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Short Bus: 1958 Chevrolet Superior School Bus

This 1958 Chevrolet Superior School Bus has been sitting forlornly in New Mexico for years, according to the seller, and there’s not much left to this short bus body. While I wish there were pictures of the hedge it was dragged out of, you can start building a narrative around the broken windows, stripped interior, and empty engine bay: angry school children. They’ll strip a bus to nothing if given the chance. Find the short bus here on eBay with a $3,950 Buy-It-Now.

Curiously, there is no broken glass on the driver’s side. Gee, do you think that was the side parked next to a building? Too coincidental in my mind that one side is intact and the other blown out. The bus-style body is a popular choice among hot-rodders, as these buses do look pretty sweet dropped on some fat slicks with a monster motor up front. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a valuable vehicle when all that work is done, so saving this Chevy will be a labor of love.

The interior has been stripped clean out. Whether this as done long ago or in preparation for a sale is not disclosed. I mention the latter scenario because these buses are sometimes converted into camping rigs, providing plenty of room to create the custom R/V of your dreams. Of course, my preference would be to see it restored back to the original colors and configuration of whatever school department it did duty for, or if it was a prison bus, the same treatment for the prison system it supported.

I wonder if there’s an audience restoring these vintage school buses. Components like the lights above the front and rear of the bus, or the control switches seen here, have to be useful to someone who is restoring vintage rigs like this one. The dry New Mexico climate has hopefully kept damaging rust to a minimum, but you’ll need to find an engine and transmission to drop in before going too far with your plans to build a custom camper or sensitive school bus recreation.


  1. Scooter

    This is a cool bus. If I had the room, I’d tackle this project.
    Step one, strip off all side metal and do a reskin with 18 gauge.
    Step two, lose half the side windows, and put 2 TV windows, 1 on each side
    Step three, small diesel engine, maybe a 6.2 chevy diesel from military apps
    Step four, chrome the original wheels
    Step five, paint it tan and white, to help deflect heat

    Like 0
  2. Jimmy

    I don’t think I would waste my time on this one.

    Like 5
    • Duaney

      You have no idea! These old buses, and especially the short ones, are super hot today. This bus is in great condition, no serious rust or damage. Price is fair, and whoever builds it will have tons of fun, either for personal use or business.

      Like 0
  3. Kenneth Carney

    This would make a great vehicle to tote
    Mom’s motorized wheelchair! With new
    WC vans headed north of $300K, a short
    bus could be re-purposed to do the job
    for a fraction of the cost–and that would
    include the new drivetrain and a tommy
    lift for the rear of the coach to get the
    chair(s).in and out. Once you tackle the
    basics, the paint and trim could be added
    later on into the project. Just picture it,
    a vehicle for families with special needs
    with room for everyone. Worth a thought.

    Like 1
    • LAB3

      Craiglist is your freind! Rigs as you just described pop up on there often as transportation companies rotate out older buses for newer ones. With little to no interest from the general public the prices tend to be very reasonable.

      Like 0
  4. Marc

    This looks like a great way to live in the wilderness……oh wait, it’s been done already.

    Like 0
    • Michael

      Or die in the wilderness. 😏 Its the wrong year, but a Partridge Family short bus tribute would be cool.

      Like 0
  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    A lot of things you could do with a bus like this. Camper is the first thing that comes to mind. There were a few out west that became portable hunting cabins. Put a big engine in it because the stock powerplants were grossly underpowered.

    I rode on the remains of a ’58 GMC bus this size. I remember the vacuum windshield wipers that seldom worked because the driver had to keep the gas pedal floored to keep moving. And when I get into a bus like this I look for the forked stick that the driver wedged between the shift lever and the dash to keep it from jumping out of high. A lot of unpleasant memories: cranky drivers, kids getting carsick, exhaust coming apart and burning a hole through the brake line. One of the rear tires getting a huge blister on it that contacted the wheel well. Who needed an amusement park? Just a ride to school and back was all you needed…

    Like 1
  6. Mark

    Drop the pt cruiser v10 in this bus.

    Like 1
  7. chrlsful

    shortened chop top rod? nice flathead V8? no windows/paneled back?

    Like 0
  8. Beatnik Bedouin

    Interesting that this was originally a V8-equipped example, judging by the hood badge.

    This could be a fun project for someone. Drop in a period-correct, warmed-up 348 W-motor and a five-speed for relaxed, open-road cruising.

    I like the idea of restoring the outside to whatever the bus’ original use was for, but perhaps update the interior for weekends away.

    Like 1
  9. David Miraglia

    When I started my bus driving career back in 1989. I had an old GMC gas engine superior with 4 speed manual. the bus ran like a cheetah, but it always broke down once every two weeks. However despite the Superiors bad reputation it had with me. Amtran-Ward was worse. I would still buy this bus as a collectable and a possible storage shed at the least.

    Like 0
  10. stillrunners

    Looks to have a V/8 hood emblem….wonder if it had a 348 in there ?

    Like 0
  11. Slickster

    Awesome is it still around this is 2020 would love to snag this but it’s probably been sold already?

    Like 2

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