Shorty Coach: 1960 Chevrolet School Bus

While some former school buses have been converted into proper campers and full-length RVs, few are equipped as uniquely as this 1960 Chevrolet school bus. That’s because it began life as an Army vehicle that featured extra tall roof height and was formally designated as an “Auxiliary Dwelling Unit,” which I can only interpret to mean that you could live in this rig when a more traditional residence wasn’t available. Find the school bus here on craigslist for $6,500 in Oregon.

The bus was originally built by Wayne Corporation, which – at one time – was considered a leading manufacturer of school buses way back when. The company went out of business in the mid-90s, so no chance of tracking down records about how many were made or the original design, which I mention only because of an odd attachment on the rear of the bus. Any clues? Is it just a medieval hitch-mounted cargo basket?

The seller notes he is 6’2″ and that he can stand up perfectly straight inside. It’s referred to as an “extra tall high-top”, which is ideal for converting this interior into a full-on camper with all the trimmings, from a stand-up shower and bathroom to a full kitchen – not to mention good-sized mattresses can also be accommodated in a cabin like this. The interior looks better than the exterior would suggest, and the seller points out that the flooring is mostly done.

The seller doesn’t mention the state of the engine, other than to say it runs and drives. Shockingly, the roof lights and marquee still works! The bus will come with a clean title, and what looks like excellent cosmetics in terms of lack of rust. The listing notes that under the vinyl plank flooring are solid floors and that the numerous windows are all intact. As the seller notes, in the world of “….old school short buses, this one is a unicorn.” Thoughts?


  1. Vegaman Dan

    Blue air force paint in the engine compartment? Unit number on the firewall?

    With those lights on it, I wonder if this was used on the tarmac at an air force base? Curious now and it would be a fun one to paint back to that job role.

    Like 5
  2. Skorzeny

    My ideas are inspired by a YouTube video where they put a turbocharged LS in a small Winnebago. It was a fun project for them and the channel picked up some fans along the way. It was plenty fast too. So you wouldn’t make any money doing that to this, I envy whom ever takes this on as a project and gets it back on the road. This would be interesting with about 500 HP.

    Like 2
    • Bill

      I have purchase this bus in Australia 🇦🇺 in March 2022 hopefully converting it to a motor home soon and tour aus

  3. JimmyinTEXAS

    Or at least save for another forum!

    Like 2
  4. geomechs geomechs

    I can’t get enough of those eyebrow hoods. My favorite of that entire era. Likely a 261 engine in that bay. No powerhouse for sure but there were some buses this size where I went to school and they fared out quite well.

    This would have torsion bar front suspension which made them ride super nice but they were complicated compared to the straight axle. Not many guys were capable of aligning them. Front end shimmy was common but they were nice to drive when everything was in good shape…

    Like 2
  5. JCA Member


  6. JCA Member

    i always roAd THe sHORt BUs

    Like 2
  7. Poppy

    I hope Laura Rimer’s kids (or even grand kids) aren’t reading this…

    Like 4
  8. John Member

    Not a school bus, used to move a lot of troops quickly, Army used them all the time in the 50’s, Marines went to them after their a “cattle car” rolled and killed a few troops, they then started to use these buses.

    Like 4
  9. dougie

    That rings true for a lot (most?) of us, Lou. Brings back a lot of hilarious memories. Those holier than thou lived in a bubble, and most likely still do.

    Like 2
  10. JCA Member

    Why would you need a staff vehicle for an idea?

    Like 1
  11. Big_Fun Member

    In Iowa, the biggest newspaper has a yearly bicycle event, called RAGBRAI.The Des Moines Register’s Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). You see a lot of retired school busses. This would be great to put the bikes across the back, with a proper floor. Sleep in it for the overnights.
    Being in the Northwest, I can see a lot of possibilities with the back frame. Small 4 wheeler, etc.

    Like 1

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