By Jerry Turner
In 1972, Jerry Turner launched Nostalgic Reflections. An ideal source for professional & amateur restoration buffs, collectors and more. Back then Jerry realized there was a shortage of quality parts for vehicles and bikes that had been out of production for decades or even a century. Learn more at NostalgicReflections.com
In 1988, I was given an all aluminum, 1935 Fageol Twin Coach Bus #115 that was used on the streets of Spokane, Washington by “United Railways” (now STA, or Spokane Transit Authority). It had been converted to a Motorhome in 1959. I thought it was a pretty cool-looking bus, but there was not enough original items to bring it back to its former glory. Seven years later, I saw another one of these busses, #117, in a Post Falls, Idaho wrecking yard. It, too, looked beyond restoration just as it was, but then I started taking notes and looking up the history of the bus. While I was doing the “history thing,” I discovered the bus was missing from the wrecking yard, as they were in the process of clearing the yard for new housing. Five years went by, and I found it in a yard, in Post Falls, Idaho. I stopped and talked to the person that bought and retrieved it. I said that one of us should have both of them for restoration purposes. I was ready to give mine up to him, but he said that he had no interest in it any more, so… I ended up with both buses. #115 & #117. These two busses are the last survivors of their kind, as they were scrapped-out down through the years. Not only is the body all aluminum, but the frame is all cast aluminum as well.
The City of Spokane had ordered 130 of these 1935 Fageol Twin Coach busses to take over the last trolley cars. The “Fageol Motors Company” was located in Kent, Ohio. With such a large order, and transporting issues, the Fageol Co. found a local Spokane company to build the busses to their specs. Brown Industries of Opportunity, Washington, was the successful company to build the buses. I got to meet and interview Thorburn Brown before his death. He gave me photos of the factory assembly line and the history of the company.
In 1936, when my bus #117 was just one year old, it was involved in a crash on the steps of the United Methodist Church, as it swerved to avoid a collision with a car. The bus was repaired and returned to service.
In 2003, the grandson of William B. Fageol (founder of Fageol Motors) learned that I had these two Fageol Twin Coach Buses. He had never seen one, and wanted to come up from San Diego, California to see what his Grandfather had done. While he was here, I had him autograph all of my 8 x 10 photos. The busses are a part of the Nostalgic Reflections Museum, and we hope to find funding for restoration.