Templeton Historical Museum restores 1933 Ford school bus
—The Templeton Historical Museum is about to have a “new” vintage addition to their exhibit, as the three year restoration project of a 1933 Ford school bus is close to completion. The bus, which was previously owned by the Templeton School District and retired in the 1950’s, was found at the Templeton Ranch, and then the restoration process began.
Almost every Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon since 2015, about ten retired volunteers came to the building adjacent to the museum to work on the bus. Dave Krill lead the project, and the volunteers, most of who are retired, all shared a passion for vintage cars and the museum’s history, according to Krill. The bus was completely taken apart, with each piece receiving special care to restore it, and then reassembled. The only parts of the bus not included in the restored version is the row of seats in the middle of the bus, to allow for more space, the back is not enclosed, and no glass is in the windows.
Two locals shops contributed to the restoration process, with The Top Shop in Atascadero putting the top onto the bus and Caliber Collision in Paso Robles allowing their space to be used and providing the donated materials. Both the owner of The Top Shop and the previous owner of Caliber Collision had a rich history of working on the school bus in their high school’s auto shop.
The Templeton Museum had planned to use their endowment funds to finance the restoration project, but did not need to assist as all of the funds were covered by community donations. Those members who donated over $250 would have their names engraved on an honorary plaque that would be placed in the bus. Donating $250 is a bronze donor, $500 is a silver donor, and $1000 is a gold donor.
After the bus finishes restoration, it will be featured in the annual Fourth of July parade and be a symbolic object used at class reunions.
“It’s available for anyone to look at… all they have to do is contact the museum,” said Krill. The bus will be placed in the building next to the Templeton Museum. The museum is open Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is located on 309 Main Street in Templeton. For more information, call (805) 434-0807.