1974 NorCal 0309d RV

From ebay and craigslist:

1974 Micro Bus that was converted into an RV in the late 1970’s after it was imported here. Work was done in Fresno. Bus has 300k on engine and chassis with the automatic transmission rebuilt in the last 10k miles. Brakes and tires are fair, and the body does not have any visible rot, cancer, or rust. Aside from misc dings and a few small dents, the body is very straight.
Originally a 16-passenger bus, this vehicle has a forward drivers seat and the passenger seat is set back a few feet due to the passenger door. Passenger door can be operated manually with a lever or with a swich that triggers a compressed air system that opens/closes the door – a cool feature of the bus.

This vehicle is currently registered and is driven around town regularly. It is mechanically sound – or at least as much as can be said about any 35 year old vehicle, and the owner deems it dependable. He recently bought a new sprinter van, so this one is surplus. He has owned this bus since about 1991, and has used it all over the bay area.

There are some serious cosmetic challenges inside – the floor is plywood, and the seat cushions, drapes, and woodwork are all very, very tired, but are all there. Owner says that the refrigerator is like new and hasn’t been used. The fuel gauge became inoperative after a failed attempt to install an aftermarket radio – owner and I both think that the bundle of wild wires dangling under the dash may have something to do with this, and that it may be an easy fix, with easy access if you have a wiring diagram. The radio and odometer are inoperative, speedo does work. The compressed air system that operates the door has two thin air hoses that connect the door mechanism to the compressor/reservoir. They are audibly leaking, and should be replaced. Perhaps as easy as a trip to the hardware store for hose? Not complicated at all. After riding in and inspecting this bus, I conclude that three weekends of cleaning and sprucing it up would have the interior in really good, clean shape. None of the challenges are mechanical aside from the minor ones listed above – it’s all interior decor stuff that can be sourced at a home improvement place, aside from the new seat cushions and new mattress.

Bus has leisurely acceleration, and even more leisurely braking as part of its fundamental personality. If you are in a hurry, this isn’t your vehicle. Included in the sale is a spare motor that has been manually turned over monthly since it was aquired with 200k on it from a totaled bus of the same model. This bus is overall very complete, but is tired and really needs some attention to detail. Nothing seriously wrong. It is titled as an RV with the state, which keeps the registration at $50 a year. There is a salvage title on it for reasons unknown. This bus is a diesel, and requires no smog check.

Note the double barn doors at the rear that would allow loading of large objects, such as wind-surf or surf boards. This would make a great beach-vehicle, as there’s nothing left to damage inside in its present state.

6 Responses to 1974 NorCal 0309d RV

  1. Mark says:

    This bus now lives in Texas. Dallas-Fort Worth area. Any other Texas MB truck/van owners around?

  2. How much are they asking ? This is real nice. It would look good fixed up with modern technology.


  3. It is a nice conversion and in great shape. I mirrored your listing on my site for you to see what happens,
    Maybe I can list some of these for you on my Mercedes-Benz websites that I have. I am working on this site as well.


  4. tinker says:

    Hi, I have a 1974 309d camper that i need to compact. I will either part this out or sell it to someone that wants a project. I have 309 bus that runs and I use as a short trip camper (we love it) .I picked up this extra bus for parts but it seemed to nice to cut up so it just sits.
    The engine had the head taken off and completely rebuilt. It needs to be reassembled.
    The transmission an Allison auto I was told is good.
    The body is in good shape except at the rear window where there is rust/rot.
    If I decide to part this out it has all the glass, lights a great original Mercedes drivers seat, complete drive train less engine assembly and much more.
    Bus is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Please let me know if anyone is interested or where a good place to post this would be.
    Contact me at dragonara (at) gmail.com

  5. joshuanielsen says:

    There are 2 of these on eBay rite now for sale. one complete conversion. sink. stove. toilet. fridge. bunk beds. fresh rebuild on motor. social kept. And the other is a complete parts bus with lottttsss of extra parts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *