Get on board Ixo's latest Greyhound Scenicruiser and travel in style

21 April 2021
Ixo Models GMC Scenicruiser - Greyhound 1956
Get on board Ixo's latest Greyhound Scenicruiser and travel in style Images

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The future Greyhound company's first route began in Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1914 but it wasn’t until sixteen years later that the company adopted the Greyhound name. Business had suffered during the Great Depression, but as the 1930s progressed, and the economy improved, the Greyhound Corporation began to prosper again. Then in 1934, Frank Capra’s romantic comedy It Happened One Night centred around an heiress (Claudette Colbert) meeting a reporter (Clark Gable) whilst travelling by Greyhound bus - the Oscar-winning hit sparked a surge of public interest in the company.

Keen to keep the momentum of its popularity over the railways, Greyhound worked hard on its marketing and commissioned the General Motors Corporation to design and manufacture a brand new bus that would become the flagship of its fleet. What GM came up with was the fabulous design that we all know today as the Scenicruiser.

Designated PD-4501, GM’s Scenicruiser, manufactured exclusively for Greyhound with its name being a portmanteau of the words "scenic" and "cruiser”, first appeared in July 1954 and lasted in revenue paying service for the company until the mid-seventies. The design was the result of several years’ work by Greyhound and GM’s Truck and Coach Division.

The production Scenicruiser could carry 43 passengers (10 on the standard deck and 33 on the upper floor) and was equipped with both air-ride suspension and air conditioning. Greyhound ordered 1,000 in total, although the final production figure was 1,001 as GM included the final prototype in that number when it was rebuilt to production specification at the end of the run – all were built between 1954 and 1956.

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In 1961 and 1962 Marmon-Herrington rebuilt the Scenicruiser fleet. This included installing the newly-available Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engine and a 4-speed unsynchronised Spicer manual transmission. Greyhound freshened up the interiors too. The upgraded buses were now branded as Super Scenicruisers. Over 200 Super Scenicruisers were still in service when Greyhound began to withdraw them during 1975.

This is Ixo's third release of this iconic bus, well technically it's the fourth. Initially released as a part-work model for Hachette’s “Autobus & Autocars du Monde” series in 2014. Wearing the destination "Express", this was then re-issued by Ixo in its range proper as BUS001, with the destination as "Boston". These both wear the early 'Gold Stripe' livery. The much later 'Pepsi2 livery, with its bold red, white and blue striping, was released as BUS021. Now we have the interim colours you see modelled here.

It's another lovely replication, featuring a sturdy diecast chassis with a largely plastic body, and one the editor is very pleased to add to his Greyhound collection.