Too Cool For School: 1937 Ford School Bus

This ’37 Ford school bus has a rad look to it! There’s some moss growing here and there, but it’s surprisingly solid. The seller purchased it from the city and is has supposedly never changed hands since new. They had it displayed by one of the old school houses in town, but now it’s time for someone to do something with it. What do you think should be done with with this cool school bus? It’s located in Hiawassee, Georgia and is listed here on eBay. Better hurry though because the auction is ending soon!

My first thought was to turn it into a hot rod! Crazy idea, I know, but if you were a kid in the seventies then you may have had the same thought. This S’Cool Bus model kit could explain why. It was imagined by ex-GM designer Tom Daniel and was totally awesome! It was so popular that even Mattel put out a Hot Wheels by the same name. It featured sidepipes, huge slicks, and a tilting body so you could admire the dual Hemi V8s that were mounted midship!

There aren’t any Hemis inside, but there is a flathead V8 out front! It even looks like it might run without too much effort. The seller doesn’t give many details to go off though, so we’ll just have to assume the worst here. Even with a built V8 this big bus probably won’t move very quick, but you will sure look cool coming down the road in this thing. Everyone has memories of school buses and this one looks so unique that I have no doubt it will be the star of every car show it attends.

Check out those monster tires! This thing is a dually so the rear end and frame are a little narrower… Hmm, maybe those big slicks could fit back there after all! Good luck finding any tires that big though. Perhaps the guys over at Coker Tire should buy this and show us all what they can do? The original S’Cool Bus concept featured a chopped and narrowed fiberglass body so you may not be able to fully recreate the imaginary racer, but I think this could be just as good.

Watch your head is right! It’s fun to dream, but without a new owner with some serious motivation and money, this old bus will most likely deteriorate even more. We would love to see it on the dragstrip some day, but far too many of these projects are shuffled around between people’s backyards until they are eventually sold for scrap. Let’s not let that happen to this one though because this old bus is way too cool for school!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Steve R

    Some Silicone Valley hipster will buy it and either keep the current patina or paint it like the partridge family’s bus then take it to Burning Man.

    Steve R

    • Red'sResto

      Moss is the ultimate patina…

      • Jeffro

        Right on! I’m done with rust, give me moss!

      • Brad C

        Moss is Boss, Bro!

  2. Wayne

    This guy is what flipping is all about. He says he tried for years to buy it, now two weeks later he is flipping it.

    Like 1
    • streamliner

      Wayne, this was my first thought as well. The seller obviously had no intention of ever doing anything with the school bus himself. Instead, he used his local connection to eventually persuade the town to sell the bus to him. I’m sure the town thought the flipper intended to restore and keep their old bus local. Instead, he just flipped. I feel the same about realtors and car auction operators. Mostly, they cost everyone a lot of $ being the gatekeepers — jacking up the price of everything. Taking their ever-increasing commissions from buyers and sellers. That said, they also sometimes serve a valuable role in that they bring items to market that would otherwise stay locked away in barns, or rotting in fields. As much as I don’t like flippers, this seller brought this nice old bus onto the market so it can be saved, re-used. Seems the town was just letting it rot away.

      Like 1
  3. Trickie Dickie Member

    Some years back a member in my Freewheelers old car club in California bought and restored an older school bus. Not quite as old as this one and in better condition, with a big straight 6 diesel. Made it like new, even redid all the seats in the bus, school bus yellow paint and all. Then he went to Dept. of Motor Vehicles here in Calif. and they refused to register it until he took OUT all the seats, except the drivers seat. He even had to paint over the phony school district text on both sides. He had wanted it to look real. He spent a fortune on the bus, especially the paint job and making all the seats like new. Our members didn’t think that had been a good idea. Eventually, it was turned into a kind of mobile home thing and sold…….at a huge $$ loss. I guess the state didn’t want anyone posing as a school bus.

    • Leon

      Probably other states wouldn’t have care so much. I would think for authenticity as an antique

    • robert

      That’s why I live in two different states. California liberal wackoo mentality, and Missouri the do your thing state. Should have registered it in Arizona like all frustrated Californians do.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi TD, that’s not unusual. Some states don’t care, but many, including Wisconsin ( I think) the bus cannot be the same color or have markings or red and yellow lights. It has to be registered as a truck with more room for cargo than passengers, so it can’t have seats. Sounds like a pretty big screwup.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hi Howard, you are correct about Wisconsin bus laws. My buddy owns a river tubing business and bought a bus to transport tubers. He painted it but there were a few small spots of yellow. And I mean small! It did not pass the inspection until ALL the yellow was gone. I also remember there was some issues with the red and yellow lights. The morels are popping up now, I gotta go!

