Make School Great Again: 1956 Chevrolet School Bus

If you have ever worked in education, then you know about the obscene amounts of money being thrown at schemes to improve test scores.  The harder everybody works, the less fun the experience is.  Kids need to be excited about coming to school again to bring those scores up, and I think we have found a way.  Imagine the excitement kids would have for learning if they were to start their day climbing into this 1956 Chevrolet monster truck school bus being sold on eBay.  Being offered out of the University of Richmond in Virginia, my guess is that someone in higher education has been thinking along these lines as well.  With a Buy It Now price of $13,900, this is a bargain when compared to other educational initiatives.  Do you think this out of the box solution might just work?

Just hear our plan out before you start with all the negative talk.  First off, we get David Lee Roth to drive the bus.  He is not touring right now, and would probably love the idea.  We will make him wear the same uniform that he wore in the “Hot For Teacher” video, and ensure that there is always a kid named Waldo on the route.  From there, we will install flame throwing exhaust stacks on the bus so kids don’t have to board in the dark.  Once everyone is buckled in, we make a detour to the local drive through for some breakfast biscuits, and then we are on our way to school.

Same plan in the afternoon, except for ice cream replaces biscuits.  Maybe a little detour over to the local mud pit for some laughs.  If there is no mud pit, some Richard Rawlings donuts in the parking lot would get us through.  Arriving at a game in this beast would also bring a new level of intimidation to sports opponents.  With a little work, this bus might just be the answer to our prayers.  God knows nearly every kid who loves cars and trucks has drawn a version of it at one time or another.

Looking at the interior, we need to step up our game a bit.  David Lee Roth is never going to drive if we don’t civilize this bus a little bit.  As it stands now, there appears to be no traditional key.  A simple power kill switch looks to be doing the job sufficiently for now.  One glaring problem is that there is no radio.  Roth will want a radio.  Another problem is the holes in the floor.  One of these holes has a rod or cable hanging out of it.  Is this the way you change gears?  The steering wheel makes me wonder how tough it would be to make a turn if this bus doesn’t have power steering.

The rest of the interior could use some sprucing up as well.  The clever arrangement of the seats definitely allows for more leg room.  However, we do need to fit a reasonable amount of kids in this bus.  The cabinets would have to go.  The body of this bus is described as rust free, which is amazing for its age and the fact that vehicles like this are almost never in covered storage.  Maybe we can install the air conditioning system under the floor.  Cutting the roof would be too barbaric.  We could tint the windows though.

There is nothing, however, wrong under the hood.  The power for this beast is a 383 cubic inch V-8.  No other information is given about the engine or transmission, but we assume that the builder stayed with Chevy power here.  Putting a Ford in a Chevy would anger too many people and likely cause a riot of some sort.  All we know about the rest of the moving parts is that the truck rests on two ton rated axles.

With a little work and some marketing, I think we have got a solid plan here to renew interest in going to school.  While there may be some logistical problems getting it down residential streets, the truck is perfectly capable of crossing yards.  Maybe a few houses as well.  One thing is for sure.  Your kids won’t be whining about wanting to stay home.

Would your kids dig a school bus like this?

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Comments

  1. Nick

    Well that’s a Big Block under the hood so it’s at least a 396 cid, hard to see how it can be called a 383 which is a stroked small block.

    5
    • cmarv

      Could be a 366 big block tall deck truck slug .

      1
  2. Chris k

    .90 over 366 truck motor ?

    1
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    The smallest big blocks I saw were on the high deck, heavy duty side where they traditionally ran 4-ring pistons. They were a 366 which was released in 1966. Now the common thing back in the day was to take a high-deck block, use stock car pistons and stroke it out. I don’t recall anyone doing anything with a 366 other than use it for a doorstop, but you could take a 427 out to 511, which was pretty impressive.

    Now for this bus. I guess if you want to take the kids to the entrance via the teacher’s parking lot, you could have a lot of fun with that. I can still think of a few teachers, whose cars I wouldn’t mind running over–with the teachers still inside. That would be an ideal machine…

    2
  4. Bluetec320 Member

    WOW! Nice Find!

    1
  5. Mike

    Looks like there will be no snow days in this school district.

    8
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    What kid wouldn’t love going to school in something like this one? Finish it off and have some fun with it.

  7. Will Fox

    I was robbed as a child! Nothing THAT neat ever stopped to pick me up for school!

  8. Jack Quantrill

    A non drinking friend had a party bus about this size. Man, was he popular!

  9. Don

    There is was a bus built like this at the Barret/Jackson Scottsdale AZ a few yrs back sold quick n for good&$$ !!!!

  10. Del

    I know Americas school system is under funded. Basically the well to do and rich use private schools.So why fund the public system ?

    Most kids in private schools would never see a school bus.

    At any rate, I digress. Nice Bus for Mountain climbing

    1
  11. cmarv

    No front driveshaft , rear looks off center too . Cool bus , no matter .

  12. Matt steele

    Not exactly a practical vehicle and that’s precisely why I really like it

  13. John

    Looks ike someone ran out of time or money and didn’t finish the driver’s/front of the inside. Could be cool finished off right, weld up all those butched holes, needs as lot of work. Whats W/those boxes? lids raise/open? worthless
    I’d also get rid of the duel tires,have a single but need to try it, might need them to keep it upright. Be a nice outfit for school “Show n’ Tell functions, “FWD” and crush junk cars.

  14. KevinLee

    The write up made my afternoon! Very funny Jeff. I think you have a sound plan for the kiddies.

    1
    • LooseNut

      I think you’re on to something here Jeff. You’re right on with the kids looking forward to go to school every day. No begging to get up & out the door on time. It also would be the safest way to school if the driver could resist the temptation to go broken arrow with it. Talk about high visibility & the respect of traffic!

      However I’m thinking Alice Cooper in full on wardrobe with “schools out” song on the radio instead.

      I could see a newer version just keeping the interior stock. With a powered step to get the kiddos safely on & off with a airplane type inflatable slide for emergency exit.

      Crap, I put too much thought into this! Thank you for the stimulation though.

      • connbackroads

        I think he’s spot-on with the VanHalen approach . . . leave those boxes in place . . . you mentioned leg room . . . well, just bring a few young, hot teachers, ummm, bus monitors, aboard, and let them climb up on the boxes and make use of all the leg room . . . I guarantee that all the young lads would be fully awake by the time they arrived to school.

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