1956 GMC Scenicruiser: Where’s Dave And Wayne?

1956 GMC Scenicruiser

Almost two years ago we featured an amazing story about two guys and a Scenicruiser (part 1, part 2). Everyone enjoyed following their journey home, so we knew we had to feature this one when both Jim S and George G sent it in. Thanks guys! This bus was converted to an RV back in the seventies, but has since been gutted. It looks very similar to the rig in our story and I even had to double check that it wasn’t the same one. Anyway, it’s listed here on eBay where bidding is still under $3,000. Calling Wayne and Dave!!! You guys up for another road trip?

Cockpit

This one has been parked for two years, but the owner has started it on occasion and mentions that it has a new clutch. It looks just like the bus from the story, it gutted out, and is ridding on a mismatch of tires. This really could be a trip down memory lane for the boys! This isn’t a trip that the inexperienced would want to take, but for the right guys, it could be a blast from the past.

Good View

Because of their size, these buses are not for everyone. There is no denying that they are an important part of America’s past though. There’s even a book written about ’em, so even if you can fit this one in your garage, you can read about what made them so special. These things used to travel all over America transporting people and introducing them to the wonders of the land. We will get in touch with Wayne and Dave to see if they are already planning the trip…

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Comments

  1. Blindmarc

    A great home on wheels, with a small cost.

    Like 1
    • Bluto Roberts

      I was thinking the same thing. Interiors gutted so a person could fabricate how he wishes.
      If the neighbors suck, you just pull up stakes and move.

  2. Ken

    Ignatius Reilly riding the dreaded and fearsome Scenicruiser to Baton Rouge in “A Confederacy of Dunces”!

  3. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Wayne just let me know that he is trying to get ahold of Dave right now! Stay tuned….

    • PhxBarbie

      Wow Jesse, I just read Part 1 & 2 of their epic adventure and I can’t help but smile. These guys seem like the coolest people ever, and it makes me wish I could’ve met them and bought them a meal and some diesel fuel.

      I can’t wait for an update on how they are all doing and what happens next! These stories are why I just love reading BF. Thanks so much for making my day!

  4. George

    I’ve been wanting one of these ever since I got my Scenicruiser matchbox car. I got it new when it came out. https://www.toymart.com/Matchbox-66c-Greyhound-Bus/3803

  5. Alan (Michigan)

    A daunting and expensive task, to update one of these old buses. But it could be an incomparable motor home if well and properly done, at home on the highway, in a campground, or cruising Woodward Avenue.

    There have been more than a few converted that way, photos (some quite impressive) easy to find on the ‘net.

  6. Eric Dashman

    The last time I rode on one of these was in September of 1965. I was 17. A New Yorker, I had chosen Lake Forest College in Illinois for my college career. My parents took me to the Port Authority terminal with a large suitcase and a ticket to Chicago. 16 1/2 hours later, having sat/slept next to a middle-aged lady with a European accent, I arrived in Chicago at 5:30 am. We had made a couple of stops along the way. The only one I recall was in Mechanicsburg, PA….the mountains. I was in the upper deck on the left side aisle…a pretty comfortable place to be a few rows back from the 3 steps down to the front – no first class on Greyhound….we were all ‘fried chicken customers’…one of the last bastions of democracy :-).

    I do love the look of this bus…so much more esthetic than the current glassy rectangles, for all their smooth curves.

  7. Luke Fitzgerald

    Monster

  8. Roselandpete

    I didn’t know these were made in the 50’s. I always thought they were from the 60s and had automatic transmissions.

    • M B

      There were many variations of these busses. Short wheelbase, long wheelbase, side design graphics, different engines and transmissions . . . all related to the routes the particular bus was used on and whether “local” or “cross country”. General Motors Truck and Coach Division — THE Premier Bus manufacturer in the USA.

      These busses just seem SO MUCH MORE substantial than the modern ones! The closest thing to flying, but on the ground.

  9. bcavileer

    Omg. That is crazy. Gotta go for a cross country tour. What a rolling cocktail lounge.

  10. Paul von Fange

    Here’s another Scenicruiser book!
    http://www.scenicruising.com/

  11. Mr. TKD

    If I had unlimited money, I’d be all over this! Great bus! Such style!