      • Howard A Member

        Hi leiniedude, spring peepers too!!( about time,dammit)

    • Bill McCoskey

      I would have removed the seats, applied removable latex paint over the school district signs, got it registered, then put the seats back in, and peeled off the latex paint. If the state MVA gave me grief after that, I would have found one of the biggest pit bull attorneys in the state, and let him loose. I’ve gone up against my state and local counties 3 times so far, and won all 3 cases. Each cost the government a lot of money defending stupid cases, and cost even more in settlement money.

      I have a friend who was a wildlife biologist, she decided to turn her front lawn into a wildflower meadow. [In a neighborhood of expensive homes.] The county cited her for having “Poisonous plants and weeds”. Being a biologist, she knew that ALL of the flowering trees and shrubs in the county parks, & surrounding the county buildings, were poisonous to humans [Azaleas, Dogwoods, Holly, etc.], so she demanded that if she had to remove her wildflowers, then the county, as a matter of health & safety, be required to do the same. Judge found in her favor, it was going to cost the county millions to comply, so they negotiated a lucrative financial settlement with her.

      Like 1
      • John H

        The wildflowers are much better for the environment than grass, too! Good for her for fighting the county.

        Not a blade of grass in my yard, either, well, there are a lot of ornamental grasses. You wouldn’t want to roll in those.

        I’ve had crazy thoughts at times about taking an old bus and turning it into a camper. This one looks like it needs a whole lot of lovin’!

        Like 2
  4. Tony S

    S’cool bus is real and still around – saw it at the drags a few years ago.

    • Tony S

      Maybe not – looks like he died in 2011.

  5. Sam

    Looks like it could have been in an episode of “The Waltons” or prisoner arrival bus from “Shawshank”

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Something you don’t see all that often. It’s a 21 stud motor and it looks like 18 mm plugs so that would put it correct for the vintage. Most of these got replaced with later 24 stud motors which fit just fine; they just weren’t original. You’ll have to restore this one, maybe not as a school bus but it sure would make a nice parts hauler or even a camper. Just don’t chop it up too much if you are thinking about making it the latter….

  7. Drew V

    This would be great to re-chassis and make a motor home out of… You can pick-up retired BlueBird school buses that have Cummins diesels that are still in good mechanical condition… Scrap the new body and replace it with this 37′ bod and have a Rad movable home…

  8. grant

    Someone, for the love of all that is good, steal this idea. I haven’t the time or the space to do it, but this appears to be a “shorty.” It needs to be done up as a miniature version of Ken Kesey’s bus “Further” bus. (google it, and culture yourself!) It could be called “A Little Further.” I’ve had the idea for years, but time, space, money, etc.

    • Loco Mikado

      First thing that crossed my mind when I saw it.

  9. David J David J

    “I don’t want to cause no fuss
    But can I buy your Magic Buss?”

    I hope this one finds a new, caring home.

  10. Rx7turboII

    Is that a hand crank in the front grille?!? Wouldn’t want to crank that engine over ever! Ugh. Lol

  11. Howard A Member

    In case nobody noticed, it’s being held up by jack stands, I doubt it’s very solid. Take the front end off ( engine too) and the rest becomes a dandy tool shed. I’m sure someone would love it for their restoration. Just for the record, when properly tuned, the crank start wasn’t all that bad. These engines had very low compression, and very low idle, so they’d start pretty easy, although, most had electric start by then. At 10 below, different story, no school today.

  12. CJay

    The Listing has been pulled.
    This bus was on display for 20 years, according to the ad. It looks to have been photographed on the concrete pad, while still setting next to the old school.
    The jack stands kept it sitting level and solid. Which may have saved the tires enough to make it a roller to get on the trailer.

  13. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    If you are still looking for and old bus I saw this yesterday. https://madison.craigslist.org/cto/6086568387.html

    • Otto Nobedder

      @leiniedude-thats a cool project-the late Ford 7.3 driving chassis is a steal of a deal by itself

  14. Van

    I hear the partridge family.
    Get it running, stabilize the condition.
    Can you say “Power Tour”
    Convert to “Beer Bus”

  15. Chebby
  16. Randall

    is this barn finds,,, or barn vanishing the last 3 I looked were already gone. not available.

  17. David Miraglia

    good static display bus. Should sell it to the Museum of Bus Transportation.

  18. whiskey runner

    i have a 41 white that was a bus in ca. from the 40’s to the 60’s.. i converted it into a motor home but still kinda a hot rod..:)

  19. Wrong Way

    I have one word! CAMPER, I would make a RV out of it! Time and money are the key words!

  20. Beeman on Nevis

    Cuban school kids would LOVE it….beats walking to school; Any Cuban mechanic would have her running like a charm in no time.

  21. terry

    Back in 67 or 68 I had the pleasure of riding to school in a 36 Ford bus while living in San Jose. My favorite ride to school ever.

  22. Fiete T.

    Hmmm…saw a set of Budd Wheel Alcoa’s for sale last year. 5×8″ spread, never seen a set in “Real” life. Wonder how rare they are

  23. Dustin

    Definitely an RV.

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