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Thoughts on the Scenicruiser

 
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on the Scenicruiser Reply with quote

I often ponder the thought of production of Greyhound's "trademark" coach, the famous PD-4501 Scenicruiser going beyond the actual 1956 termination. Recall the legendary VW Beetles, that looked basically the same for several decades, with most "updates" being made "under the skin"? It would seem to me that, as the original Scenicruisers were not only magnificent-looking coaches, but also were sturdy, solid vehicles, that the original design could have kept on going on bieng manufactured through the years, with only slight changes to the overall styling, as was the case with the Beetle. Certainly, as the PD-4501's were possibly the most stylish of all the postwar highway coaches, I would have thought that its basic design could have kept on bieng manufactured through the late 50s, and possibly even into the mid-60s. John

Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

There were a number of reasons for the short life of the GM/Greyhound Scenicruiser (PD 4501);

Bearing in mind that the creation of this coach was a cooperative effort between GM and Greyhound, and the fact that they were built exclusively for Greyhound, the 1001 that came off the line over the two year period seemed to be sufficient for Greyhound's needs for a number of years to come.

However, two events inparticular changed the course of history for the Scenicruiser;

The first being the beginning of the 'Jet' age in 1960 which made intercontinental travel so much easier and faster - the need for luxury coaches of the 4501 class was nearing an end (Greyhound saw that handwriting on the wall!).

The second, and even more important reason, were the mechanical difficulties with the original twin 4-71 Diesel engines which permanently soured the relationship between the two companies.

The outcome of that dilemma was that Greyhound sent most of the buses to Marmon-Herrington (a well known drive train specialty company) in Indianapolis to be refitted with single Detroit 8V-71's and four speed manual Spicer transmissions.

The final result; enter Motor Coach Industries stage right!

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky: Thanks for some very interesting input! You are quite right; by the 60s, it was clear that long-hal bus service....like the long-haul passenger railroads....were truly feeling the impact of both jet transport and the private auto. And, yet, well into the 60s, both Greyhound and Continental Trailways still maintained a high level of service. Can you image a "Five Star Luxury Service" (what Continental offered) today in 2007? It was truly a very different era, an era in which the economy and demographics were quite different from those of today. And, yes, I also knew about the Scenicruiser's having engines and transmissions replaced by the early 60s, and, as you said, the stage was bieng set for MCI to enter the Greyhound family. Personally, I've always thought that the GMC PD-4107 (the last GM product brought by Greyhound) resembled a "Baby Scenicruiser". The Scenicruiser era.....while it lasted.....truly was one of sleekness, style, and class. Those days, sadly, are gone forever. John
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ripta42
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Can you image a "Five Star Luxury Service" (what Continental offered) today in 2007?


Yes; Limoliner offers regularly-scheduled motorcoach service between New York and Boston to compete with Acela. There are a couple of companies in Chicago that have "signature service" also, but I'm not sure if their luxury coaches are on any fixed route service or are only for charters.
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a novel use for a 4501 Scenicruiser (if you happen to have a Corvette that needs very special transportation!).

Photo courtesy of the Bob Redden archive.

Mr.Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY

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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MAN, OH, MAN!!! Talk about a NOVEL use for a retired Scenicruiser!!!! Shocked Shocked Guess if you're going to bring your classic Vette to a show,, you might as well do it in style!!! Very Happy Just as the Eagle was the "signature" coach for Continental Trailways many years ago, so was the mighty Scenicruiser the "signature" coach for Greyhound. Today, in 2007, that classic coach does indeed look dated, when compared to today's modern, boxy equipment, but its sleekness....its style....and its simple elegence.....will NEVER go out of style! The Scenicruiser was BORN to be an American classic!! Very Happy John
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: The Scenicruiser and Jets Reply with quote

