by: Julian Gothard
Less than a year after an undisclosed collector snapped up Willie Nelson’s former Eagle 1 band bus for $47,850 (CAD) at an auction in Toronto, Canada, Nelson’s Eagle International Entertainer Sleeper Model – which began life as a 96″ wide, 40 feet long Model 10 – found itself back on the auction block. Listed as Lot No. 4097 in the Auctions America Auburn Fall catalogue, the 1986 model year band bus – described as “a priceless piece of Americana and country music history,” by Auctions America by RM President Donnie Gould – was expected to fetch between $60,000-$80,000 but actually sold to an internet bidder for a mere $29,250 (€23,391/£18,504) at an auction held in Auburn, Indiana on Saturday, September 1, 2012.
Originally commissioned by fabled country singer-songwriter Willie Hugh Nelson (Patsy Cline’s captivating hit “Crazy” was penned by Nelson), the bus was later used by drummer Paul English and the band whilst Nelson was touring as part of “The Highwaymen” – comprised of fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson – between 1986 and 1995. The coach continued to see service with the band through 1999 after Nelson resumed his solo career. Affectionately known as “Me & Paul” as well as “The Scout II” the rig was manufactured by New Brownsville, Texas-based Eagle International Inc., and outfitted by Kissimmee-based Florida Coach, Inc.
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Powered by a Detroit Diesel 6V-92TA turbo-charged engine mated to an automatic transmission this original Model 10 coach includes a front and rear lounge, full bathroom with large shower, six full sleeping bunks with seating for 12, a climate controlled interior and an onboard diesel generator.
The exterior of the coach sports stunning original art murals by the renowned artistic duo David “Rainmaker” Butler and Cheryl “Sunshine” Butler.