Former Yosemite Tour Bus: 1962 Chevrolet Suburban

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I wonder if anyone will think that this one has “two too many doors” as some do with four-door sedans shown here? Probably not, that would hardly make a dent in the number of doors on this 1962 Chevrolet Stageway/Armbruster tour bus, formerly making runs at Yosemite National Park. They have it listed here on eBay in Emmett, Idaho. There is an unmet opening bid price of $30,000 listed and even that doesn’t meet the reserve.

If you need to carry 6-8-10-12 of your closest friends somewhere, here’s your rig. They were made mostly by Stageway/Armbruster and we’ve seen one or two here on Barn Finds in the past. It’s fun to see a later model, such as this one, also a Chevrolet but probably much more comfortable for a dozen or more passengers. That isn’t to say that the one for sale here isn’t nice and also comfortable, just for the record.

Although, the photos are a bit disappointing for a vehicle selling for more than $30,000. They’re small and aren’t able to be enlarged, and there aren’t nearly enough of them. But as you know from looking at probably thousands of online vehicle listings and auctions over the last few years, that’s more common than not. Thankfully, they show the basics, both sides, a rear cargo area photo, and even an engine photo.

The seller bought this people-hauler from Mono Hot Springs Campground a few hours south of Yosemite NP in 1988 from what I understand from their description. They restored it in 1994 and have been using it ever since. That’s a very good sign that things are working great. It really does look nice from the photos and it’s quite a sight with all of the doors open! The seller refers to this one as a 12-person vehicle but I would have guessed 10 could ride comfortably as it looks like there are three bench seats in the back and two bucket seats in the front. So, in a pinch, the driver could have one passenger sit in the front if they had to. Although, including kids, it could probably haul at least a dozen people.

The seller says that this is a 305 SBC with a Turbo-Hydramatic 350 transmission and Dana 60 rear end. We saw a GMC version a few years ago and it had a GMC 305 V6, but that’s not an SBC. It has new tires and they say that a bit of rust is starting to show up but it’s not bad. Would any of you have a use for this stretched human hauler?

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  1. Ralph

    This is an interesting one here. Nice to see minimal rust and damage.
    30K + asking price is absurd though. I realize a lot of time and money was invested at some point, but it is not up to the next owner to recoup the cost of prior work/improvements.
    In high school I had a 60 Chevy panel van, only 2 doors, but no problem with cramming 12 folks in the back. Always carried a lot of friends around in it, as they were needed to help push start it when we left the stereo on too long…also had chrome reverse rims: L60x15 rear tires. Sure do miss the 1970s sometimes, good times…At maybe 10-12K would consider buying this one too.

    Like 22
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      In 1973 I had a black 1952 Packard hearse. The previous owner had removed the sliding casket platform, and installed padded black cut pile carpeting. I added a few beanbag chairs as well.

      As a member of the Military Police, I was not going to drink alcohol when I would join my buddies for late nite trips to downtown Washington DC for a nite of fun. Because the hearse held so many people, and I wasn’t drinking, we decided the hearse was to be used one rainy November evening.

      On coming back into suburban Maryland, we were sitting at a traffic light on northbound Wisconsin Avenue at Bradley Boulevard. I was in the left lane. In the left turn lane was an elderly lady in a Ford Maverick. It was well after 2am on a rainy night, and with plenty of people in the hearse, the side windows were fogged up 100%.

      While waiting for the light to change, one of the guys took all 5 of his fingers and slowly traced 5 lines downward on the fogged side window glass. Well of course the poor lady saw fingers of a ghostly hand, late at night, in an old hearse, leave those marks.

      She freaked, and actually fled her car, running across the southbound lanes and into the fire house on the corner [it’s still at that location]. I didn’t realize what happened at first, I only noticed her car moving into the intersection, the door open. It came to a halt after gently hitting the left turn traffic light on a post in the median.

      I heard way too many drunks behind me laughing hysterically, and as the light turned green, I turned left to block her car in, and I went over to the car, realizing there was no driver I put it into park, and turned off the ignition. It was a fairly new Maverick, and the front bumper wasn’t even damaged because the car moved so slowly.

      I ended up apologizing to the lady for what my stupid drunken friend had done, and because the cops were very nearby, they showed up and kept us all there until the sun was coming up. I didn’t have any problems with the cops as I was a policeman myself, but they were seriously contemplating what to do with my friend with the wet fingertips. The lady didn’t want to press charges, no damage was done to her car, so that’s how the story ends.

      Almost 50 years later, I remember that night in detail!

      Like 22
      • Mountainwoodie

        Hilarious. I believe it violated Section 66.6 of the District of Columbia VC prohibiting the tracing of fingers down a fogged in window of a hearse. Why the cops didnt cite you can only be further proof of the power of the beyond.

        Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember


        Fortunately we were several miles north of the MD/DC line, and the Montgomery County cops really didn’t come up with a chargeable offense, as they agreed that my hearse had not moved from the location it was lawfully in, so there could be no moving violation, and had they cited me – another member of law enforcement, well – back then that just wasn’t done.

        That left only my drunken friend with the wet fingers, and they really did consider if a citation could be brought. But they concluded that he couldn’t see out of the fogged up windows to even see the lady in the other car, so there was no deliberate act.

