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Vintage GMC Bus restored

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  • Vintage GMC Bus restored

    Today I took the Avanti out for a fall drive.
    Coming out of a gas station I saw a restored old bus with Greyhound markings pulling out of a drive-in. It had collector plates so I figured it was someone's toy, I followed it a couple of miles and it turned into the subdivision where I used to live as a kid. He parked in front of a nice house a few doors away from mom's old place. I parked the Avanti and spoke with him.
    It looked just like this one from a period film:
    http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_198295-GMC-PD-4104.html


    He told me it was a 1960 (one of the last made) GMC PD 4104...a one-level brother to the Scenicruiser. It was 100% stock. He noted that Loewy worked on both our vehicles.
    Long story short, he used to have a bus operartion in Crawfordsville, Indinia and owned this bus in the 80s. He sold it to a friend and bought it back a couple of years ago. He's just finished new paint and decals on the exterior. The bare aluminum wasn't polished, but probably represent the way working busses looked after a while in service. He said out of the 5000 built for Greyhound, Trailways and others, only about a half dozen were restored to stock. He said his bus was originally owned by a San Diego transit conmpany who bought it not for urban use but for long distance charters. It only has 750,000 miles compared to a former Greyhound bus which would probably ahve 1.2 million miles on it. It has a GM engine and a 4 speed transmission...with the "high speed" rear end that topped out at 72 mph.

    He's redone the seats with new foam and fabric (39 of them...and you thought doing a car was expensive). He drives it for fun and takes the grandkids out in it. I'd guess there is no fighting over who gets a window seat.

    I said I'd heard of guys who actually collected busses but had never met one. He said there were a lot of bus buffs out there, but only about a dozen guys who actually collect and drive them (but there are many converted motorhomes out there), I would have guessed there would be more.
    He donated a bus to the Bus museum at Hersey and collected this on the way home from his friend. He reported getting 9.6 mpg on the trip (Westbound up the Rockies into the prevailing headwind).
    Here's what others like...
    http://www.google.com/search?q=gmc+p...w=1713&bih=878

    Nice guy, he didn't mind showing a stranger his bus. I suggested he take it to the multi-make car show next year and said he had already though about it.

    So, you never know who you'll meet in the old car/truck/bus world.
    Like the military vehicle collecter who didn't shoot me when I drove the Avanti onto his compound unannounced or the Ferrari owner that gave me ride in his 330 GTC because he liked the Avanti, when you're out driving an old car you have lots of friends.
    Last edited by JBOYLE; 10-20-2012, 09:43 PM.
    63 Avanti R1 2788
    1914 Stutz Bearcat
    (George Barris replica)

    Washington State

  • #2
    Originally posted by JBOYLE View Post
    I said I'd heard of guys who actually collected busses but had never met one. He said there were a lot of bus buffs out there, but only about a dozen guys who actually collect and drive them (but there are many converted motorhomes out there), I would have guessed there would be more.
    There is a dedicated group of Scenicruiser owners around. I love seeing these old buses restored: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...t=scenicruiser

    Craig

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    • #3
      I once had my sights set on a SceniCruiser and/or another vintage bus or two.
      Then reallity set in- I have no means to support that habit!!!
      So I bought something a little smaller and a bit easier to deal with~



      or is she...?


      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
      There is a dedicated group of Scenicruiser owners around. I love seeing these old buses restored: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...t=scenicruiser Craig
      Here is what those guys are doing next year~

      http://www.ghostsofthehighway.com/

      Some of these guys have said they'll show up as well~
      http://www.travelchannel.com/video/flxible-bus-rally

      Looks like it'll be quite the shin-dig. Go if you can, and take lots of pictures!!!

      No- as of now there is no chance of 'Nelly' getting there.




      StudeDave '57
      Last edited by StudeDave57; 11-11-2012, 11:32 AM. Reason: added words and a second link
      StudeDave '57
      US Navy (retired)

      3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
      SDC Member since 1985

      past President
      Whatcom County Chapter SDC
      San Diego Chapter SDC

      past Vice President
      San Diego Chapter SDC
      North Florida Chapter SDC

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      • #4
        Two vintage GMC coaches available locally.




        First one is a 1956 PD4104. Thirty-five foot. It was converted years ago and has transported a growing family to 46 of the contiguous states; only used half a dozen times in the last ten years; NASCAR races and such. Sleeps six and amenities include microwave, ice maker and central vac. 80# propane tank is full. To travel any distance it would require two batteries and six tires. Oh..., and those lights in the front bumper...aircraft landing lights; sort of bright! An identical '56 4104 is on display in the Transportation Museum at AACA in Hershey, PA.



        http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...0/PB110148.jpg
        http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...0/PB110149.jpg
        http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...0/PB110150.jpg

        Second is a 1980 PD4905. Forty foot. It came from the U.S. Naval Academy. The interior has been gutted and it has been sitting for ten years.


        http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g2...0/PB110147.jpg

        These are not mine but belong to a friend. If anyone is interested in contacting him, send me a PM for contact information.

        I believe the classic SceniCruiser was a GMC model PD4501.

        Last edited by rockne10; 11-11-2012, 10:18 PM.
        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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