Custom Made Masterpiece
Take a look inside Kyle and Samantha Busch’s “dream home on wheels”
Editor’s note: The following article appeared in the Winter 2018 edition of Luxury Life’s “Wings Water & Wheels” magazine.
“At this level, every coach is a custom coach.”
So says Frank Konigseder Jr., managing partner of Liberty Coach. The level he refers to – Prevost motorcoach conversions, veritable palaces on wheels built on tour bus platforms and finished to a degree of almost unimaginable opulence – represents the stratosphere of luxury land transportation. Liberty Coach, the oldest and most prestigious company in the category, makes only 16 coaches each year, with prices starting at over $2.5 million. Each one is unique, truly one of a kind. And more often than not, each is the personal expression of the buyer’s tastes and dreams.
Case in point is the coach featured here, a 2018 Elegant Lady model custom designed and built for NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch and his family. Built on a Prevost H3-45 chassis – the industry standard for luxury coach conversions – the coach features four slides, or movable sections of the platform, that “slide out” to significantly expand the living space within. It also required unusually extensive – and innovative – structural modifications to make the coach suitable for the youngest Busch family member, 2½-year old Brexton.
“Designing a coach as ‘child-friendly’ as this one is something we’d never done before,” says Kurt Konigseder, Frank’s brother and co-managing partner and Liberty’s resident genius for coming up with creative engineering solutions. The key was designing the rear third of the plan to function as a playroom by day and bedroom by night, without compromising one iota of the comfort and elegance for which Liberty is so well known. A formidable challenge, indeed.
The first step was to design and engineer a king-size Murphy bed – that is, a bed that folds up into the wall when not in use. It’s something that had never been done in a Prevost before. “The chassis isn’t tall enough to accommodate the full length of the bed,” Kurt explains, “so we had to create a two-part frame with a stationary portion at the head and the bed itself on a hinged platform with legs that fold into the frame.” When folded up, the underside of the ingenious design boasts a stunning white-and-brass shard pattern that is repeated in design elements in the galley and dinette. The bed itself accommodates a custom-fitted PranaSleep mattress that delivers the same unsurpassed comfort and quality as Liberty’s standard king bed design.
Next, Kurt had to come up with a concept for the private bunk room at the very rear of the coach. His solution includes a 65 x 32-inch in-wall bunk in a recessed niche that also boasts considerable closet and drawer space, and a sliding pocket door that closes the space off from the main bedroom. The final touch was a baby gate at the very front of the coach, consisting of sliding cantilevered doors mounted in the cabinets just behind the cockpit.
If child-proofing was one challenge in building the coach, fulfilling the Busches’ interior design dreams was another – albeit a rewarding one, says Kurt’s wife Kim Konigseder, Liberty’s longtime interior designer. “Kyle and Samantha’s tastes are very contemporary – moreso than the typical Liberty customer – and very much their own,” she explains. “And they were very good at articulating exactly what they wanted.”
The result is a dramatic departure from any other interior in Kim’s award-winning portfolio, one whose clean lines and sleek surfaces are punctuated by extraordinarily original design elements. One example is the bathroom vanity, with a custom countertop cut from a $10,500 slab of semiprecious stone and crystal backsplash made up of 59 individually cut and beveled pieces of glass. Another: the striking bronze-and-white galley backsplash, which consists of a single sheet of solid brass and a waterjet-carved overlay of white marble.
While the design and production process was longer and more intense than usual, both Kim and Kurt agree it was well worth the effort. “The coach speaks for itself,” Kurt says. “It shows a degree of ingenuity you won’t find anywhere else, in the solutions we engineered to challenges other convertors wouldn’t even attempt.”
“I think it also shows the depth of our commitment to customer satisfaction,” adds Kim. “Kyle and Samantha Busch are ecstatic with their coach, and that’s the bottom line. That’s why we’re in business.”