By on February 6, 2010

The Greyhound Scenicruiser was iconic, and set off a rash of imitators world-wide. Based on a design of Raymond Loewy supposedly inspired on an earlier patent by Roland E. Gegoux, it was hailed as a stylistic and practical breakthrough. But it was anything but new or original, as this 1937 Kenworth bus illustrates quite well. It was used in the north west for a number of years. But was it original? Is anything?

Here’s an even earlier inbusnation of the hi-lo design, from 1929. It also plied the northwest, some ten years earlier. And just for fun, here’s another unique design from the ever creative north west; the Sail Bus:

Thanks for sharing Bus Saturday with me. What shall we do next Saturday?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

27 Comments on “Bus Saturday Finale: Scenicruiser Design Inspiration Discovered...”


  • avatar
    educatordan

    Wagon Saturday, nothing but station wagons! Every shape and size, V8, 4cyl, foreign and domestic, even bastard Cadillac conversions. That would be a great next Saturday the 13th, and right before Valentine’s Day, cause no car gives you more room for nookie than a wagon.

  • avatar
    fred schumacher

    These buses appear to have an impressively low center of gravity. It looks as if the engines are in front of the rear axle and not behind, so they’re mid-engined. I like this concept as a replacement for the ubiquitous school bus based on a two-ton truck chassis, with its high center of gravity, high step up height and long tail swing.

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    Neoplan X2 Decker

    I’m 6’2″ and I can stand upright on either level. Not the entire length, but being able to do that anywhere in there is a feat of engineering. IIRC, front double axles are illegal here but they make this same bus with a single front axle for the states.

    We used to have company outings where we would take one of these off the yard, insure it for the weekend, ask one of the mechanics to drive and go do something like play softball or run down to the Inner Harbor for the day. Large fun.

  • avatar
    fred schumacher

    I rode in a double decker Megabus from Chicago to Minneapolis last September, and I was really impressed. It was quiet and smooth, and even though I sat up on top in front, there was no rocking around. Downstairs there were tables with facing seats. That’s what got me to thinking that school buses have the wrong morphology, that is, shape. School buses are noisy, rocky, cold, uncomfortable, and have no toilets. In fly-over country, our kids spend a lot of dead hours in an uncomfortable school bus. That 1937 Kenworth in the picture is intriguing. You could separate the grade school and high school kids and even hold classes during the bus route.

    • 0 avatar
      john.fritz

      We would refer to school buses as ‘trucks with a lot of seats’.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave Skinner

      Commercial chassis school buses are significantly cheaper than the fancy rides pictured here. Most school bus manufacturers offer a dedicated chassis version with superior ride, layout, and driver visibility, but the majority of schools districts crunch the numbers and go with cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      “School buses are noisy, rocky, cold, uncomfortable, and have no toilets. In fly-over country, our kids spend a lot of dead hours in an uncomfortable school bus.”

      You left out ‘hot’ as I rode these in Florida. During high school, the school bus ride itself was not a problem relatively speaking, but getting up at 5:30 sure traumatized me.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Out here in California we rode in luxury (compared to delivery truck based) Crown Coach school buses.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Coach_Corporation

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    Paul:
    Your write up on busses is as detailed and interesting to read as your write up on the pedals…great work!

    That ’37 Kenworth bus is wicked…I love the big ass tires and wheels on it…I can see one painted flat black with barbed wires over the widows cruising around in some post apocalyptic mad max type world.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    This is GO Transit’s latest acquisition. It is a 78 passenger ENVIRO 500 double decker bus built in the UK by Alexander Dennis Ltd.:

    http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix/trucks/archer/2008/08-02/dennis-double-decker-07-25-08.jpg

    Also, City of Mississauga, Ontario has some short buses: 2007 E-Z Rider II Low-Floor buses:

    http://www.cptdb.ca/wiki/images/2/29/Mississauga_Transit_0704-a.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      London Transit recently took delivery of four new 2010 Eldorado EZRider II 30-foot buses, as initial replacements for the hated Orion IIs used on some specialized routes. Ours are still being prepped for service, but I have had the opportunity to get out in one, and they are very manouvrable. That short wheelbase really makes a difference.

    • 0 avatar
      Emro

      hey fellow Londoner TCragg!

      Why are those Orion II buses so bloody loud? They have an incredible roar when accelerating!

      Is the EZ-Rider the same bus that Sarnia transit is using?

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      Mississauga Transit use to have Orion II as well few years ago, but they quickly disappeared. They were used for some routes to connect to GO station and as city buses around Square One mall. I feel sorry for the drivers, you could go deaf in it by the end of the shift!

    • 0 avatar
      dmrdano

      i coulde be wrong, but my recollection is that the Orion-II is mid-engine and front wheel drive. If so, you are literally surrounding yourself with the noise-making parts of the bus. Low floor was nice, and a lot were used as airport shuttles. Most were used for scrap metal ASAP.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Don’t forget the Cyclops from the The Big Bus. It was the center piece of a spoof disaster movie. Easily the A380 of buses.

  • avatar
    also Tom

    I don’t know anything about buses, but I really enjoy reading about them, looking at the pictures and following the discussion here. More, please!

  • avatar
    Clargnblost

    I can so picture this in a wal-mart parking lot.

    -C

  • avatar

    I love those old photos

  • avatar
    fincar1

    Props on the old Kenworth photos! I live in KW country and have seen lots of photos of old KW’s but these were new to me. I love the lowness of the 1937 “scenicruiser”.

    Another topic for your next Bus Weekend might be the old flat-nose rear-engined Fageol transit buses; our local system here was still running some of those in the 1980′s, and I remember riding much newer ones in Tacoma in the 60′s.

  • avatar
    madcynic

    Whoa fellas, you should work on image size here. Why on Earth is that top image 1.6 Megs and 1.852 x 865 pixels?

  • avatar
    dmrdano

    If you are a bus-nut, you really should make a pilgrimage to Hibbing, Minnesota, birthplace of Greyhound Bus Lines and home of the Greyhound bus museum. They have nearly 20 restored and runable buses dating back to prehistoric times. Worth the trip, but come in the summer (cslose in the winter, and besides, who really wants to be here when it’s -30 degrees?). We just put newly remanned engines in two units, as they all get driven in parades.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    For those who are unlikely to get to Hibbing,this link…
    http://www.greyhoundbusmuseum.org/buses.html
    …will give you a look at some of the buses.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Paul, you can’t talk about PNW buses without mentioning this Mt. Rainier beauty:
    http://www.thenewstribune.com/1015/story/895172.html


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India