Bus Stop Classics:  Beaver Metropolitan B-35-PT Series Coach – Keystone State Cruiser

A few months back we looked at Southern Coach Manufacturing (SCM), a small regional maker of buses in Southern Alabama.  Today we’ll look at another one of these modest manufacturers that mostly subsisted on sales in its “neck of the woods.”

Beaver Metropolitan Coaches, Inc. was based out of Beaver Falls, PA and their buses were a common sight in the Western part of the state during the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, even stretching into the 60’s.  Initially it manufactured primarily front engine coaches with the passenger door behind the front axle, looking very similar to the Yellow Coach 733 pictured above.  

Example of a Trailer Bus – not a Beaver product


Prior to and during the war, it produced a variety of these small coaches plus larger trailer buses used to shuttle war workers.  These trailer buses were nicknamed “Keystones”.

Post-war, a new model, the B-35-PT (Bus, 35 passenger, pusher-transit), was introduced and became Beaver’s most popular product – so much so that front-engined buses were phased out in 1949.  

Though Beaver made 27, 35, and 40 passenger models, the 35-PT accounted for 80% of sales.  Power came from a rear-mounted International “Red Diamond” gas six cylinder.  

But as we saw with almost all of these smaller manufacturers, GM with their superior Old Look coach, and unique financing arm, was just too dominant.  By the mid-50’s orders had dwindled to nine coaches, eight of which were from a government contract.  

Then in 1956 the plant was inundated by two floods – the cost of resuming operation was too much, and the company closed down.  A former employee did acquire the spare parts supply and continued to sell parts and service to those operators that owned Beavers, and remained in business until 1979.  This was also when the Beaver Valley Motor Coach Company which operated several routes in the Pittsburgh-Western Pennsylvania area closed its doors.

Today there are only three surviving Beaver coaches – two non-operational.  This beautifully restored model resides at the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center.