018 Lone Star Throwdown custom truck show this past February. And yes, everyone who saw it loved it as the boss hot rod it’s shaping up to be.
Chris plans to have the ’57 done for a debut at the 2019 Lone Star Throwdown. For more information contact www.summitracing.com.