This General Motors PD 4501, serial 742, “Scenicruiser” was delivered, new, to Pacific Greyhound Lines in 1956 as K2305. It was renumbered to P2305 and then, in 1960, it became Western Greyhound Lines and was renumbered a second time to 8005.
The Scenicruisers were originally built with dual 4V-71 diesel engines driving a single transmission through a fluid coupling. Performance was lacking leading to a dispute between GM and Greyhound.
That led to all PD 4501s being re-powered by the single Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engines coupled with a Spicer four-speed transmission. That re-powering work was done by Marmon-Herrington over 11 months beginning in October 1961.
In the mid-1960s Western Greyhound took 8 Scenicruisers (8000-8007) and re-seated them to 47 passengers and a small letter “T” was at the end of the bus number to distinguish these re-seated “Travis” buses.
Because our 8005t was one of these Travis buses, it has some historical significance to the San Francisco Bay Area. These buses were used exclusively on the heavily traveled route between San Francisco-Travis AFB in Fairfield, CA, and the San Francisco International Airport where they ran into the 1970s.
The Travis AFB Scenicruisers were numbered 8000 upwards. The exact number assigned to the Travis AFB service is not known. A photo of #8017T is in the collection of PBM Member, and former President, Jim Husing. It is presumed that they received the small “T” in numerical order. If that is true then there were at least 18, and maybe more, assigned to the Travis<>SFO service. (source: The Paddle May/June 2002.)
After its career with Greyhound, 8005t was sold, along with 21 other PD 4501s, to Melni Bus Service, a charter operator in Santa Barbara, CA. There it was re-numbered a 4th time, to #4704. Melni ran this bus into the 1990s.
Finally, in the Spring of 2003, the Pacific Bus Museum acquired this bus from the used equipment dealer Phil Monte in a combined cash and trade deal. We renumbered it for its 5th time, back to 8005, sans “t”, and began a multi-year restoration that was 98% complete in 2023.
The PBM is proud to have acquired this “icon” of long-distance bus travel with a historical tie to the San Francisco Bay Area.
(Source: Driving the Backroads)
The Scenicruiser is an iconic parlor bus that brings back many memories of cross-country Interstate travel. Almost everybody who sees this bus in person, immediately, begins telling a story of a past Scenicruiser experience.
Don’t miss it. Come see this seated Scenicruiser side-by-side with the Pacific Bus Museum’s latest acquisition. The PBM1 Scenicruiser Party Bus. That bus was meticulously converted into an RV traveling billboard for Red Bull.
Come to the Pacific Bus Museum and see these buses side-by-side. You be the judge. Do you prefer the historically accurate 8005 or the PBM1 Party Bus?
As a volunteer orginization, we are always looking for as much help as we can get. If you've got skills and time, and want to get your hands dirty, consider becoming a member.
If you don't want to contribute "hands-on", financial donations for the restoration of bus #8005 are also needed at this time to complete this remaining work. All donations for bus #8005 will be placed in a Special Fund account exclusively for the restoration and maintenance of bus #8005. Please make a donation today to continue the restoration of bus #8005!
The Pacific Bus Museum is a non-profit, tax-exempt, volunteer organization registered in the state of California. We were granted tax-exempt status as a non-profit corporation by the IRS under 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code Tax ID # 1683391. Donations to the Pacific Bus Museum are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.