1955 GMC 4501 Greyhound Scenicruiser No. 427
This bus was destroyed in the fire.
Number 427 out of a production of 1001 GMC 4501s built. Donated by Dave and Carol Bovee of Dover, New Hampshire. Dave and Carol arrived at the Buseum on the morning of Saturday November 12, 2011. They drove their Scenicruiser all the way from New Hampshire and it did quite well.
The Scenicruiser was the first 40’ long coach, aside from a few experimental or prototype models. The split-level, or deck-and-a-half design was no doubt inspired by railroad dome cars. It features full air suspension, large windows, and power steering, to name a few features that weren’t very common at the time. It is a heavy coach, up to 40,000 lbs fully loaded. No adequate engine was available to power the Scenicruiser when first built. The original power was twin GM 4-71 diesels with a 3-speed transmission. The complicated twin engine setup no doubt had its problems. After GM came out with the 8V-71 engine, Greyhound promptly had the Scenicruisers re-powered in 1961-62 with the single larger engine and 4-speed transmission.
The Scenicruiser remained Greyhound’s flagship through the mid-1960’s. A few still remained in Greyhound service until the late 1970’s before being retired and either scrapped for parts or sold.
In the early 1970’s, the first owner after its service life with Greyhound (DiSieno) converted it to a motorhome and lived in it full-time for awhile. It was purchased by Don and Kay Wright in 1975, also using it as a motorhome for another 14 years. Dave and Carol Bovee bought it in 1989, continuing its history as a motorhome, until driving it to Roanoke in November 2011, donating it to the Commonwealth Coach and Trolley Museum. Pictures of the #427 prior to its ownership by Dave and Carol Bovee are shown below. Thanks go to Dave Bovee for providing these photos!
Dave and Carol Bovee with the Scenicruiser