FarmerFixEmUp

School Buses we Rode on as Kids

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What do you remember about the school buses you rode in when in school?  I remember the first bus I had was a mid 60's  Ford, some V8 with a 4 x 2 transmission. Next was a  C 50 or 60 Chevrolet. I'm guessing a 327 V8 and 4 speed with 2 speed axle. A few years later It was a 66 International. Our school had bus numbers according to the year they were bought. That one was 66A.  I'm guessing a 304 or 345 with a 4X2 as well. A few years later it was bus 72B. A B600 Ford with I'm guessing a 361 or 391 with a 4 or 5 speed automatic. That thing seemed to be a gutless turd! Always shifting up and down. That's the last one I remember. 

Most of the bodies were Blue Bird or Superior Coach or Wayne.  Fords, Chevy's and IH. Never any Dodge units.  Mostly 54 passenger buses. 

I remember on muddy or roads with a lot of snow the driver would have us all move to the back of the bus for more traction. Still got stuck a few times. 

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One time we had a Loadstar V8 break a motor mount. And on the school bus is where I learned what a bad U-joint sounds like.

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The first bus I remember was about a 46 Chevy with the starter button in the floor above the gas pedal.

In the late 50's we got some new buses, 600/700 fords with 292 4 speeds. At that time Senior Students were bus drivers my Buddy was my bus driver, they were governed to 35 MPH.

They still had some 60 passenger around 1950 IH's.

 

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First bus was a 84 Chevy C-65 with the gas engine and a automatic transmission. A few years later they changed us to a 87 International with a diesel. The hood reminded me of a S 1900 model but I  haven't seen it in over 20 years so my memory is a little faded on it. The last one was a 95 International. Can't think of the model right now even though I can picture it. Was riding that bus my freshman year of high school when the bus driver pulled out in front of a Dodge Ram pickup and was broadsided by it. They did fix it up and I rode it through my sophomore year and then got my license and could legally drive myself around. 

I think the bodies were Wayne but I can't be sure anymore. I just know they weren't Blue Bird.

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My first school bus was a KB-6 International its still sitting in a salvage yard 3 -4 miles from here. Don't remember them having any L series  but they did buy an R series or two  may be an early S series Then along came school consolidation and a bunch of new Loadstars  The bus contractor in town was also the IH truck dealer always had Bluebird bodies

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The two buses that took me to elementary school were either bus G14 or G1.  Both were '70-'72 Fords with Superior bodies and the FE engine.  G14 had an Allison and G1 had the 5-spd. manual transmission.  The bus company later moved to IHs with Allisons.  Our region had very few GM chassis for buses.  Ford and IH were strong early on in my school career and then IH totally dominated as time moved on.

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'84 International with a blue bird body. 345 gas.  It was poorly maintained and broke down constantly.  My final year of middle school I was late to school more days than not. I would stop in the office first thing and tell the secretary that bus #7 was late again!

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The foggiest I ever seen it was on the school bus. The driver pulled onto the highway and a high school boy in a car had to go into the ditch to miss us.

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Never rode a bus. Walked to school from first grade to graduation up hill both ways.

Dennis

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2 minutes ago, jingles1928 said:

Never rode a bus. Walked to school from first grade to graduation up hill both ways.

Dennis

I've heard that story before. And it was always snowing, windy or raining! Never a nice day. :(

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1 hour ago, FarmerFixEmUp said:

What do you remember about the school buses you rode in when in school?  I remember the first bus I had was probably a C 50 or 60 Chevrolet. I'm guessing a 327 V8 and 4 speed with 2 speed axle. A few years later It was a 66 International. Our school had bus numbers according to the year they were bought. That one was 66A.  I'm guessing a 304 or 345 with a 4X2 as well. A few years later it was bus 72B. A Ford with I'm guessing a 361 or 391 with a 4 or 5 speed automatic. That thing seemed to be a gutless turd! Always shifting up and down. That's the last one I remember. 

Most of the bodies were Blue Bird or Superior Coach or Wayne. 

Lyle the school bus numbers can't be right as yours should have been something like 1870 or something like that.😂 I couldn't resist that home run there.

Mine were pretty much all ih's and a couple spare Chevy's or Ford.  Couldn't tell you what models though.

Best time I ever had on a bus is several years ago a buddy bought an old school bus and 4 of us decided to take it to Sioux city on a parts run.  We ate dinner at Perkins and of course being the adults we were, 3 of us kept or straws and were shooting spit wads at him while he was driving.  At first he gave a couple chuckle but he was pretty grumpy when we finally ran out of ammo and they were all stuck to the big mirror above him.  There was mooning out the back door by one guy to my future wife, we finally gave up as the three of us were laughing so hard we were crying for the whole trip.  A couple guys on here know who I'm talking about and you'll know he deserved every minute of it.

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It was when I went to Kindergarten that I learned that IH made trucks too. It was a S1700 with Wayne body with I think a 9 liter engine. Of course I couldn't read the word INTERNATIONAL on the front of it but I did see the IH logo on the steering wheel. Kindergarten was only a half day in our district so in the mornings I rode a Ford B700 with a Wayne body. In first grade I rode the S1700 to our high school and then transferred to a GMC/Bluebird which took me to my elementary. In the third grade our S1700 got replaced with a IH 3800 (with DT408) and Bluebird Body. That 3800 got replaced my Freshmen year with a new IH with IC body. After that I had my license.

