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1999 Blue Bird/Freightliner of Shelby County, Alabama
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Type C (conventional)|
|Predecessor||Ford B-Series (indirect)|
The Freightliner FS-65 is a Type C conventional bus chassis manufactured by Freightliner, used for school bus and commercial bus applications. It was introduced for the 1997 model year for Thomas Built Buses. The FS-65 is most closely related to the Freightliner FL-Series medium-duty conventional.
As the FL-Series was replaced by the M2 in 2001, Freightliner began work on the Freightliner C2. Introduced in 2003, the C2 would use nearly the entire dashboard of the M2 truck.
While developed before the sale of the Ford heavy-truck line to Freightliner in late 1996, the FS-65 would go on to take over much of the market share owned by the B-Series, as Ford would shut down medium-duty truck production (its base for school bus chassis) by the end of 1998.
Initially, the FS-65 was widely available to manufacturers throughout the industry with a notable exception. AmTran did not offer the FS-65, but it was a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar International, one of the largest competitors of Freightliner.
After 2002, availability of the FS-65 would become limited to Freightliner subsidiary Thomas Built Buses. In 2001, Carpenter went out of business; in 2002, Corbeil ceased production of full-size buses and Blue Bird dropped Freightliner as a chassis option (in favor of its own Type C chassis, the Vision).
|Body Manufacturer||Blue Bird Corporation||Crown By Carpenter||Les Enterprises Michel Corbeil, Inc.||Thomas Built Buses|
|Thomas/Freightliner Saf-T-Liner FS-65|
|Model Years Produced||1997–2002||1997-1999
|Notes||Crown by Carpenter versions of the FS-65 are distinguished by a four-piece windshield; Carpenter Classic 2000 variants have a two-piece windshield.||
Corbeil/Freightliner buses were sold only in Canada.
All versions of the FS-65 bus chassis were powered by diesel-fueled engines. It was available with automatic transmissions as well as 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions.
- 7.2L Caterpillar 3126/C7 I6
- 5.9L Cummins ISB I6
- 6.4L Detroit Diesel/Mercedes-Benz MBE900 I6
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