Magic Bus: 1945 White Motors Model 782


We have always had a deep appreciation for vintage buses, there is just something mesmerizing about them. Well if you’ve been on the hunt for an incredible bus to call your own, have a look at this sweet 1945 White Motor Company Model 782 Bus. It is Listed here on craigslist in Boone, NC and parked near Wilkesboro, NC with a listed price of $2,500. This is one of only 400 built between 1940 and 1946. White Motor Company also produced a Model 706 which had a canvass opening top and these were used by the National Park Service. In ’36 Yellowstone had ordered 27 and by 1940 there were 98 Model 706s at the Park.

The Model 782 was the shortest coach White built at 28′ long. The City of Detroit operated 130 Model 798s and 5 Model 788s from White. The Philadelphia Transportation Company had a Model 782 demonstrator and it appears they liked and kept it. Model 782s were capable of hauling 32 passengers and were powered by a 140TA six cylinder truck engine mounted under the floor amidships with the cooling radiator and fan located behind the grill over the front bumper. This Model 782 was used in Elkin, NC and last inspected in 1954. Unfortunately the engine and transmission are no longer with the bus. The owner says that there is only surface rust and “no rusted out places”. So would you pick this up and use it as a cool workshop or do you drop some power in it and have a killer RV? It is one cool bus after all!




  1. jaygryph

    Cummins inline 6 wash it, clear coat it, modern wiring fuel system and update or repair the brakes, and I would rock the heck out of that bus. That thing has outstanding patina.

  2. MacVaugh

    A great reminder of the segregated South, a door for the whites and a door for the rest.

    • Aaron

      Every bus I’ve ever been on had a rear door. That’s where you exit. You pay at the front door.

  3. Robert Member


    My understanding is that all the passengers would enter the front door. That is where one would pay the fare, show pass and/or turn in a ticket to the driver. The double doors in the middle of the bus were one-way exit only. The driver didn’t and couldn’t remotely open them. There wasn’t a handle on the outside of the middle doors for passengers to us to open them. The multi-door system was in place to expedite the boarding and exiting of passengers.

    This bus would also make a great standalone office.



  4. JW454

    I rode buses like this well into the 70’s. I believe they were made by GM but they had the same look of the windshield and two vents in the front panel.

    I recall the front doors were for boarding and the rear doors were for exiting.

    Like 1
    • Robert Member


      You are correct sir.



  5. wynkin

    Great patina and beautifully ugly.

  6. John H.

    I think the lines are much more pleasing than today’s ugly rolling boxes. My fantasy would be all new rolling gear, power train and vintage paint, and an interior eith curtains for each window that made it like a travel home.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Something like this should be brought back to original although, since the engine and transmission are gone, an upgrade to a Cummins B or C series engine with Allison automatic would sound reasonable, not to mention faster and more reliable. Outside needs a repaint or else use WD40. Never clear coat over rust (OK, patina) because it seals off the outside and drives the oxidization inwards. Inside the sky is the limit.

    • Aaron

      Couldn’t you spray the rust in phosphoric acid first?

  8. Francis

    the craigslist posting for this bus has been deleted. does anyone know if the bus sold? who purchased it? and where is it now?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      If the ad has been deleted, then it has most likely been sold.

  9. Dustin

    I’d convert it into a motorhome. Cool old paint job.

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