  12. rangeroger

    In 1980, while I still worked for San Diego County Probation dept., Otay Mountain went up in flames. I worked at Camp Barrett in the mountains and we got a call that they needed crew trucks and drivers to move fire fighters up and down the mountain. My camp director asked me if I would do volunteer to do it. Of course said yes. Our crew trucks were Ford F700 compact cabs with a 20 man box on the frame with tool compartment.
    Arrived at the fire camp and found out that what they had been using were Greyhound Scenicruisers carrying 4 crews (80 men) at a time. Tools in the luggage compartments. Driving up and down the mountain on basically primative fire roads was beating the crap out of those busses.
    However, I will be forever impressed with those Greyhound drivers and those magnificent vehicles.

  13. Shane

    Just FYI — he has it listed locally on the Tucson Craigslist for $6500, so that should give you a ballpark estimate of what he’s hoping to get.

  14. Howard A Member

    Historically, these were an important part of our travel history. Air travel was still shaky, and these moved a lot of people.( pretty much relegated now to the less fortunate who can’t afford air fare) I’ve always had a lot of respect for motor coach drivers. They were responsible for 50 people, and were on their own. Something I never had the guts to do. 1st ( and foremost) I’d ditch that boat anchor of a motor, for something more friendly. Truth be known, these were slow, fume belching slugs, but this was the best they had, and logged millions of miles. I’ve driven many DD powered trucks, and can’t figure out how a 4 speed transmission would have worked as many DD trucks, while dealing with much heavier loads, had 10, 13, or 16 gears, to keep the motor “up on the pipe”, or “needle against the pin”, where the feeble power band was. Rebuilding one of these would be no small task, and would be quite the barge to get around. Still, you’d have one of the coolest motorhomes in the campground, just don’t fire it up while the other campers are sleeping.

  15. Charles

    When seeing this monster, all I could see was $$$$$$$$$$ to renovate the interior, go through the the engine, drive train, maintenance, tires, insurance, etc…. Then, the expense of driving it down the road…… Again $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…….

  16. Paul von Fange

    And the problem is? :>)

    Like 1
  17. tbone

    Jesse

    Can you ask Wayne what became of 025? I had his number, but have carefully misplaced it. I keep a registry of surviving Scenicruisers, and would like to keep tabs on the one they saved. My email is: tbonemcnally@hotmail.com Thanks

  18. Otto Nobedder

    Here’s a newer version already ready to roll. When you factor in the cost of renovating an older one(and replacing EVERYTHING) This seems like a great deal.

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/rvs/5604505903.html

    • Dave Wright

      I think that is a 4905. They are far superior to the old scenic cruisers. I have done many buses, bought and sold a couple of scenic cruisers. The weakness in all the GM buses is the rear bulkhead. They are fine until you want to tow a trailer. They were just not designed for that and eventually the bulkhead collapses. Off course transverse left turning engines have there own challenges too. The step deck in the scenic cruiser is always in the wrong place for my conversion designs. I prefer a 35 foot MCI with a 6V92 and an Allison automatic. They have a stronger frame, lots of stainless steel, get around well and are real hot rods.

  19. Otto Nobedder

    B T W, the Scenicruiser was another iconic design by Raymond Loewy
    Worth a read about his Design career: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Loewy

  20. tbone

    Otto,

    To some folks (like myself), there is no substitute for a Scenicruiser. Buffalos (like your craigslist link) are nice, but will not do if you are set on owning a 1954-1956 Scenic.

  21. tbone

    Dave Wright,

    It is ONE word Scenicruiser! In what way is a Buffalo “far superior to the old scenic cruisers” ?

    • Dave Wright

      Power steering, better suspension, maxi brakes, fewer tires, many times Allison automatics and more powerful modern engines. Even with a manual transmission the shift linkages were better.

  22. tbone

    Hey Dave. I’m not going to try to convert you. You believe what you believe right? and that’s cool with me. I happen to think the 4501 was the greatest coach ever built. Power steering, and air ride was standard from the beginning. The 8V-71 was installed in all remaining Scenics in 1961/1962.(same as Buffalos) The original spicer 4 speed and linkage has never given me any trouble. I have been around a few that were less than great due to excessive wear or amateur adjustments. I am not a fan of the wet-clutch the buffalo used. The cruiser was first 40 ft. bus in USA, and still holds records for revenue miles, and years in service. If not for the original, there would not have been imitations. ie Eagle, Flexible VL-100, Beck, etc. I won’t discuss styling, because in my opinion there is no comparison. I have owned dozens of 4501s, and currently own two. I am a bit of a super-fan, so excuse the sermon. I am a purist who is heavily into restoration, not conversion, so yes the sunken aisle, etc is not ideal for RV. I have attached a photo of one of mine.

    P.S. real buses don’t have auto trans ! (just kidding) Take care

    Like 1

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