Maybe it was coincidence that three guys who grew up in East Dallas bought an old DART bus that once drove daily through their neighborhood.

Maybe it was coincidence that three guys who grew up in East Dallas bought an old DART bus that once drove daily through their neighborhood.

Or maybe it was something a little closer to fate.

"We thought we felt some East Dallas vibes," Ben Thevenet joked.

Thevenet, 26, and two childhood friends, brothers Evan and Hayden Faram, have spent months refurbishing the bus to serve as the mobile headquarters of their new business, The Coolest Stuff in Texas, a website featuring blog posts, photos and videos of their experiences traveling across the Lone Star State.

"We didn’t just buy a motor home," Evan Faram said. "We took a Dallas transit bus and made it something uniquely Texan."

The Faram brothers launched the site in November. Thenevet joined the venture in December after Evan Faram needed someone to photograph a growler maker he was interviewing. By the end of the night, Thevenet decided he, too, would like to traipse across the state to find the best things for other Texans to do and see.

"Just fell in love with the idea, and I love these guys, too," he said.

On Monday, the trio of Woodrow Wilson High School grads reached their $7,000 goal on the fundraising website Kickstarter. Their effort ends Friday.

Both Evan Faram and Thevenet lived in New York City for several years, but they missed home.

Evan Faram decided it was time to move back after he and his brother took a five-day canoe trip on the Brazos River, prompting them to start the business. They already have a long list of Texas towns they want to visit.

"This is something we can write about forever," Hayden Faram said.

Their love of Texas has already earned them some followers. Hayden Faram, 26, and his girlfriend, Jordan Lee, closely track how many people visit the website, A list of the best things to do in Dallas helped them reach more than 100,000 people, they said.

The group, which writes only about places and people they’ve seen and met, started out road-tripping across Texas and crashing on friends’ couches to gather stories for the site.

But they quickly realized they needed a place to work and stay when they traveled. They started shopping for a bus they could use as a mobile hotel and headquarters for their business.

In February, they bought an old DART bus for $7,000 from Gareth Long in Cedar Hill, who originally bought it at a Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority auction. The bus still bears its original number, 4434, on the roof and side.

Evan Faram, 28, then spent two weeks with Long undergoing a crash course in diesel mechanics. He said Long wanted to see the bus, which was retired from DART’s fleet after 600,000 miles of service, well cared for. His nails now have the stained look of someone who has been tinkering with cars for years.

"Before that, I didn’t really change my own oil," Evan Faram said. "Now I’ve basically rebuilt a diesel engine."

"Now we’re bus heads," Thevenet said. The guys have even started pointing out models of DART buses they see driving down the street.

Retired DART buses are either turned into scrap metal or sold at public auction. Sometimes churches buy them, and one was put in an Athens quarry to use as a dive site, said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

The Faram brothers and Thevenet ripped out their bus’s insides and are refurbishing it with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, shower and work space.

The Coolest Bus in Texas, as they call it, will have Wi-Fi so the group can update their website, Instagram and Twitter from the road. They still need money to install an air-conditioning unit and solar panels.

"It’s become its own character," Evan Faram said. "To me, it’s a member of our company."


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