1935 Dodge Brothers Slant-Back School Bus

Old school buses are really cool! They make for unique and interesting restorations. They can be customized almost endlessly and can serve multiple purposes. Retro camper, hot rod hauler, party bus, the list is only limited by the builder’s imagination. This 1935 Dodge Brothers / Wayne bus can be found here on eBay with an asking price just shy of $7,000. Located in Sumner, Nebraska, there isn’t any information in the ad regarding the history of this bus, but it is surely a unique project. Let your imagination take over as you look at it and thanks to Patrick S. for the tip on this old Dodge.

The logo on the grille shell is a little worn, but still really cool! John and Horace Dodge founded their car company in the early 1900s. Beginning as a machine shop in Detroit, the business expanded rapidly. At one point Dodge even owned 10% of Ford Motor Company and helped redesign the rear axle, engine, and other components for Ford. A few years before this bus was produced, Dodge Brothers was sold to Chrysler for $175 million or $2.5 billion in today’s dollars.

Here you can see the back of the bus is storing some rusty relics. The cargo area is just large enough to have multiple uses, but overall, the bus is short enough to be driven easily. You could easily put three or four rows of seats. How about a couple of couches, fridge, etc.? Maybe a fold-out bed with kitchenette? What would you do if this was your project?

The driver’s area is pretty standard and looks like it hasn’t been messed with. The gauges appear to be all original, except one face is cracked.

The slant-back Wayne body is pretty interesting. It would give the new owner some cargo room even if there were seats or a couch installed near the rear. It gives the back end some visual interest and appears more “hot rod” or “custom” than a standard bus. Overall, this looks like a fun project for someone who is dedicated enough. What do you think of this one?


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  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    Well, you sure won’t find another one of these lurking in someone’s barn anytime soon. I like this. Full restoration although I might be tempted to get something like a 251 or a 265 to power it. Of course the biggest issue would be to get that longer engine in between the rad and the firewall. And that all depends on what condition the current engine is in. As far as the body is concerned I’d make it into a large carry-all. Put an extra wide seat in the front and four wider than normal seats behind. Cargo area behind that. You would have a self contained swap meet traveller…

    Like 12
    • Howard A Member

      The “chutzpah” of some folks, $7g’s,,,just too far gone, the truck AND the hobby. I like the cross strap holding the front fenders on. Looks like a storage bin for car parts, and that’s probably the best thing. If it was nicer, could be fun, but as is, a $7,000 storage shed,,,,

      Like 10
      • Mountainwoodie

        HoA: can’t argue with that. Whoever has had custody of this ought to be banned for life from owning old iron.

        NOW, all of a sudden a hard to find Dodge school bus is worth 7 K.after years left to rust, deteriorate and store other rusted car parts?

        Firing squad……attention!

        Like 3
      • JimmyinTEXAS

        Can you imagine what this thing would be worth if when it was parked it had been in a dry barn instead of under every snowbank all winter every winter for 50 years…

        Like 3
  2. BlondeUXB Member

    Easily the coolest short bus ever.
    I’d be tempted to add a side-mount to the driver’s side. Perfect beach shuttle…

    Like 3
  3. Kiwi Glen

    Chassis and engine swap. New billet Aluminium wheels that have the exact same look as these wheels but can take modern tires. I am told that if you swap steel wheels for alloy ones the fuel savings are staggering. There is a truck yard that gives away the steel rims that have seen minimal use as the truckers prefer alloy

    Like 3
    • Mitchell Member

      Either a Cummins 12 valve or a Gen 3 Hemi

      Like 2
      • matt saunders

        I’m definitely a fan of the ol’ 12V Cummins but I just don’t think there’s near enough room to shoehorn 1 in without major encroachment into the interior. For the bus’s size a 3.9L Cummins with a good turbo would be plenty to get it moving on down the road. With its lines it would make such a cool little skoolie camper for 1-2ppl to take out on trips to various state & national parks.

        Like 1
  4. Kenneth Carney

    Hmmmm. I’m at a loss on this one. Hate to see it scrapped though. If I were still
    caring for my MIL, I’d more than likely use it as a wheelchair van. It reminds me of
    the buses that hippies used to go to rock
    concerts like Woodstock in the late ’60s.
    And while I know that the term “Survivor”
    is often overused, but face it folks, this
    poor bus DID survive long enough to be
    a challenging project for someone to
    save. Wonder what ICON restorations
    would do with it. Whoever gets it will
    indeed have the only one known to exist.

    Like 7
  5. Mike

    It’s from an old junk yard in Sumner, NB. Looks like they’re closing up shop. A huge fenced off field and a grid, but all the cars are bunched up near the highway.

    Like 7
  6. BULL

    Unfortunately Nebraska “Ain’t the Center of the Collector Car World”! This seller like many others needs to consider the cost of transportation costs the buyer will incur shipping, moving, transporting this bus from the middle of nowhere!

    Like so many sellers of vintage/collector vehicles they saw one sell at an auction or online and therefore mine must be worth that! Location can play a big part in the value of a PROJECT vintage/collector vehicle and this seller being a dealer should know that!

    IF this bus was for sale in Southern California (the collector/vintage vehicle center of the world) the starting bid price might be appropriate. In Nowhere Nebraska their starting bid price is LAUGHABLE!

    Like 5
  7. Lbpa18

    Good bones, nice lines. Lots of work. BUT, for the visionary, a good starting point. I see a repower and modern gearing. Dynamat clone where possible, and likely a recreation vehicle like a small motor home with storage in the rear for mountain bikes, etc. You cant be in a hurry to get anywhere in this but you’d sure be traveling in high style and be turning heads along the way. If the engine would fit then I think Id be looking at a modern motorhome chassis, and aluminum wheels that look as close as possible to these originals. I like it.

    Like 1
  8. JimmyinTEXAS

    Too Kool for Skool….

  9. Lee Matthews

    Back in 1948 I was sent to a private school. My teacher drove a Dodge like this and delivered students daily. When we saw Mr. Gotchall pulling in every morning we would laugh.even then the bus looked old and decrepit. When not doing school duties it served as a church bus. My laughter cost me as I was asked to leave at the end of the term.

    Like 1
  10. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Interesting vehicle. Will need to be completely dismantled cleaned, repaired and rebuilt. I agree with changing the wheels mostly because dot in some states will hassle you over passable cracks, been there it riled me considerable, but was forced to replace the wheels on my 59 Ford one ton dually. I think I might go with a 425 nail head Buick engine and upgrade the entire brakes, suspension and steering. All new wiring will be required. At any rate I would just like to see someone get this and save it from the crusher.
    God Bless America

    Like 1
  11. dogwater

    Put it in your front yard and plant flowers in it.

    Like 1
  12. Lou Rugani

    A correct restoration would make it most desirable as a Hollywood picture car for period films. 1930s-vintage buses are rare.

  13. Lou Rugani

    A correct restoration would make this Dodge Brothers bus most desirable as a Hollywood picture car for period films. 1930s-vintage buses are rare.

    • Bob Mck Member

      Not sure how many 30’s movies are being made today.

      Like 1
  14. Sloth

    I don’t understand some of these people making comments. They say destroy it when there will never be another built like it. If I had the shop and the money this would be a great project and a beautiful end result. Evidently they are not really car/truck lovers and are truly not into restoration so their comments shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Like 2
  15. steve

    I have to say it….”Old School”…..

    Like 2
  16. Little_Cars

    Hard to see through that plywood (pressed board) windshield.

  17. David Miraglia

    Good as a static display

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