        So the cops and I stood in the front parking lot of the fire station and pondered the act of fingers drawing on the glass. They actually did address the thought of what if it was only 1 finger on the glass. Or 2? At what point is it a deliberate act meant to scare another person?

        48 years later this whole thing makes for interesting reading, but I can assure you at the time these guys were dead serious about their investigation, and the last thing I wanted was for my commanding officer at the 519th MP battalion to hear about this.

        Now the part that makes this even crazier;
        The cops actually considered giving a citation to the elderly lady for failure to control her vehicle. But all it took was a very evil look from my face*, towards the officer who mentioned that possibility, and he quickly backtracked the suggestion.

        *I was told later on [by one of the riders in the hearse] that the look I gave the officer was so intense he backed off right away.

        And bravo for the mention of section 66.6! I used to visit the king of Bahrain back in the 1980s, as he had an incredible car collection that I supplied spare parts for. Bahrain is predominantly Muslim, and the main phone number to the palace was 666-666.

        Like 1
  2. Frank M

    I think it has a manual tranny. That sure does look like a shifter on the floor.

    Like 5
    • MrBZ

      There is a floor shifter, but I don’t see the clutch pedal.

      Like 6
      • Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

        Good eye, folks. He lists this in his eBay ad, “locar shifter and hand brake” so I’m guessing it’s one of those? He probably meant Lokar, not locar.

        Like 6
  3. Mike

    Ok, who photoshopped extra doors on this Suburban?

    Like 1
  4. Dennis Hardiman

    I don’t remember a 305 in 1962. I know that 327 was a hoss and still had a 283 but 305 didn’t seem common till the 70’s.

    Like 7
    • David

      GMC had a 305 V6 in the early years

      Like 0
  5. Mark

    No doubt the owners kids were kept on the straight and narrow by the prospect of having to wax dad’s Chevy on a Saturday as punishment.
    Where would you park this thing?
    I would pay money to watch it attack an auto-cross course.

    Like 8
    • Peter k

      George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers did a 50 state tour in 50 days in a vehicle similar to this.( I think it was actually a checker marathon airport limo) . I’d like to see the owner parallel park it in any major city.😝😎

      Like 7
  6. Lbpa18

    The only way I think this would have a serious future is repainting it as it was, giving tours in Yosemite the first time, and do it again as a period correct luxury tour. It would need correct period wheels though. Similar to the Grinder busses in Glacier, no reason it couldnt work. Might even do good to cut a hole in the roof like one of those.

    Like 0
  7. LMK

    Those are very expensive doors !

    Like 0
  8. BravoCharleyWindsor

    This would be a cool retro style stretch limo if it was done up right.

    Like 3
  9. Willam r HALL

    This is NOWHERE as neat as the National Park White Tour Buses from the 30s? I think some are still in use at Glacier. The have the old bodies on top of new frames? For updated running gear.

    Like 4
  10. BR

    “P.S. please no low ballers its priced fair I’m not desperate..”

    I think Dave will be sitting on this for awhile.

    Like 9
  11. Ike Onick

    If you have ever driven to the floor of Yosemite you know the guy or gal driving this 8 hours a day earned every penny.

    Like 0
  12. John C.

    Something that you can pack all the “boys” into and go on a nice hunting or fishing trip! lol!

    Like 1
  13. JEFF S.

    No way it is worth 30K+. There are just to many better cars and trucks for sale. There is no way that I would pay that much for an under powered wagon. I predict no sale!

    Like 3
  14. David G

    Seems a high probability that the opening bid of 30K is a shill bid, despite it being lower than the reserve. Happens a lot on e bay.

    Like 4
    • BR

      I’ve wondered about that. What happens if the shill bid wins?

      Like 0
      • LMK

        BR , They evaporate and it doesn’t get sold…And then it gets relisted…

        Like 3
  15. Kenn

    These would be fun for a fraternity or sorority. I had a 1948 “stretch” Chevrolet similar to this while in college in 1957. Lots of fun.

    Like 0
  16. EBZ06

    Cool! Love it! I’d consider it. But not really practical for me. Not enough room for my wife’s luggage!

    Like 2
  17. Pete

    I can’t even park this in my driveway, not long enough. The HOA would have a caniption fit.

    Like 0
  18. Doug

    5K for a neat camper build? Maybe raise the roof, open up the middle and have bucket seats and use it for brewery tours, small parties, bachelor, bachelorette parties? Heck, 10K if you could do a really focused build.

    But the 30K fall to the category of having more money than sense. Or, ain’t got the brains God give’. Maybe a, ‘bless his lil’ heart’? I know, ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’….

    I can’t imagine any folks seeing it and thinking, ‘why not, I grew up in 32 door Suburban’….

    Like 0
  19. David

    GMC had a 305 V6 in the early years

    Like 0
    • BR

      The 305 V-6 had “W” valve covers, this one doesn’t. It’s a moot point now anyway, it’s gone.

      Like 1
  20. LMK

    The listing has been ended most likely because a deal has been made..Congratulations to the seller…

    Like 2
  21. HCMember

    I’ve never seen a 62 Chevy Suburban with that many doors. Not even on but one side. And a 305? Please, very crappy engine for this big boy. At least do a 350. Pretty solid but was this a custom build or what?

    Like 1

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