Ran When Parked: 1947 Ford School Bus

1947 Ford School Bus

What a neat old school bus! Modern buses are big boxes without character. A bus like this ’47 Ford School bus on the other hand is jam packed with style. If this bus pulled up in front of my house, I’d be jumping up and down to go to school simply so I could go for a ride in it! It’s going to need some work before it will be hauling anyone anywhere, but it looks solid. The seller claims it has been parked for 30 years and that the flathead V8 ran when it was parked. It’s definitely a cool rig, but what do you do with it? Take a closer look here on eBay in Climax, Minnesota and then let me know what you would do with it?


  1. DAN

    it don’t run now
    that is the important thing :)

    tires hold air until they get a flat too…ran when parked

  2. Kris K

    Just curious. Why does it have current license plates on it. One would put plates on it if you planned on driving it. Right?

    • Tony Goodner

      In some municipalities you gotta keep tags current on your vehicles to keep them from using “abandoned or neglected” ordinances to ‘keep our city clean.’ Some cities can’t stand to see someone who appreciates classic vehicles and the persons who are slowly trying to resurrect a piece of automotive art

  3. Jumping g

    My my that can be one wild party bus….

    • KO

      That’s it! Gronk’s new party bus!

    • me

      Bought a 1947 Mack City Bus from a junkyard in June 1970. Ran when started up. My friends and I took it up to Boulder Canyon on Sugarloaf Rd. We camped and partied with all kinds of people for over a week. We lived like hippies. Had a blast.

    • Woodie Man

      Those were the days my friend…we thought they’d never end

  4. grant

    You do it up as a miniature version of Ken Kesey’s bus, and make the inside a small RV. You could call it “a Little Further” and people would love it. I’ve had that idea for years but I’ll probably never do it so one of you should.

  5. JW454

    This is nearly the same as the I found in May 2015. It was featured here as well. Ours is still in the “getting it going” phase. We have it running, installed new tires and have assessed the brakes which are going to require new wheel cylinders. Currently, we’re cleaning up the wiring from the years of mice munchers.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    Romancing the Stone, anyone? I was really P/O’d when they wrecked that Ford bus in that movie. Of course I’m kind of partial to this vintage of Ford as I own a ’47 pickup. A bus like this would have limited usage except as a swap meet vendor vehicle. It wouldn’t get you there and back very fast but I’m sure it would do the job. Just get used to those straight-cut gears…

    I never rode on a bus like this but I remember kids on another route riding in one during the early 60’s. The guy who ran our route drove a ’56 IH S-150. I think the Fords held up better than the binder. But that could be due to the fact that the binder was totally worn out before our driver got it…

  7. Howard A Member

    Climax, Minnesota, you say? Yeah, buses are kind of a tough sell, like fire trucks. Gonna need more than a weekend to get this right. Still, it’s small enough to get around. With modern driveline, this would be a cool camper. I like the 4 spoke steering wheel. Speaking of buses, while motorcycling through the Catskills last Sunday, I came across an antique store in a small town, that had the Partridge Family bus!! I wondered, were the rumors true? Mashed the brakes, turned around, it had a California plate, and looked legit, an innernet search revealed, it wasn’t so, merely a replica. I think the original was trashed. http://telstarlogistics.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/25/partridgecopy_2.jpg

    • Mike D

      the Partridge family bus was much older. Mid 50s ?? 57 ? Chev, made u stop though, didn’t it ?

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I always thought the Partridge family bus was a ’57 Chevy…

  8. MG'zer

    I’ve seen these busses used as carrie all’s. Like for people. Put in a pottie some swivel captain chairs. Small gen for AC and refrigerater. Trailer hitch for a couple of jet ski, maybe an awning. Wod make for a great weekend! Just saying


    Many became “deer shacks” for hunting season , perhaps other liasons(?)….I recall that these were colder than imaginable , back in the early fifties when I rode in central winter Minn.

    • Francisco

      I rode to school in one of these. During the winter the bus driver used a fan as a windshield defroster. Always smelled like vomit inside.

      Like 1

    Saw one at theGood Guys Car Show. It was built as a Street Rod by a shop for advertising and used it to move people throughout the show! Great idea!

  11. whiskey runner

    im love the old school buses.. i use my as a R.V. with the roof raised 14″ and a 14’x4′ slideout there is plenty of interior room.. the 1959 c180 supercharged cummins and 10sp. fuller road ranger makes going up hills a breeze….

    • Woodie Man

      Your bus is super cool……..that front end makes it all worthwhile! Nice job

  12. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Partridge bus was definitely a 55-57 Chevy or GMC, the vehicle the family painted in the pilot before hitting the road and the one shown in the intro each week. I wouldn’t have blinked twice at that modern one at the antique store, obviously well done but not nearly as retro. BTW, Playing Mantis did a great toy replica in several scales around 20 years ago that included a trading card showing a promotional photo of the actual bus on the TV show’s back lot.

  13. Loco Mikado

    It has been sold. That was quick.

  14. Vintageant

    Why do I receive my BarnFinds e-mail almost 24 hours after others?

    Like 1
    • Josh Staff

      Hi, are you signed up for instant or daily emails? If you are signed up for daily emails and would like to get every find sooner, you can switch to the instant email (goes out just a few minutes after a car is posted)! Let me know if you have any questions about switching.

  15. Eric Dashman

    This bus brings back memories. In 1964 I was in a work camp for the summer. We had one of these small buses to get around (go do laundry, trips, etc.). We took it to go to the Newport Folk Festival where I saw Joan Baez introduce Bob Dylan for the first time. He sang ‘Times are a’changin’ , ‘Blowing In The Wind’, and I think a duet with her (‘It Ain’t Me Babe’?). Bus was a blast, especially sleeping under it (we didn’t have much money).

  16. Dustin

    Reminds me of the Magic School Bus and would make a great RV.

  17. Matt

    Anyone know who bought this bus and what was done with it? I have the exact same bus

    Like 1
    • David Landreth

      Matt, would you want to sell your old bus?

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