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Willie Nelson's Former Band Bus Bombs At Auction

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On: Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 12:01PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Willie Nelson's Former Band Bus Bombs At Auction

It would seem as though too much of the Red Headed Stranger has rubbed off his former tour bus as—in the face of a $60k-$80k auction estimate—the 1986-model-year coach “Me & Paul” pulled down just $29,250 at Auctions America’s Sept.1 Auburn, Indiana sale.

[Hopefully this buyer will want to hang onto their purchase as the seller of this bus paid $48,550 less than a year ago at a Toronto auction, giving themselves a quick $19,300 haircut.]

Anyhoo, this thing is everything you’d expect a hard-worn band-bus to be, excluding most of the hard-worn. Still, if it wasn’t for the Willie Nelson history—and perhaps the terrible murals it’s coated in—this could easily be the crap-hauler for any C-level wannabe band.

Then again, maybe now it is…

As I mentioned in an earlier article that included another Willie Nelson vehicle (Lot 314), he was long on hair but short on taste. And no offense to the dude, but I don’t think even HE expects a “bump” in auction item value just because he used to sit and “smoke” in the item in question.

Speaking of smoke, there’s a potential explanation for the price drop in AA’s own press release on this vehicle. Let’s see if you can spot it:

“Auctions America by RM recently announced it will offer a tour bus formerly part of Willie Nelson’s entourage at its upcoming Labor Day Weekend sale, Aug. 31 – Sept. 2, at the historic Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Indiana.

“While documentation confirms the 1986 Eagle Motorcoach ordered by Mr. Nelson was a 12-year-member of his entourage, it was misidentified in last week’s announcement as ‘Honeysuckle Rose’. The correct name of the tour bus is ‘Me & Paul’ otherwise known as ‘The Scout II’, built specially for Willie Nelson drummer, Paul English, and used by the band from 1986 to 1999.”

Here’s a hint: “…built specially for Willie Nelson drummer, Paul English, and used by the…”

[See how much fun being an editor is?]

Yup, it’s a bit of a kerfuffle. But AA was at least honest about it, though how much help the seller was in uncovering this goof is unclear. I’ll just be diplomatic and say that he/she was curiously willing to accept a 40 percent loss on their lot.

Still, if you were looking for one of these, $28k seems like a decent price. I think. I’m still trying to figure out what AA actually meant to say about it between press releases:

[VERSION 1:] “Purchased new and converted into an Entertainer Sleeper Model, Nelson used ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ for his tours throughout North America during the famous Highwayman years until 1999. Measuring 40-feet-long and 8-feet-wide, it features a beautifully-painted mural by Florida Coach Inc.’s in-house artist ‘Rainmaker’ and is equipped with sleeping bunks for six, twin lounge areas accommodating seating for 12, a modern bathroom with standup shower, and separate audio visual systems for each passenger. Powered by a Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA turbo-charged engine and automatic transmission, the carefully restored tour bus can easily carry 330 cubic feet of luggage along with 130 gallons of fuel.”

[VERSION 2:] “Purchased in 1986 and converted into an Entertainer Sleeper Model by Florida Coach, the tour bus on offer, which has been carefully refurbished, is equipped with sleeping bunks for six, twin lounge areas accommodating seating for 12, a bathroom with standup shower, and separate audio visual systems for each passenger. Powered by a Detroit Diesel turbo-charged engine and automatic transmission, the carefully restored tour bus can easily carry 330 cubic feet of luggage.”

Of course, if you weren’t band-bus-shopping or hankerin’ for somethin’ “Highwayman”-related, this wasn’t on your radar. After all, the show had a half-dozen near-new motorcoaches in a variety of configurations. And if you REALLY wanted to have a famous group’s used motorcoach you could've picked up something like the Ferrari I covered awhile back.

That thing might not be the “priceless piece of Americana and country music history” Auctions America says THIS rig is, but I’m willing to bet even ol’ Willie’d take the modern machine instead a heartbeat.

It does match his famous hair color…


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