EDITOR’S NOTE: While Liberty Coach was incorporated in 1972, the company’s first coach was completed months earlier in the fall of 1971. The following account of the travels and sale of Liberty Coach #1 is the third in a series of posts based on Jeanne Konigseder’s unpublished memoir chronicling the early years of Liberty Coach.
We planned the “maiden voyage” of our new bus for October, 1971, a cross-country trek to San Diego and Las Vegas. About a week before departure, I smelled diesel fuel, which we quickly discovered was leaking from the fuel tank under the coach. So we stopped at Greyhound in Chicago on the way out of town and had a new fuel tank installed.
That was just the first of many trips we took over the following several months; a complete list is included below. We took the opportunity to show the coach at a couple of FMCA events, including the Florida chapter’s winter rally at Sarasota Airport in December and the FMCA National Convention in Burlington, Vermont the following July. We also had our share of problems any RVer of that era could relate to: a gas line leak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a ruptured radiator in Kingston, Ontario, a failed fuel pump in Florida, and so on. But overall, our first bus delivered exactly what we set out to accomplish: a big step up in quality and comfort from any RV on the market.
As it turned out, plenty of people agreed. At the FMCA convention in Vermont that summer, we exhibited under the Liberty Coach name and marked the bus for sale. It attracted quite a bit of interest, most notably from a family visiting from Deerfield, Illinois – not more than 6 miles from our hometown. They became Liberty Coach’s first customers, buying the coach in 1973 and keeping it for several years until turning it over to their children, who then sold it around 1999. The couple went on to own other Liberties all the way up through 2002, when they finally retired from coaching.
As for Liberty Coach – well, we were just getting started.
On The Road With Liberty Coach #1
Oct-Nov 1971 – San Diego, CA
November 1971 – Springfield, IL
Dec ’71 – Jan ’72 – Florida
March-April 1972 – Hot Springs, AR
July 1972 – Ontario & New England
NEXT IN THE SERIES
Remembering one of the most iconic buses of Liberty’s early years in “The Scenicruiser Story”.