I have a couple of photos of a school bus, taken at the other end of the county where my parents grew up, from movie film apparently taken in the Fall of 1941 (or maybe 1940).

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I've been trying to effectively ID the actual type of bus this was (there are two photos, of two different busses but apparently each the same type). Most importantly, I'm desperately trying to find any models of these busses in O scale or at least something very close.

I found photos of some buses that were similar to the type above, but nothing that matched exactly...

SIA-82-13460oo1940_hicks_bus_body_3Old-Thomasbus_left_front

Frankly, I think the final photo above is the best match I've found and if anyone made a model of that one, I'd be okay with that.

Sadly, hardly anyone makes bus models that aren't 1950s or later, or large Greyhound-type busses...

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Last edited by p51
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Your Carter County school buses are Dodges (or Plymouths) of the 1939 to 1947 body style.  If you could find 1/48 (or 1/43 or 1/50) 2-ton truck model (flatbed, stake bed, cargo box, or whatever), a school bus body should be a relatively easy scratch-build, if you're into that sort of thing.  Probably have to be scratch-built, because I don't think I've ever seen a school bus model of that type and vintage.

Paul  

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Mixed Freight posted:

Your Carter County school buses are Dodges (or Plymouths) of the 1939 to 1947 body style.  If you could find 1/48 (or 1/43 or 1/50) 2-ton truck model (flatbed, stake bed, cargo box, or whatever), a school bus body should be a relatively easy scratch-build, if you're into that sort of thing.  Probably have to be scratch-built, because I don't think I've ever seen a school bus model of that type and vintage.

I started comparing the 1939 Dodge fronts to that and yep, you nailed it. I never noticed the inverted arrow in front of the grille until just now, due to the angle of the photo.

Let's compare the front ends:

Yep, that's it, all right. The bodies must have bene made by some company, and there were several in the south doing so. I agree that scratch building them shouldn't be that tough. I just need a 1/43-scale front end to make it work.

Thanks, Paul, I couldn't find this on my own after looking through a lot of vehicles, as it didn't occur to me it was a custom body mounted onto something in production.

As I found out nobody apparently makes that year and maker and in 1/43 scale, I have to make some compromises.

While it's not a perfect copy, and not the exact maker, I think this will work out. I found it second-hand at a hobby shop yesterday, and the frame is even about the right length...

1222191034-01

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Last edited by p51

 I work as a school bus mechanic. Having one on the layout was a must. I found one at a show a few years ago. Made in Russia with Russian markings. It looked the part for the era I’m modeling. Actually GMC, Ford, Dodge and others only provided the chassis and the cowl forward. The body itself was made by someone such as Thomas. Back then you could pretty much mix any chassis and body.

 I removed the lettering and did some repainting. By dumb luck. I used a label maker for the signage. Just had to trim it to fit.

6EC3DA5F-BD41-470E-AFEE-EBD6F49C184E

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Dave,

I found one of tbose Russian busses on ePay and I intend on grafting it to the frame and nose of the truck I already have posted above.

It won't be perfect but it'll make a good representation...

Dave C. hit it on the head on bus bodies being made by outside companies on chassis' made by auto manufacturers.  In 1928, Ford came out with their bus line that was sold through Ford dealerships to eliminate any middleman and extend their product line.   Ford used the Union Coach Company to make the steel  body panels on metal frames rather than wooden ones.  The chassis was their truck version (Model AA), but the engine was still the Model A automobile engine with an automobile transmission.   Needless to say, they didn't hold up to truck use.  So in 1931, Ford used a more robust 4-speed gearbox from the Warner Corporation.  In any case, school buses were the cheapest version in their line with more seats and lower roof.   Sorry for all the info, but I drive one of those Model AA buses at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.    And Dave's model in the photo looks a lot like the one I drive which is a "passenger" version.  The Ford school bus version had an almost flat roof:

At any rate, P51, I hope you can fabricate a body for the cab and chassis you found!  Keep us all informed since it sounds like a very cool project.  Especially since your parents probably rode one like it.  Mine, of course, had to walk 15 miles in the snow, in April, uphill both ways..... etc.  

 

 

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Last edited by poniaj

A 1:48 Crown Supercoach ("The royalty of pupil transportation") would look good on a California layout.

Tom

 

Superintendent, High Plains Division (O Gauge) 

The Panhandle & Santa Fe Railway Co.

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I spotted those as Dodges, too.  There is a Dodge appearing pickup model out there seen in shows that l consider a bad model, and maybe slightly under scale, so don't have one, but it might give you a start.  The only bus l have seen close to this era was an apparently rare Tootsietoy.  I have the Russian Model A which l hope to power as a rail bus, but would pounce on any 1940 and prior bus, especially less common chasses such as White or Mack.  My uncle drove and l rode on Chevrolet schoolbuses of that era, and finding several of those, if existed, would not be offensive.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Love those Crown busses,does anybody make models? I know Crown fire apparatus models are available...best fire engine made  (my opinion).....joe

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