“Majestic” was conceived, designed and built (by hand) by Scot Dunlap. Scot is the designer for all of the unique features including the special effect lighting in the party buses. He designed and built the lighted dance floors in the Cool and Celebrity party buses - a feature never done in a vehicle before. In January 2004, Scot began researching double-decker buses. In March 2004 the decision was made to have one mechanically and cosmetically restored in England. This process took until December of 2004. The bus was then shipped to Charleston, S.C. and was driven back to Nashville in January 2005 where Scott immediately began work on the Majestic. He then worked 80 hour weeks to get it ready for its debut in the 2005 Nashville Christmas Parade. The Majestic is now available for rent so please book as far in advance as possible to insure that your special event date won't be already reserved!
Double-decker bus is a dance party on wheels
By NICOLE GARTON
Tennessean Staff Writer
Santa won't be the only thing coming to town in the Christmas parade today, nor will he be the biggest. This year, his sleigh will be dwarfed by the "Majestic," Nashville's first double-decker party bus, which is officially unveiled today after a year of hiding under an RV cover in owner Scot Dunlap's driveway. "This bus is the most unbelievable thing," says David Heimbach, founder of the Mt. Juliet company FADDs Party Bus, which will add the double-decker to its fleet this month. "If the other buses are like nightclubs on wheels, this one is a cruise on wheels," says 37-year-old Dunlap, the engineering genius behind the neon dance floors and LED light shows of the other FADDs party buses. The bus, which stands as tall as a tractor-trailer, is a traditional 1979 Bristol commuter vehicle from England, with the right-side drive to prove it.
Well, that was before Dunlap had it shipped over in the hold of a freighter. Now, a year and one thorough gutting later, it's a party on wheels complete with flashing lights, a sound system and all the other bells and whistles of a mobile dance club. majestic party bus dance floor
"We're able to take something that's old and save it from certain death," Dunlap says. "It's a piece of history. This will end up being a very interesting blend of very old technology with extremely new cutting-edge stuff." Dunlap's goal in outfitting the bus was to create two different party environments. "In the downstairs, the windows are purposely blocked out so when you get in here you forget where you are. It's loud and intense. In the upstairs, the music is not as loud and the windows aren't tinted so you can have a conversation, relax and watch the scenery go by." There's even a snack bar and gift shop upstairs, where people can buy everything from microwave pizzas to disposable cameras. "It was the opportunity to just build something really radical," Dunlap says. "I watch shows like Monster Garage and Pimp My Ride, and I get inspired." Dunlap, a former dune buggy enthusiast, has been putting in 80-hour weeks trying to get the bus up and running in time for the parade. While it's not completely finished, it's close enough to begin running paid bookings as early as this month.
"There are no instructions. We don't go online and look up something that's been done," says Dunlap, who acts as architect, engineer and construction crew for all the buses he refurbishes. "It has to look good, it has to make an impression on people. "Our business is repeat business and word-of-mouth," he adds. "People get on here, and their cell phones come out."
Though it's clearly a passion for Dunlap, decking out a party bus comes with its share of woes and stresses, particularly when you have to keep scratching out your target completion date.
"If I had known how hard this would be, how long it would take and how much it would cost, I would have been scared," he says. "He probably spent two months just running wires," says his dad, John Dunlap, a retired Vanderbilt mechanical engineering professor who has pitched in on the double-decker bus. "Wiring a house would be far simpler than putting all those lights on a bus." Even picking up the bus from Charleston was a chore, from the long wait at customs, to the days spent outfitting the bus with mirrors and lights to meet U.S. law, to the long drive back to Nashville in a vehicle that tops out at 47 mph. "Everywhere we stopped, we got swarmed," Dunlap says. "All people want is to go upstairs and look out the window." After spending around $50,000 on state-of-the-art lights, sound system and computer (and even a DJ booth that floats on air for ultra shock absorption), he hopes people will want to do more than just look out the window. "It's killer. People are going to be blown away by it," says Jonathan Valley, who DJs for FADDs on the weekends. "There's nothing like it I've ever seen. Scot is a very creative person. He can always figure out some way of designing something crazy no one's ever seen before.
"We'll probably have all the DJs fighting to work on this one."