After all of those bus stop classics by Jim Brophy, you should be able to ID all of them. Should.
No but I’d like to ride a few hours in each one of them….
L to R – Yellow Coach 743, GMC PD4104, ACF-Brill (IC-37, maybe?), Aerocoach, GMC PD4103 (?) and what looks like four “Old Look” GMC 4500 series coaches in Public Service of New Jersey livery. Here’s my PSNJ GMC PD4515 in 1/50th scale ….
Wow, Gene, just like that!
Any idea what the bus in this clip is?
Yup. It’s a Pickwick Nite Coach Highway Sleeper. It’s pretty well known within the bus geek community. The grille was modified especially for this film.
In the days before non-stop transcontinental air travel, coast to coast hauls were handled by crack express trains. Pilots navigated by dead reckoning or on radio beams in the daylight but, without radar, were grounded at night. The Pickwick Nite Coaches were built as part of a plan to try to capture some of that market by ferrying passengers between airports at night. The idea was that they would board planes at dawn and fly until dusk when they would get on buses, travel through the night and then reverse the whole process the next morning thereby skipping and puddle jumping their way across the country.
Needless to say, the plan was fraught with possible pitfalls. Planes grounded by bad weather or fog would leave passengers no alternative but to continue on the bus to the next airport, adding countless hours to their journey or waiting at primitive airports until conditions improved. The numerous boardings, disembarkings and luggage transfers probably got to be pretty tedious, too. At least the accommodations on the buses were fairly comfortable.
The entire Pickwick story can be found here….
BTW, if you’re a fan of old black and white movies and director Preston Sturges and HAVEN’T ever seen “Sullivan’s Travels”, check it out. It’s a real gem.
A Nite Coach berth…
A necessity for cross country coach travel…..
And when the airplane/bus idea finally fizzled, they were still used for longer intercity hauls where a comfortable bed would be appreciated by the customer….
Wow, Gene, thank you. What an odd stopgap logistics idea.
You’re very welcome, Speedy.
Nice job Gene, but in all honesty you could’ve said anything. LOL. Very nice model too. I love scale models for remembering vehicles that are too large for most collectors to have a real example of.
HA! Thanx, Bob. That’s entirely understandable. Only hopeless bus geeks like me have spent enough time deep in the weeds to be able to identify this group.
For many years, the only models of classic coaches out there were tiny 1/87th scale ones that were compatible with HO scale trains. While some of them were fairly good, they were never anything I wanted to collect.
Corgi raised the bar with their line of semi-decent “Old Look” GMC’s in the mid-1990’s and there have been a few REALLY nice 1/50th scale models from other manufacturers lately. This 1/43rd scale GM PD3751 “Silversides” by Ixo/Hachette satisfied a a long-standing obsession of mine….
….and this recently acquired 1/50th scale ACF-Brill IC-41 completely blew my mind.
Ironic, I read somewhere that after Aerocoach ceased new coach production the firm continued on for a while rebuilding Greyhound 743’s. The rebuild included replacing the 707 gas engine with a 6-71 diesel and adding ‘silverside’ exterior trim to match Greyhound’s newer coaches.
Very interesting, Bob. That’s something that I DIDN’T know.
I think Gene ID’ed them all – nice buses. Been working on a Picwick Nite Coach article for awhile now – I’ll finish it up and try to get in this weekend. Jim.
I’ll look forward to seeing that, Jim. The Pickwick story is a most unlikely one and the resulting transcontinental coaches were certainly unique.
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