The Lo-Life High Custom School Bus


1949 Ford School Bus

Stephen G. Dye



CommonDriver staff has seen this awesome 1949 Ford School Bus in several places this year. Owner Jerry Bowers isn't shy about showing off his unique creation. The lowrider bus was displayed at more than 25 prestigious car shows in 2001 alone. These photos were taken at several locations, and some shots are courtesy of Jerry himself.






Starting life as a typical Ford School Bus, Jerry had a whole lot of work to do to create something as cool looking as this rig. The bus is powered by a 403 cubic-inch Oldsmobile V-8 and front-wheel-drive. To obtain the look Jerry wanted, the body of the vehicle was lowered by a full 3 feet, and it was shortened by no less than 7 feet. Including the excellent paint job by Patrick Funk, the bus took five years to complete.



This bus is actually driven to every event it attends, so you might recognize it if you should happen to encounter it on the highway. We doubt you'll overlook it, as we've never seen anything even close to this radical on the street. Jerry came up with the idea for this bus in 1993. By the summer of 1999, the cruiser was touring national car show circuits. The lowrider bus has been a huge hit ever since.







There is a worthy cause behind all this effort and expense. Jerry and Brenda Bowers are affiliated with the Children's Inn at the National Institute of Health. Quoted from Jerry's website: "The Children's Inn is a self-funded non-profit organization, and its purpose is to keep children together with their families during serious illness, reduce their stress and facilitate their healing through mutual support. The Inn relies on private contributions for its operating funds. Jerry Bowers, owner and builder of the hot rod school bus Lo-Life High, will tour the country this year to introduce the Inn to the street rod and racing communities. The tour, known as The 2001 Bus Stop Tour, will carry the theme "Cruisin' America for the Children's Inn at NIH.""





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