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Telephone   828.488.3442
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or write me at:
Ron Hutchins
The Inspirations.com
P O Box 1338
Bryson City, NC 28713


Inspirations CDs


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Bus.wmf (7186 bytes)For over 50 years, Inspirations' buses have been a familiar sight to folks all across America, especially to long haul truckers and other late night travelers.
Below are a few pictures of the vehicles which have safely carried the group during our years of
'looking at America through the windshield of a bus'.

In 1964, we started out in Martin's 1961 Dodge Pioneer;
(which was run over by a Pepsi truck . . . seriously!) Unfortunately, we have no pictures of it.

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We quickly moved on to a 1962 Chevy van;

The little white van had a bad habit of losing throw-out bearings -whatever they are- about twice a year, and the noxious fumes would become so thick we had to roll down all the windows just so we could breathe!

    It wasn't too bad in the summertime, but the fact that it usually occurred in the dead of winter may explain why we became close friends as well as singing partners! There were many times when we used our suits as thermals to get home!

    After a few years of that, we knew we had to do something different, so with the guidance of our very good friend, Johnny Paul Jones, (yes, that really is his name) we stepped out on faith and located a used bus at Valley Bus Lines in Knoxville, Tennessee; -the 4104- the first real bus to carry The Inspirations. Using a combo of Tide and paint stripper, we shined her up.

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       The Inspirations have a lot of wonderful memories associated with life on the road in the 4104. We took turns driving, which probably wasn't the best idea we ever had! There were three rooms in the bus; a front lounge -where we spent most daylight hours- and the two back rooms where we slept -which was every chance we got!

    Jack and Ronnie shared the back room with a 3 foot plate glass mirror. Jack used the mirror the most, to keep his "curls" in place (Jack had lots of hair in those days! REALLY!) LOL

     Early one morning, on a trip to Texas, troy was driving, and everyone else was still asleep. In those days, there was a very narrow bridge at Vicksburg, Mississippi which everyone had to use to cross the river when going west.  (LONG BEFORE I-20) Troy was tired and didn't navigate too well, and the tires crunched against the bridge's raised curb. Got the picture?

    The bus body twisted, and the mirror shattered; Jack jumped off his top bunk, ran through the glass and miraculously wasn't cut.


     Mark Lowry, (he was just a kid, but so were we), Became the proud owner when we moved on to a brand new, fresh off the boat, 1971 Eagle from Belgium. According to Mark; who's gotten a new bus, plus a whole new career as Gospel Music's most famous funny man since then, the 4104 is probably still running somewhere down in Mexico!  We'll bet it's a sight to see now after all these years!

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    Affectionately called The Big 'I', for the single letter license plate she wore for 27 years, the 1971 EAGLE carried the group for more than 3 MILLION actual recorded miles.

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The two men pictured above, "Bumpy" and "Buck", 
drove many of those miles.

The 'Big I' was sold in 1999, and still carries SGM singers across the country.

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    The new EAGLE had a few trials trying to get used to living here in the Great Smokies and had to rest awhile in the Inspiration's parking lot with the rear door up, covering Colon, the greatest bus mechanic we know, as he worked to get it ready for the rigors of mountain living. . . Inspirations' style . . . Finally, the new bus adjusted to the Smokies, Jack located the microwave (and the popcorn supply at Wal-Mart) and the original Big I moved on to a new home.

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The most recent addition to the Inspirations' bus history
is a modified Eagle affectionately called
"Big Red".


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    The Inspirations current   'stagecoach' (CB lingo for a music bus, as opposed to a regular diesel pusher RV) features a space age high tech driver's seat, power steering, and automatic transmission. The only thing the customizers still have to master is a way that the bus can drive itself. Well, we can always dream! LOL

    The front room has sufficient seating for the whole group (including the old-timers), plus families. Okay, so that's when it gets a little crowded, but Reagan, Blair and Levi keep things lively and interesting when they're along.

'Home Away From Home'     But the real story of the Inspirations bus is the sleeping area. Each room has stacked bunks with a combination desk and dressing area;  (The preachers pretty well keep those occupied, working on their sermons). For some reason, the most popular feature of the bus seems to be the bunks. SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!

    Finally, Big Red has a working shower for those times when the yardstick just won't reach (which means it's difficult to sing in Oklahoma City one night and Atlanta the next night; but it can be done!)

SGM TRIVIA: Everyone who spends many long hours away from home, traveling the roads of America in custom vehicles, can thank the Blackwood Brothers -especially their legendary bass singer, J D Sumner- for having the vision to turn passenger buses into traveling bunkrooms.

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                                                          Copyright 2000-2018 All Rights Reserved ~ Ron Hutchins, P O Box 1338, Bryson City, NC 28713
                                                          Telephone 828.488.3442 M-F, 10 a.m - 5 p.m