With the airlines being squeezed every which way but loose and trying to stick it to their passengers with an assortment of fees and surcharges, perhaps the Scenicruiser is THE bus whose time is coming again. Given the fact that the rampant price gouging now engaged in by the Oil Industry is wrecking the economy, especially the airlines, the Scenicruiser and the Eagle buses may yet have a second chance at life. If I were making the decision, I would replace that piece of junk known as the G4500 with a new batch of Scenicruisers, which as far as I am concerned, are an example of what a Highway bus should be and at least the Scenics should together without the use of duct tape, et c. to hold them together as on the G4500 piece of junk.maybe the time for the long distance bus will come again, especially if several major airlines go under.
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Hart Bus



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts on the Topic:

1 - While its a nice idea for bus travel to be resurrected versus airline travel, I don't think it will spell the end of the airlines for long haul service.
I can go to JFK airport and get on a plane and arrive in LA in about 6 hours as opposed to six days for a bus. Another example JFK to Ft. Lauderdale - 3 hours (max) by plane, 24 by bus.

2 - Can you build a redesigned Scenicruiser in time to make a difference?
I think that Prevost and MCI are ahead of the game with their 45 footers as opposed to a 40 ft 'Cruiser. Or Prevost with their 60 ft articulated bus if you're talking capacity.

3 - I like the Scenicruiser design, but the PD-41xx and 49xx are nicer. My opinion only.

4 - One problem with the 'Cruiser, is that the lavatory was located only two (three?) rows behind the driver. He could be annoyed by the constant opening and closing of the door. If the holding tank backed up, the odor penetrated the bus. That's why the lavatories are now in the rear passenger side of the bus. Something to consider in the new design.

Just my $.02
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Dieseljim
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on the Scenicruiser Reply with quote

Why not have Prevost and MCI build their own version of the Scenicruiser, but put the restroom in the rear instead of midships as on the GMC coach. Besides, a Prevost or MCI Scenicruiser can still be 45 ft. long and yet have many of the looks of the original. As for the airlines, they are going to price themselves out of many markets and make air travel primarily for the wealthy and business executives rather than for the common folk like us.That is the way it was, even when the early jets were entering service. All the more reason to rebuild our nationwide bus and passenger train network.quote="Hart Bus"]My thoughts on the Topic:

1 - While its a nice idea for bus travel to be resurrected versus airline travel, I don't think it will spell the end of the airlines for long haul service.
I can go to JFK airport and get on a plane and arrive in LA in about 6 hours as opposed to six days for a bus. Another example JFK to Ft. Lauderdale - 3 hours (max) by plane, 24 by bus.

2 - Can you build a redesigned Scenicruiser in time to make a difference?
I think that Prevost and MCI are ahead of the game with their 45 footers as opposed to a 40 ft 'Cruiser. Or Prevost with their 60 ft articulated bus if you're talking capacity.

3 - I like the Scenicruiser design, but the PD-41xx and 49xx are nicer. My opinion only.

4 - One problem with the 'Cruiser, is that the lavatory was located only two (three?) rows behind the driver. He could be annoyed by the constant opening and closing of the door. If the holding tank backed up, the odor penetrated the bus. That's why the lavatories are now in the rear passenger side of the bus. Something to consider in the new design.

Just my $.02[/quote]
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TheDriver




Joined: 18 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my 2 cents is this

While the Scenicruiser was a neat idea it did not make efficient use of it's space. Yes it looked great to see out the upper windows but luggage space and such would increase if the whole bus was raised as in the newer buses.
Everybody could now look out the same front window. This was the future of buses anyway. GM made a prototype called the Golden Chariot and I'm sure that MCI , Prevost got the clue and built their own.
I love the Buffalo bus and have not set foot in one but it having a send floor and a window to look out of at the front , I bet did not give the view that the Scenicruiser gave it's riders. I'd bet that you could not see much out in front.


That is my 2 cent
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, the Scenicruiser is not as space-efficient as say, a Prevost H3 which looks like the 'box it came in'.
But the Scenicruiser was a real 'looker'....styled by industrial designer extraordinaire, Raymond Loewy, who was on a retainer by Greyhound.

Even now, sixty-two years after its introduction, if you line up a Scenicruiser and any other bus, and give new passenger's their choice to board....don't bet against the Scenicruiser....

Cool
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TheDriver




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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it was and the reason why I am a fan of the Scenicruiser.
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