Thomas Built Buses FS-65

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Thomas Built Buses FS-65
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Years of manufacture 1997 to 2006
Width 96 inches
Power/Fuel Diesel
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In May 1996, Freightliner introduced their new type-C school bus chassis, known as the FS-65. Freightliner had worked with Thomas Built Buses to develop a chassis/body combination that boasted a larger windshield, a raised driver's platform, and a sloping hood, all leading to better visibility. Production was expected to begin in mid-1996.[1] The first bus was completed and delivered to John T. Cyr & Sons in January 1997.[2]

When launched, the FS-65 chassis was also available to other body manufacturers, including Blue Bird, Capenter, and Corbeil. By the end of 2002, Blue Bird had designed their own type-C chassis, Carpenter had ceased operation, and Corbeil focused solely on producing type-A buses. At this time, Thomas, which had become a subsidiary of Freightliner in 1998[3], produced their type-C buses exclusively on the FS-65 chassis.

On December 13, 2006, Thomas delivered their last FS-65 school bus. The FS-65 was succeeded by the Saf-T-Liner C2, which was launched two years earlier. A total of 62,764 Freightliner FS-65 chassis were produced, and nearly a quarter of a million FS-65 conventional bodies were produced.[4]

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  1. Freightliner enters school bus market. 15 May 1996. Press release. Freightliner Corporation.
  2. First Freightliner school bus completed and delivered to largest contractor in Maine. 09 January 1997. Press release. Freightliner Corporation.
  3. Press release. 06 October 1998.
  4. Thomas retires the FS-65,, retrieved 09-06-30