Right before my second deployment with the Tennessee Army National Guard in late April 2012 I took a trip to downtown Nashville. Upon arrival one of the first things that I did was take a trolley tour of the city and during this tour I couldn't help but be frustrated that the trolley never once went over any of the bridges downtown. Also, some of the great views of the city were limited due to the fact that the trolley was closed top and didn't have an elevated position. Seeing the bustle of Broadway and the construction of the grandiose convention center I couldn't help but feel like Nashville was a major city with rich history waiting to be seen and needed a better means for people to see it.
Of course British Double Decker buses in The United States are hard to find and finding one that was right for Nashville was going to be even more difficult. Fortunately, one popped shortly after my visit to Nashville. Unfortunately, it was located at the US/Canadian border in Blaine, Washington and had its fair share of mechanical issues. While I was deployed to the Middle East, there was only one person I knew who could drive it in its condition to Tennessee all the way from Washington. That person was my friend and classmate from high school, Michael Stevenson. Michael, with the assistance of his loving mother Kay and his wise mechanical friend Big John Gabel, departed from Lake Stevens, Washington on August 5th and arrived in Pulaski, TN on August 11th. During the journey they had to hold the transmission in place with a chain and lost power to the brakes several times but still managed to make the drive across seven states in a bus they had never seen before.
Upon their arrival to Pulaski, Kay, suggested the bus be named Priscilla because it means "Queen of the desert". Thus, that was how Priscilla came to be.
Rufus is 2000 graduate of The McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN and a 2004 graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He is also an officer in the Tennessee Army National Guard and owner of Chattanooga Double Decker. His most recent passions are history, 50 and 60s era British Double Decker buses, running, beer, whiskey, going to the movies and hiking.
Priscilla is a 1967 Bristol Lodekka FLF that was built in Bristol England and began her career working public transportation for Hants and Dorset Motor Services in South England. Being forced into retirement during the 80’s she lived in Liverpool for a short spell and the 9 years in Flitwick, England. In 1993 she moved to The United States and worked in Lawrence, KS, St. Louis, MO and Minneapolis, MN until being purchased in Blaine, Washington and driven to Pulaski, Tennessee in August 2012. She has been Americanized by having her British Engine and Transmission taken out, a 7.3 liter International Diesel engine and AT545 Allison transmission put in its place. She has also has had her top taken off to appease the sightseeing populace. Upon arriving to Tennessee she was given a welcoming face lift and brand new rear end by Big John Gabel and Michael Stevenson to make her ready for Nashville spotlight.