Pacific Northwest DC Equipment Trucks and Busses
(of 1960s and 70s Drum Corps)
Geeky, yes. But this isn’t the first geeky page on this site, just the most recent as of August 2022.
Most vintage buses held around 38-42 people, so most 120 member corps had three buses. The wealthy corps had buses that matched. The rest of us had a rather eclectic fleet of vehicles.
In the early 1960s few local corps had buses. Most corps were small, and the shows / parades were local. People carpooled, parents drove, or they used school buses. If the show was across state, then they rented interstate coaches, like Greyhound buses. By the mid-60s corps got bigger and they traveled farther to get to shows, so owning your own bus(es) made financial sense.
60-plus years later, we still get wistful when we smell diesel exhaust. Ahhhhhh…the magic of drum corps.
We do not have photos of every bus for every corps. If you want to send us a photo, make sure to tell us all you can about the bus or equipment truck, and we will post it.
Select RED text for links to more data.
Buses – See Below
We will start our drive back through history with the…
Shown is Jack Little, 1966 Corps Manager. The bus? a 1955-56 GM PD-4501 Scenicruiser. (This is a rental)
The occasion? They just won the All-American Drum Corps National title in Anaheim California
NOTE – The Thunderbirds never owned their own buses.
The Seattle Cascades first bus, “The 66”, purchased in 1971. This is a 1953 GM Model 4103
Their other two buses were Dina “Flxible” buses.
The “66” in eastern Washington, 1972
The second bus purchased was a 1960 Flxible VL-100 similar to this one. Purchased in 1972.
It came painted orange, so they called it the “Orange Flex”
The third bus was purchased in 1974. It was a 1962 Dina Flxible similar to this one. Dubbed the “White Flex”.
Rear view of both the Shamrocks and their bus, with another one to the left.
Auburn (WA) Black Watch
The Black Watch had a 1955-56 GM PD-4501 Scenicruiser. A very popular bus model in the PNW
Photo – 1970’s
At one time they had this little gem too. We have no idea what it is. It might be either a Blue Bird or Carpenter bus.
Photo – 1970’s
Bellevue (WA) Sentinels
We believe they were 1948 GM PD-4151 “Silver Sides” buses.
Photo – Pre-1975
Pre-1975, Seeking Shade
1962 Photo. Painted School Bus. We’re thinking this is a 1951 Ford
1973 Columbians in Marion Ohio
Three identical 1956-60 Flxible VL-100 buses.
Percussion-Naut Patriots, Spokane WA
Three identical 1955-56 GM PD-4501 Scenicruisers.
It’s a beautiful sight when they all match!!
Photo 1972 – 1974
Patriots Bus in the Background. Bellevue Sentinels in the foreground.
Photo 1972 – 1974
Baker Scouts, Baker OR
This is a brand new 1958 GM 4104 Bus.
Judging by the custom corps banner, this is a rental from Greyhound.
Photo – 1958
Knight of Pythias, Roseburg OR
This looks like another ca1958 GM 4104 bus. This bus is also a rental.
Photo – 1960
Royal Lancers, Portland OR
Left: Looks like a GM PD-4151 “Silver Sides” bus.
Right: Unknown school-type bus
Photos: 1969 – 1970
Another 1947 – 48 GM PD-4101 bus (rear)
Unknown school-type bus (front)
Flamingos, Salem OR
ca1953 GM 4103 bus.
Photo: 1969 at Disneyland
Argonauts, Salem OR – (renamed Flamingos DC)
Looks like another ca1958 GM PD-4104 bus.
1955-56 GM PD-4501 Scenicruiser.
Same bus was used a year earlier in 1974 as the Flamingos bus.
The Argonauts are the Flamingos.
Golden Skyliners, Great Falls MT
Skyliners loading up for tour in what looks like 1947 or 1948 GM-3751 or 4151 “Silver Sides” bus.