Yellowstone Classic Bus

A real survivor, this 1936 Model 706 White is one of the last remaining buses still in daily service.

A total of 98 14 seater buses were operated by the US National Parks in Yellowstone National Park by 1939. Said to be the largest bus fleet of any national park service in the world.

Yellowstone National Park's classic big yellow buses

This particular bus, number 408 has been modernized while still retaining much of its 1936 appearance. The original White Motor Company flat head six cylinder engine has been replaced along with the transmission, driveline and chassis.

The bus now runs a modified Ford F350 chassis, engine and drive train. As you can see, the interior has also been upgraded to comply with modern safety standards. There are several of these modernized Yellowstone classics still in daily operation today, continuing to transport thousands of tourists each year.

Image of rear cargo door of Yellowstone's classic White bus

There are a number of original versions still existing and are maintained in a museum in Yellowstone. According to the Yellowstone National Park website, there are over 30 different vehicles stored away from public view. Ranging from horse drawn to motorized.

The National Park Service website explains more details about one of the fleet still in storage. According to park records, bus number 361 was in service in Yellowstone until 1958. It remained unused for the next nine years and finally became classified as ‘not in service’ on the national park register.
(Reference: Jan, 31, 2017 –  https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/historyculture/1936bus.htm)

There is a great story published by the Yellowstone Preservation Trust. On their website, there is information about a great barnfind in Montana. They found bus number 401 where it had been sitting for 45 years. It was still in original Yellowstone colors and found as it was left in 1966.

Read more about bus 401 and see the images of the barnfind at their website: http://www.busesofyellowstonepreservationtrust.org/bus-401.html

Have you ever traveled in one of these classic White buses?

Post Author: Alan O'Neill

2 thoughts on “Yellowstone Classic Bus

    Netta

    (February 3, 2017 - 10:08 am)

    OOOH! This bus is a beauty! It feels like it is so packed with history and I do thank you for featuring it in your website.

    The lines of old vehicles are very eye-soothing, I think. I don’t know if it’s because of all the curves and embellishments. They are just less anonymous.

    A really lovely read. Thank you.

      Alan O'Neill

      (June 7, 2017 - 2:17 pm)

      Thank you for your feedback Netta. The busses are really striking, aren’t they? Isn’t it great that they preserved and revived them. While Yellowstone is all about nature, and the parks service does a great job in preserving nature, they also do a great job with the facilities. There are many volunteer groups who help with the effort.

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