This blog compiles all publications related to forestry, energy, affordable housing, women in trades, women in religion and women in society. This blog is filled with humor, sarcasms and reality investigations.

My conversion

I am really happy to start this new section of the blog. I have merged the former Tecodrive 7000 website with the Carpent'Hours, I have created several pages to explain the prototype, the engine, the conversion of the Tecodrive 7000, but it did not leave any space for me telling my version of the story, the adventure it has been since the beginning of my ownership on this vehicle.

I found the Tecodrive 7000 in December 2016. It was sitting in a junk yard of Canoga Park and it has been sitting there for 14 years. The city of Canoga Park was developing new residential areas and they urged the owner of the junk yard to get rid of all his cars. I was not looking for anything specific at this time, but I was working on the renovation of an Airstream for a movie company and I though that it would be easier for me to have my own trailer with all my tools for woodwork and sewing. I made a research on Craigslist, not really willing to buy at this time, but I found an ad about a "school bus". I was working in Burbank, not too far from Canoga Park, I decided to have a look on this bus. When I saw the "Tecodrive 7000" tag on the bus, I knew that I had found something special. I gave a deposit to the guy and in January 2017, I became the owner.

The bus staid in Canoga Park until March 3, 2017. I had to find a place to park and I had to find a mechanic who would fix the air compressor. I found a mechanic who took $400 to buy the parts, then left with taking away my money, the brand new battery and few stop lights. I was desperate because my boss in the movie company had warned me that I was making a mistake and I did not want to listen to him. I did not want to give him the advantage of thinking that I was wrong because I was sure about my choice getting into this adventure. I wanted the Tecodrive and I wanted it so badly that I did not want to hear a thing what so ever negative about it. That's how I started to research, document and make videos, because I am happy with it. I feel like a little girl making her best and biggest accomplishment.

It was not going to be easy and in fact it was not. The former owner did not even have a paperwork. The vehicle was still registered under the name of the former school and DMV would not give me any information about it. Without paperwork, no insurance, nothing. I took everything one step at a time. I found a yard to rent in Westchester. Then I found a towing company who accepted to go up in Canoga Park and tow my bus all way down Los Angeles to Westchester. I found the towing company on Google, I paid by the phone and took a big bet that they would come that night of March 3, 2017. They were late of 1 hour. I waited in the dark not knowing what would really happen and believe me, I prayed.

From March 2017 to December 2017, I have worked on the conversion and when I say conversion, I really mean it. I have taken the seats out, I recycled the vinyl, the foam and I traded the metal against hauling services. I have cleaned, and cleaned again, and again. You might feel the dirt just watching my channel but every episode of this channel brings me joy today. I did it myself.

Since July 2018, I live in the Hollywood RV park where I am in the category of "artists". I am supposed to paint the bus but this is a heart breaking decision because this vehicle is a classic and I am not really a hippie. I don't know how I could really live in a bus painted, so I make projects and other projects, and then projects.... luckily, I am really busy.

So far, times go without paint, but some day, I will have to start so I decided to turn it into a yellow Marry Poppins bus, with tapestry painted all over like a wrap. I would have the budget, I would wrap it. This section of the blog will post the many ideas about the painting, and mainly, the many little things that happen to continue the conversion. I still have to build the bathroom and the electricity. I am not trying to make a tiny home inside the bus or turn it into a RV, but I started to live full time in it and of course, my ideas change. I have to compose with my budget, my busy life and the joy I have to not rush into it.

This Tecodrive 7000 is more than a hobby to me. It is my asset, my retirement plan and so far, the only thing I have since I arrived in the US. I want to create a value out of my work and think the project like a real estate property that I buy, flip and use for my work. Some day, I might rent it. Some day, I might sell it to a museum or some passionate collector who would love it as much as I love it now. Maybe I will keep it always and the value I have created is something very special and personal that I am going to appreciate every day. This Tecodrive 7000 is a love story and I am the dragon of my castle, some very happy woman who has fun with her engine.

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About E.B

Eima BLANK is a designer and a rewarded entrepreneur who started a career as an ethnographer in 1992, was graduated in architecture in 1995 and is now experiencing her passions as a carpenter and a craft woman. She has directed wood construction projects from 2010 to 2015. She is the author of several books and studies about wood construction and the economy of forestry. She has also won several concourses for her innovations on wood and fabric construction. Her drawings entered an army museum for her sarcastic humor, she has a model house in another museum and she is a member of the ADAGP and the ARS for the management of her artist and designer rights. She is also an occasional cartoonist, what she carries on her smile.
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