Student Union Building
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Most people would be insulted if their vehicle was called an old bus. Nick ’02 and Jenny ’03 Epler of Boise don’t have to worry about that. Their old bus, dubbed the”I-Bus” is something special. It’s been turning heads on Highway 95 between Boise and Moscow, and it's been a huge hit at this fall’s tailgate parties at the Kibbie Dome.
“It is kind of a classic,” admitted Nick with pride.
And who wouldn’t consider a 1959 Chevrolet 20-passenger school bus a classic? Nick and Jenny spent hundreds of hours restoring the bus and making it a statement of their Vandal Pride. It’s now shiny black and decked out with hard-to-miss Idaho Vandal artwork, right down to the Vandal license plate that reads “I BUS.”
The Eplers got the bus from Nick’s sister, Melissa Weitz ’03, who lives in Viola.
“I think they got it from a church group in Moscow,” said Jenny. “But when we saw it we thought, ‘That would be the perfect Vandal tailgate vehicle.’”
Nick pointed out the bus was in pretty bad shape with dents and rust, five broken windows, no brakes, wiring problems and the interior showed 50 years of use and abuse.
“But, the engine ran okay,” Nick quipped.
They began their restoration project in May and were determined to have the bus ready for the first home football game. Nick put in a couple hours of work in the morning before heading to work, and in the evenings, they often worked past midnight.
“I’m not a mechanic,” said Nick. Luckily, the Epler’s neighbor was a mechanic and it didn’t take long before he caught Nick and Jenny’s enthusiasm for the project.
They met their deadline, and their first trip to Moscow was a great success.
“We got a huge response,” said Jenny. People were honking and waving and people would stop and take pictures when we stopped for gas.”
For the record: The I-Bus gets a hair better than 10 miles to the gallon.
The attention continued when they pulled into the Kibbie Dome parking lot. Former Interim President Steven and Dianne Daley-Laursen stopped to get their picture taken and invited the Eplers and the I-Bus to be in the Homecoming parade.
“Nick and I are true Vandal fans and believe in giving back,” said Jenny, who played soccer at Idaho and remains grateful for the opportunities her athletic scholarship brought her. “We have made it a point to give back to the University, whether it be financial or moral support.”