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#7103 – Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD)

Initial Service

The Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD), a loyal Flxible and Cummins diesel customer since the mid-1960s, desired an air-conditioned transit bus with increased performance capable of freeway speeds. New Cummins 903 V8 engines powered SCRTD’s one hundred new 7100 series 40-foot Flxibles that arrived in 1971. A separate 4-cylinder Perkins diesel engine powered the air-conditioning unit. They would be the only SCRTD Flxibles built with the 903 V8.

Service History

7103 in revenue service circa 1972. Thanks to E Mario Castillo for finding this photo.

Originally acquired by the West Coast Motor Coach Society in the late 1980s, in honor of George Powell, former Superintendent of Maintenance for SCRTD, who was responsible for specifying Cummins engines in SCRTD’s “New Look” Flxibles.

Pathway to PBM 

#7103 became one of the first buses of the newly formed Pacific Bus Museum in 1989 when it was split off from the West Coast Motor Coach Museum.

The first mention of this bus was found in the December 1986 West Coast Motor Coach Society membership newsletter, The Paddle:

Joe Corbin, a friend of ours, who is an independent collector in Los Angeles, has called Stephen recently. Joe has his own non-profit corporation with which he holds his collection… Not long ago, R.T.D. approached Joe about the transfer or disposition of the coaches being held. Not having much personal interest in these, Joe had us in mind as future home for them… However, this would be pending R.T.D.’s approval…

…The 10 coaches being held by the District are:

  • #4002, Flxible 411-GD-C2, 75026
  • #4008, Flxible 411-GD-CL, 75032
  • #5999, Flxible F2D6V-401-1, 51731
  • #7103, ?
  • #5721, Flxible F2D6V-401-1, 51224
  • #5300, TDH 5301-473
  • #5800, Flxible F2D6V-401-1, 51502
  • #5251, TDH 5301-2113
  • #5099, TDH 5303-173
  • #6629,TDI 5105-3444

Source: The Paddle December 1986

Flyers for PBM’s “First Annual Open House and Dinner” in Los Angeles describe #7103 as “our late member George Powell’s Pride and Joy”.

In discussions about the restoration of this bus, much care was taken to the proper selection of colors high-quality restoration:

“Rich made a very strong speech to the entire (May 1993 PBM Board) meeting stressing that our Museum members involved in this project must not cut corners in any way, as we want the work done to be of the highest quality. This will help avoid any unnecessary repeat repair work, and will (ensure) that the work done will endure many years of service on this coach.”

– Richard Twining
Source: May 1993 PBM Member Newsletter, The Paddle

The bus was cosmetically restored in Southern California with new paint and reupholstered seats through the efforts of PBM members Jerry Duncan and the late Stephen Schwarzwald. In 1999 Cummins West Inc. repaired the #7103’s engine in Bakersfield, CA.

What People Love 

These were powerful coaches. Given the choice between Flxible and GM coaches, the RTD drivers preferred the more powerful Flxibles with their Cummins V8s. Cummins Diesel engines were long the standard in heavy-duty trucks, developed a series of V8 diesel engines in the 1960s to compete with the successful Detroit Diesel 8V71 engine.

Plan Your Visit

How You Can Help

As a volunteer orginization, we are always looking for as much help as we can get. If you've got skills and time, and want to get your hands dirty, consider becoming a member.

If you don't want to contribute "hands-on", financial donations for the restoration of bus #7103 are also needed at this time to complete this remaining work. All donations for bus #7103 will be placed in a Special Fund account exclusively for the restoration and maintenance of bus #7103. Please make a donation today to continue the restoration of bus #7103!

Make a "Pacific Bus Museum" donation to the Special Funds account for for bus #7103.

Support Bus #7103

The Pacific Bus Museum is a non-profit, tax-exempt, volunteer organization registered in the state of California. We were granted tax-exempt status as a non-profit corporation by the IRS under 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code Tax ID # 1683391. Donations to the Pacific Bus Museum are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 

Restoration Status

The interior is in need of repainting. The paint is peeling around the front entrance. Graffiti was removed from several areas in the rear of the bus. These areas have been sanded and primed for painting.

Ownership Snapshot

Original Owner: Southern California Rapid Transit District #7103

Acquired From: West Coast Motor Coach Museum in 1989

Current Livery: Southern California Rapid Transit District #7103

Technical Specs

Year Built: 1971

Manufacturer: The Flxible Company Loudonville, OH

Model: 111CC-C31

Serial#: 54895

Powertrain: Cummins 903 V8 diesel engine with Spicer 184, 2-speed automatic transmission in T-drive configuration

Body: Aluminum body on a steel frame

Length: 40 ft

Width: 102 in (wide format)

Seating: Seats 51

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