Exit Lane: Ryan Spence

Ryan Spence
Producer and Announcer
NewsTalk 1290 CJBK

1979 Blue Bird Bus
427-cubic-inch V8, 430 HP
250,000 kilometres

I FIRST STEPPED onto this bus 25 years ago and I fell in love with it right away. I have always been a fan of bus conversions.

IT BELONGED TO racing legend Harvey Lennox. Harvey, along with his wife Donna, built the bus from scratch. No detail was overlooked, and it is remarkably preserved.

HARVEY PASSED AWAY a couple of years ago. As a little kid I would wander up to his house and watch the projects he was working on. When I was older, I used to spend afternoons sitting on the bus with him. He could do anything, that man.

WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY came up to purchase it from the family, I figured I had one chance to get it. For 25 years I’d thought about this bus. The time had come.

MY WIFE WENDY was supportive right from the get-go. She knew what it meant to me and she was the biggest supporter of my plan to buy it.

THEY’RE BUILT TO last a long, long time. This old bus has travelled all over North America for almost 40 years, and we’ll be going to music festivals and on camping expeditions for hopefully another 40.

WITH A LITTLE luck, one day I may pull up to a venue and park beside the man with one of the best buses out there, Willie Nelson.

THE INSURANCE COMPANY classifies it as a motorhome, so the rates are surprisingly reasonable.

MAINTENANCE COSTS ARE one thing I don’t think about. But I was lucky that it came with a spare rebuilt engine, so if I need it down the road, I have a backup.

I DON’T HAVE any changes planned for it. This is the first summer I’ll have it out on the road, so I’ll see what speaks to me. But at the moment, nothing needs to be altered.

I THINK BOTH bus and driver just want to be on the road and explore what life has to offer us. The favourite trip will always be the next trip.