Coolest School Bus Ever!

1956-Chevrolet-School-Bus

According to the seller of this stretched 1956 Chevrolet, only one of these specialty vehicles sold in 1956 and it went to a grade school. A Grand Rapids Minnesota Elementary School to be exact and there it served for 22 years! What could be cooler than climbing aboard this beast each morning for your daily trek to school? A handful of these were reportedly sold the following year and I assume that most went to airports or other organizations where a large group of people needed to be transported. Unfortunately, the seller also assumes that because of the truck’s rarity, it’s worth 50 grand! What do you think? Find it here on Hemmings out of Bristol, Virginia. Thanks goes to Connor B for the tip!

1956-task-force-lineup

Why would a grade school buy one of these? At first, I wondered if maybe they had NAPCO stick a four-wheel-drive setup under it for those harsh Minnesota winters, but it looks too low for that. Chevrolet produced their own school bus chassis in 1956, so we can only assume that cost was a factor because it would have been a lot cheaper to buy and maintain one of these than a full-size kid carrier. Or perhaps this was their version of the “short bus” used by many schools today?

no-luck-at-the-swap-meet

Cost is also going to be a factor today too, but this time reversed. You’re going to need a real love for oddball commercial vehicles and some real deep pockets to make this happen. It is going to take a lot of work before this old bus is going to make any school runs. The seller does think that after a full restoration, it should bring $500k. I’m not sure about that, but you never know. Any wealthy Grand Rapids Minnesota Elementary School alumni here? This old truck is cool, but it might just be too cool for school!

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Comments

  1. PaulG

    Funny, it has a ’57 Grill. That said, 50K is a bit (quite a bit) of a stretch (pun intended) for this. Love the vintage advertisement!

  2. Barry Thomas

    Saw this on Hemmings. But oh that price! I can’t believe this heap would even be worth $10k. What do you more knowledgeable readers think?
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

    • Bill Parmenter

      My 1959 Chev airport limo was one of 150 —
      Got a whopping $2,000 on eBay.

      It’s kool, but not even close to 50 big ones …. even restored !!

      Like 1
  3. Rick Yocum

    I think the seller will have to drop a “0” if he wants any offers.

    Like 1
  4. John

    With a selling price like that I think the guy that buys it will have rode the “short bus” a few too many times! Aside from the grille being different the body don’t flare out like the bus in the retro ad?

    Like 1
  5. Tim Moore

    If it really is a one of a kind then maybe $25 grand is more accurate due to it’s rarity. $50 seems too steep but if there are no others and someone out there wants it it’s a sellers market. Way out of my range and a difficult vehicle to store and use.. Maybe GM Heritage centre would be a customer. It is really cool. At first glance I thought (hoping) the yellow portion was woody panelling.. But it’s just faded paint. The seller might have more luck if he shows a picture of a low reading odometer and claims it to be never driven like everyone else these days lol

  6. Rick

    Like the vintage GM “Task Force” ad, esp liked the artwork of the ’56 Sedan Delivery and the Fwd Control Chassis (w/ the van bodywork). Don’t recall ever seeing a van quite like it with the truck grille and emblem. Seeing the drawing of the ’56 Sedan Delivery reminded me of a rust free ’57 Chev Sedan Delivery I bought back in the early 90s in San Jose from a guy that had owned it since the ’60s and it was still totally stock right down to the 235 3 on the tree o/d, dog dish hubcaps and the original spartan single driver’s seat. My intention was to restore it as stock, but didnt have a big enough garage at the time, so I regretfully sold it later on Auto Trader to Super Chevy Magazine. They resto rodded it in a year long feature in SC and sister publication Popular Hot Rodding as a companion to their Project X ’57 210 2 dr sedan, and spared no expense as you might imagine. The body came off the frame and was media blasted, and it ended up w/ an LS6 and 700R4, plus they put a Nomad skin on the back door, and the finished product looked unique yet tasteful. Have not seen that sedan delivery since, think is still lives somewhere in the L.A. basin

    Like 1
  7. Jimbosidecar

    Agree with the previous poster, drop a zero (or two) and it will be sold.

  8. Mike

    The truck was listed on Ebay a few times. I don’t think the bidding exceeded $4K. Definitely a cool ride though independent of the fortune it would take to restore it.

    Like 1
  9. trickie Dickie Member

    If being restored fully as a school bus, owner had better check with his DMV first! A good car club friend restored a school bus here (not a stretch like this one), spent thousands on it, was like new and a BIG bus! Went to the California DMV and could not get it registered until he took OUT all of the seats except the drivers seat. The DMV didn’t want it available for any reason as a school bus. If it had been restored to be used as an RV that would have been fine, even tho it would LOOK like a school bus. He finally did that, but now has a whole lot of restored fully upholstered bus seats stuck away!

  10. That Guy

    Rare does not necessarily equal valuable. This oddity will be worthwhile to somebody, but it’s a very limited market. My initial thought was the same as others here; drop a zero and it’s about right. Even fully restored I just can’t see it making fifty large.

    What do eight-door Checkers sell for? That would seem to be the best comparison, with maybe a 50% premium for uniqueness.

    Like 1
  11. Bob

    To me it looks like an airport shuttle.

