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I found this 1953 Flxible motorhome in a barn not too far from me. It has been standing for a number of years, not used. Someone had worked on it but never put it back on the road. You may say not much of a story, heard it all before. So have I, but ....

I live in Northern Ireland and we don't see much of American motorhomes on the small roads.Yes, we have a number of American motorhomes over here and you see them at shows or at the odd campsite. Most of them are parked up at home and only driven once or twice a year.

The only info I have so far is the membership number. FMCA membership records show that F3237 belonged to Beauregard Hemings from Indianapolis, Ind. He has not been a member since 1978.

So, when this Flxible was imported to UK or Northern Ireland, I don't know. It was never registered here in our Vehicle Tax Office, and it still has American plates.

If anybody can help me find out anything about this Flxible motorhome I would be grateful.

Many thanks.

Garvin

post-21843-0-10295100-1322526291_thumb.j

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Can't be of any help with identifying or information on this coach, but just wanted to say that it is a rarity for sure.

Are you planning on restoring this coach?

What kind of shape is the inside of the coach?

John 503

2006 Monaco Monarch

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I would love to John, it's in good shape for it's age inside and out. Paints is gone so a repaint and some restoring to the lights and chrome, as for the engine and running gear i don't know. I just had a look around it and took a few photo's and got talking to the owner of the barn. They have know contact with the person that owns the coach, he used to come and work on it, pay rent and then 5-6 years ago stopped coming around and paying. The coach has been there ever since.

When I find out more I will keep you updated, but I would love to find out the story of the coach from when it was built to coming over hear.

Many thanks

Garvin

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Garvin,

Flxible was located in Loudonville, Ohio from 1913-1995 (originally they built Flexible Sidecars, hence the name). After the company went bankrupt, their records were transferred to the Mohican Historical Society's Cleo Redd Fisher Museum. Judging from the pictures, I would say you are looking at a Visicoach - originally a 29 passenger intercity bus. The Visicoach is part of their iconic Clipper series of buses, which remain the stereotypical image of a 1940s-1960s bus.

For more information about restoring a Flxible, contact Flxible Owners International (http://www.flxibleowners.org), an international association of Flxible collectors, most of whom have restored their own.

If you can provide me with the serial number on the bus, I may be able to pull up more records on it including who the original owner was (more than likely an intercity bus line, although Flxibles were owned by everyone from Elvis Presley to B.B. King).

I'll try to remember to check back here, otherwise if you don't hear from me send me a message at: mohicanhistoricalsociety AT gmail.com (broken up to prevent spam).

Thanks,

Kenny Libben

Curator

Cleo Redd Fisher Museum

Loudonville OH

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Mohicanhistoricalsociety: Thanks for the posting of the Flexible site. I enjoyed reading and seeing these great old units, especially those fully restored. Again, thanks for the post. John 2006 Monaco Monarch SE

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According to FamilySearch.org, Beauregard Hemings died Jan 1987 in Marion County, Indiana. Just how his coach got to Northern Ireland is beyond me. Very interesting story. Wonder if he had it shipped over there to travel around Ireland, and broke down or got sick? And a very interesting name also, not many carry the handle of Beauregard!

Beauregard appears to have a son!! Dusty Hemings. http://www.mylife.com/c-1100602773

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Thank you for your reply to my post. So far over here I am getting nowhere,

It's so hard with no name and know no number. I will try and get back before Christmas to the barn and see the people that own the building and try for some more information.

Were on the bus is the body plate with all the number to I.D. the bus? I did have time the last time I was over and I don't want to get on the wrong side of the people that own the barn.

Have a Merry Christmas

Garvin

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Hi Garvin, that sounds,and looks like a great barn find you have. I think that's the same model of mh that was a feature in the movie RV with Robin Williams a couple of years back. If you can get a hold of the flic, I think you'll enjoy the restored mh, plus it's a funny movie also. What can go wrong did with Robin. He WASN'T driving the Flixible. Good luck with your search. I hope "to see it on the road" in the future..... We have an '87 31' Southwind Eagle that we're updating. Not as cool as your Flixible but rare and fun to work on.......................Good luck from Kirkland Wa USA.........Jerry

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Hello, my name is Dusty Hemings.

The 1953 Flexi you have been looking at was my father's. When he died my sister got the bus and took it to Texas. The bus was in great shape when my father died, but my sister's husband had very little mechanical knowledge to maintain it, so he had someone work on it that had money on their mind and not looking at what a real work of art it was. It was sold to someone from the UK and shipped over there.

I found this forum topic when researching my father's heritage. The pictures of this bus really sent me back to when my father bought the Flxible from the Vincennes Bus company. The bus had just been refitted with a new 4/71 diesel.

My dad removed all the seats, refitted the interior and added the water tank, waste tank, pumps and electrics. He put new Michelin tires all around. My brother was a professional auto painter and painted the whole thing, which I know was painted over in Texas.

My parents used the coach for numerous trips to California and Florida. In it's day it was an absolute beauty with its stainless-steel sides and new paint. When coming at you it looked like it was smiling.

I drove this bus, and the clutch and engine were smooth. It's strange to see it in Ireland when, other than a few bad pics from Texas, it was in our driveway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Wow! What a neat story. Too bad it had to leave your family, Dusty, that's a fine looking old beast. I saw one identical to the RV movie with Robin Williams running around the Brainerd MN lakes area not long after that film came out. I also have a "vintage" motorhome, but it doesn't have nearly the "cool" factor of that one. :D

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I am thoroughly amazed that the son of the former owner of a Flxible has replied. My soft heart shouted "yes" when I read about the history. Vincennes -- my mom's family was from there and I lived and went to college not more than 60 miles away. In fact, the college chartered from them.

My first ride in a Flxible like that was in 1967 when the college choir took one on tour. In fact, we made two tours in a Flxible before we wound up riding in GMC PD4104s. I remember finding out the coach had no speedometer. The driver responded by saying: "Back then you could go that fast between towns so you didn't need one since there were no interstates or ramps to deal with." Made sense, besides, like any straight transmission, you just listened and felt when you needed to shift. And, like any diesel, keep your eye on the RPMs.

If I had the money I'd fix up a Flxible just for the nostalgia. They had character. And, glad to see the Flxible guys love the coaches enough to keep them on the road.

I, myself, formerly owned a 1978 GMC motorhome. Now I'm getting a 2000 Airstream Land Yacht -- far cry from a Flxible and a GMC but this will be my final motorhome before I quit driving by me own decision.

Great story, guys, thanks for sharing the information.

Byron

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Our 1941 front engine Flxible has a chevy cab-over truck chassis with a fold down chevy instrument panel with a speedometer.

Our 1947 rear engine Flxible had a large tachometer in the dash that was also used as a speedometer. It had four half circles under the tachometer numbers. The bottom half circle showed the road speed in 1st gear. The second half circle showed the roads speed in 2nd gear.

The third in 3rd gear and the fourth half circle in high gear. By looking at the tachometer needle to see the RPM it also showed the road speed if you knew the transmission gear you were in.

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