Freightliner FS-65

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Freightliner FS-65
Shelby County Bus 99-55.jpg
1999 Blue Bird/Freightliner of Shelby County, Alabama
Manufacturer Freightliner LLC
Production 1997–2007
Body and chassis
Class Type C (conventional)
Layout conventional 4x2
Body style(s)

Cowled chassis

Vehicles see listing
Related Freightliner FL-Series
Engine(s) Diesel
Transmission(s) 5-speed manual
6-speed manual
Predecessor Ford B-Series (indirect)
Successor Freightliner C2

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.

Body manufacturers[edit]

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

Carpenter Industries, Inc.

Les Enterprises Michel Corbeil, Inc. Thomas Built Buses
Model Name Conventional Classic

Classic 2000

Thomas/Freightliner Saf-T-Liner FS-65
Model Years Produced 1997–2002 1997-1999
1997–2002 1997–2007
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.

  • Freightliner FS-65 was the only Type C chassis available for Thomas from 2003 to 2004
  • Sold alongside Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2 from 2004 to 2007.


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


See also[edit]