    Like 1
    • DT

      I agree, schoolbuses dont usually have roof racks, but airporters do

      Like 2
  12. jim s

    if the seller is willing to buy it back for $500000 after it is fully restored then it might be worth $50000 which would leave $450000 to do the job and make a profit. nice find.

    Like 1
  13. Sudsrunner

    Fender emblem and grille reminds me of a 1957, not a ’56………
    but I’m no expert on odd ball years.

  14. fred

    Pie in the sky pricing. Hope it eventually does sell though to someone who wants to fix it up right, I’d love to see it when done. Those restored 1937 White taxi trucks from Yellowstone Park I keep seeing on Hemmings are $350K, not sure what this would sell for but $500K is not even near reality.

  15. DT

    Tom Cruise crazy

  16. jasper

    Because of it’s rarety its worth $50,000 because of it’s uglyness it’s worth $50.

  17. dj

    That’s a shuttle. It’s not a school bus. International made a bunch of these based on the carryall. I agree with everyone else. That price is way too much.

    Like 1
  18. Vincent Habel

    Rare does not always translate to big bucks. I would not even pay 5K for it

  19. Mike L.

    1956 Home made school bus recipe: Take two 1956 Suburbans chop and mix one whole and one half together add a little torch heat and filler, then paint to suit. Sit back and watch the “dough” rise!!!

    Like 1
  20. Dan

    I know someone local in California that has one also! Not a one off. They were made as tour buses. I have seen it and has it all restored and has the paperwork explaining the manufacturer and number made!!

    Like 1
  21. JL Schmidt

    Star Bus Lines in Scottsbluff, Nebraska used several of these to transport people from major stops along US Highway 30 to Scottsbluff and to Torrington, Wyoming. Rode them several times in the late 50s and early 60s. So much for rare.

    Like 1
  22. Nova

    Definitely an interesting piece of history…

    But,

    This one has a little more appeal!

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Go2qpgYoFGs

    Or perhaps ALOT more!!!
    Unfortunately there’s no sound.

    Nova

  23. Bryan Cohn

    Not tall enough to make a good RV.
    Too long and low to be a good camp in the outback RV.
    Lack of 4WD means its won’t get you where you want to go. No good for use as a ski area, offloading camping, hauling sheep at your farm in style and comfort.

    What it is good for is the Duggar’s or some other family of freaks to use as a family transport.

    So there you go, a one of one vehicle with a market of the Duggar’s and a few communities of polygamists. That’s some crowd eh?

  24. waynard

    I paid $3400 for mine, a 134 1/2″ wb ’46 Chev Sub. Different from this in that it is truly a one-off (try to find another one) and was a school bus with 2 x 12 planks that the kids sat on running lengthwise. This 50K price is nuts, but I wish him luck.

    And I agree about the cost of upgrading/restoring/resto-modding, it’s way way up there. I’ll never see that money again. Lots of fun and very attention-getting nevertheless.

    Like 1
  25. DT

    After a rethink….most airporters have individual doors,so Im going with the school bus,also he seems to have that part documented.but definatly not home made.Factory made(special equipment)..I have a 1963 Chevy panel truck with factory 6 ft.bed but with 3/4 ton 4wd running gear made for the army,100 made. surplus Army radio truck.Rarer than that bus

  26. Brian

    I agree with the group, its too expensive, especially for a vehicle with a limited audience, but it is a cool looking old thing! Sort of like a Suburban on steroids! Forget “will it fit in my garage?” ask, “will it fit on my street?”. And it’s located in my old hometown! Come on! Get Happy!…Come on get Haaappyyyy!

  27. Dave

    If this bus was used as a school bus or even an air transport vehicle why is there no markings on it ? It certainly hasn’t been painted in 50 years, why would a school bus have a roof rack? I’d be looking very closely at the frame. could this be an old custom made vehicle? someone put two carry all suburbans together ? hmmmm!!

  28. Connor

    A facebook user has posted it to an ‘Abandoned and Neglected Cars’ page

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=590133044465685&set=gm.1084333051583204&type=1&theater

  29. ColinS

    This is not a 1956. It’s a ’57. I’m seeing 2 hood spears on this. “PaulG” posted that the grill is a 1957. That makes sense because this is a 1957. For 1955 and 1956 Chevrolet has a flat hood. In 1957 Chevrolet added two hood spears which added rigidity and reduced sheet metal vibration. These “spears” appear for several years after 1957 as well. If it’s a 2nd series Chevy truck and the hood is flat, it has to be a 1955 or ’56. ie: The Partridge Family bus is a 1955 Chevy 2nd series Task Force chassis. It is not a 1957. Internet posting far and wide incorrectly refer to the PF bus as a 1957. Wrong. Check it out — the distinctive “bowtie” hood emblem and no hood spears confirms it’s a 1955. I’ve tried to correct this in Wiki many times but they won’t change their wrong info.

  30. Nes

    I wonder if it’s equipped with the rare triad horns used on Caddys back then

  31. Randall

    Somebody needs a bigger trailer,

    Like 1
  32. @CarsOfTheSouth

    We saw it in 2019 while on Hot Rod Power Tour. I assume it never sold because it is still in the same condition as the pictures.

    Like 1
    • Streamliner

      I too saw this same school bus in 2019. Yes, 6 years later it looked exactly as it appears in this 2014 posting.

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