The Greyhound Scenicruiser Was Filled With The American Dream

Based on Raymond Loewy's original design, General Motors built 1,001 of the Scenicruisers between 1954 and 1956 for Greyhound to show the world how great an American bus can be.

Five Hungarian museums recently digitalized about 300,000 postcards from their archives, and there's a big chunk of American history in there as well. The card you see above has the following printed on the backside:

America's Favorite Bus: The Super Scenicruiser

Greyhound presents the Super Scenicruiser - 62-ways-better-than-ever. This 43-passenger, gold-striped bus features air-conditioning, panoramic windows, a complete rest room and air suspension ride. It's such a pleasure to ride this bus...and leave the driving to us!

While Raymond Loewy's original design from 1944 shows a 35 foot double decker bus, Greyhound went further and built a tandem-axle, 40-foot (12 m) prototype called the GX-2 in order to lobby for the lifting of restrictions against operation of such long coaches.

The Greyhound Scenicruiser Was Filled With The American Dream

That longer bus featuring a split-level design with the lower level containing the driving console and 10 seats and the upper level containing 33 seats was displayed on August 28, 1950 at the Chicago Fair Station, but General Motors could only start production in 1954 mostly due to running behind schedule with their two-stroke Detroit Diesel Series 71 engines.

Therefore, GM put two 4-71 engines driving through a fluid coupling in the Scenicruisers, and the solution proved to be so successful that in the early sixties, all remaining 979 buses had to be rebuilt by the Marmon-Herrington Corporation using 8V-71 engines and their 4-speed manual Spicer transmissions replacing the 3-speeds and 2-speed differentials.

The Greyhound Scenicruiser Was Filled With The American Dream

While the Super Scenicruisers also got reinforcement plates all around, they kept cracking just like the originals. Maintenance was hard anyway due the complicated nature of the new systems and unimproved technology.

The lack of diagnostic tools, technical and repair-parts support also made it hard to keep the Scenicruisers on the road, and Greyhound ended the mechanic's nightmare sometime in the seventies. A few survived as motorhomes or as prized possessions of those bus nuts out there.

The learn more about the Scenicruisers, read this, or get physical.

Photo credit: Arcanum/Arcanum via Scanzen