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9 minutes ago, Pete1468 said:

Lyle the school bus numbers can't be right as yours should have been something like 1870 or something like that.😂 I couldn't resist that home run there.

Mine were pretty much all ih's and a couple spare Chevy's or Ford.  Couldn't tell you what models though.

Best time I ever had on a bus is several years ago a buddy bought an old school bus and 4 of us decided to take it to Sioux city on a parts run.  We ate dinner at Perkins and of course being the adults we were, 3 of us kept or straws and were shooting spit wads at him while he was driving.  At first he gave a couple chuckle but he was pretty grumpy when we finally ran out of ammo and they were all stuck to the big mirror above him.  There was mooning out the back door by one guy to my future wife, we finally gave up as the three of us were laughing so hard we were crying for the whole trip.  A couple guys on here know who I'm talking about and you'll know he deserved every minute of it.

Pete, there wouldn't have been buses that far back. Maybe horses and buggies! 

I see a lot of you got to drive to school when you got your license. I rarely drove to school, parents wouldn't let me. Except my sophomore year I had my leg in a cast for part of the year and drove then with my left foot. 

Our kids now don't drive much either and they don't understand it. :blush:

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88B and 94A were the busses I rode on to school. The were IH/Navistar with Carpenter bodies.

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First bus was a Loadstar chassis but could not tell you who built the body, it was probably a 1968 or 69. Later years was a S series chassis until I started to drive myself.

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The school  bus  I rode on through high school was a Studebaker with a Wayne body and a two speed rear axel. When the driver would shift the two speed it would often get between the two gears and make a grinding sound and someone would holler to the driver "grind me a pound too".

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Alot of gasser Fords here..............Strange part is they were straight 5 spd,  a few IH's but think those were 9.0 liters.  Don't remember much as we would walk to school until 6 grade, by then most were a COE blue bird and had Cummins with Auto's.  However one guy loved his Ford, and the mechanic at the bus garage could really talk to that FT V8..........It was like watching Art happen while he was driving that thing.  He retired not long after I got out of school, no more stick buses after that.  Heck, nobody could probably drive them now anyhow.  A husband and wife drove here for years, he should have had a horse, but she could row gears with the best out there!

I didn't drive to school at all...............spent all that money I would have wasted there on Farm equipment.  

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Last one was a very early 80s ford with a 370 badge in the grille. Before that was a mid 70s chevy i think. School distric had a fair amt of busses, remember a lot of late 60s early 70s fords when i was in early grade school. They had other brands too but i dont remember what for sure any more. School bus superintendent had a new red mid 70s chevy 4 wheel drive,.sometimes with chains on it. If he went out and could make it down the roads there we went to school.

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When I started to school the busses were late '50's vintage Chevys with Wayne bodies.  We lived on one of the longer rural routes so always had older hand-me-down busses, 60-series Chevies, mostly 292-6's and 4+2.  Our first driver was good, but the second and last one was bad!  We needed neck braces to prevent whiplash from her poor attempts at shifting.  Buddy and I were sitting in the seat behind the wheel hump in the floor for the left rear wheel.  We get about half way to school and can feel the whole bus shimmy from side to side, the left rear wheels were loose and about ready to fall off.  If our driver was going to get stuck it would be when turning around in somebody's driveway.  By the time I got in high school, Junior & Senior years we had a '67 Chevy, still 292 powered.  The newer bigger busses had V-8's,  they would pull double duty for pickup and delivery to school and charter runs for the school to football and basketball games.  The bus company had a couple travel coaches for hauling our high school football teams to games, especially the state championship games.

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What I remember about the buses was the cool smell they had. 

Even after years of use, they still had that smell. 

And I remember the loud engine fans above the sounds of everything else. They just roared!

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Wish I had pictures of it but the year I started school our driver had a brand new 1959 Ford  and I remember the plate above the windshield reading "Canadian Bluebird Coach". That old Ford had the tiny 223 six cylinder engine better suited to propelling Fairlanes down the highway but it never failed to get us to school and back. . Single speed axle with four speed transmission. It lasted all my school years so was pretty durable. Stuck many times in mud and snow. Climbing that South hill of the Jumping Deer Creek would always be down to third or even second gear by the time he hit the top. I can still remember the sound of that old six labouring up through the gears.  It looked a lot like this one.

 

Blue Bird Ford.jpg

One of the other drivers had a B series IH Travelall . 

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4 hours ago, FarmerFixEmUp said:

What do you remember about the school buses you rode in when in school? 

1939 International school bus, first grade at Excelsior (NW Iowa).  Then in 1945 when we moved to a different farm north of Lake Park,, went to school in the car of a family that had contracted to drive one of the school routes at Ewington  (Spafford) school in SW Minnesota.

best, randy

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3 hours ago, FarmerFixEmUp said:

I've heard that story before. And it was always snowing, windy or raining! Never a nice day. :(

Heck, on good days we would play hooky. Actually we lived across the road from the school complex. School buildings have come and gone but I am still here.

Dennis

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I think we had Fords or IH only for school buses, seems like they were 48 passenger.  I also remember being made to sit on the floor next to the driver for fighting.  Also remember getting on, and finding out that the only seat left was next to a girl.

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