Whatever Happened To "The Cyclops?"

At the center of "The Big Bus," a 1970s cheese-ball spoof-flick, was a monstrous beast of a land yacht dubbed "The Cyclops." It was a "nuclear-powered," double-decker bendy-bus destined for a plot-line filled with treachery. But where's the bus now?

While "testing the aerodynamics" the driver manages to top 90 MPH, or, as he says, "Break wind at 90 MPH." That's the type of writing genius you can expect from the entire movie. It's the finely aged Gruyère of comedic cheese, which is something to be said in the era of Airplane — a movie this flick predates.


The cast of characters include a cannibalistic bus driver, a shamed experimental veterinarian, a romantic scene in an iron lung and the guy who two years later went on to play Otis in Superman 1. Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, ridiculously giant, nuclear-powered double-decker bendy-bus. The plot centers around going from NYC to Denver on a non-stop, super-luxury bus. Think of it as an alternate reality where airlines never really worked out. Hijinks ensue, bombs explode, people bowl on the midlevel and hit the pool on the upper deck, it's a big crazy awesome/awful adventure.

As important as the movie (which you should absolutely torrent view via a fully a legitimate film purveyor for the plethora of pristine Chrysler Newports, if nothing else) is the bus itself, The Cyclops. A leviathan of a machine, fully road legal in real life and constructed as an exterior prop, the bus had 32 wheels in total with two steering axles and a tandem trailer, in later scenes there was also a 1953 Chevy 3100 involved in the cabin design, but you'll just have to see how. Unbelievably, nobody really knows what happened to the Cyclops (named for its prominently mounted headlight eye). Was it dismantled and scrapped? Re-purposed for other ridiculously scripted films? Who knows. Maybe you know. We'd love to know. Much like the movie, there's no budget on this one, no bounty, so all we can offer is seeing your name in lights (computer screens count as lights right?). This one's a real long shot, and we know that, as most of the set designers are either pretty old or dead, and nobody chronicles the vagaries of box office flops. Still, we're curious and can't help but ask.

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