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.

Equipment Trucks

Geeky Bus Data

Buses – See Below

 

 

We will start our drive back through history with the…

 

Seattle Thunderbirds

1966 Thunderbirds

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.

 

 

Seattle Cascades

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”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle Shamrocks

 

 

1965 American Legion Prelims – Shamrocks

Take a look behind the corps and you can see their bus.  They had three Identical units.

We believe they were 1947 or 1948 GM-3751 or 4151 “Silver Sides” buses.  Super popular with collectors these days.

 

 

Rear view of 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

 

Photo ca1966-67. 

Late 1950’s GMC Superior School Buses.

They were replaced with the interstate coaches shown below.  The coaches were much more comfortable to ride in for long distances.

 

 

We believe they were 1948 GM PD-4151 “Silver Sides” buses.

Photo – Pre-1975

 

 

Pre-1975, Seeking Shade

 

 

Bellevue Guardsmen

Late 1950s GMC Superior School Bus

This is one of the old Sentinels buses.  See below.  Same sign but it now says “Guardsmen”.

 

 

 

Tri-Cities (WA) Columbians

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.

Killer photo.

 

 

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)

Photo: 1972

 

 

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.

Photo: 1975

 

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.

Photo: 1978