HIGH POINT, N.C. — Thomas Built Buses reached a milestone as it handed over the keys to its last customer-ready FS-65 conventional school bus.
In a ceremony at one of Thomas Built’s five manufacturing facilities in High Point, President and CEO John O’Leary presented the final FS-65 to Gary O’Brien, owner and operator of College Park, Md.-based O’Brien Bus Service.
With the delivery, the FS-65 conventional design was officially retired. The basic body design dates from 1972, when it was offered on a variety of chassis brands. Thomas Built began offering the body on the Freightliner-designed FS-65 chassis in 1995.
“Although this is the end of an era, it is a time of celebration as this company continues to evolve,” O’Leary said, citing Thomas Built’s introduction of the Saf-T-Liner C2 conventional-style bus two years ago.
Each Thomas Built employee and O’Brien himself signed an exposed interior panel and numerous hidden panels throughout the bus. When the chassis was manufactured by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) in Gaffney, S.C., the chassis frame rails were signed by FCCC employees.