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Erector Classic Period White Truck Tour Bus

This time we'll look at the model I built to display at the 2001 A.C.G.H.S. Convention in Carlisle, PA. This model was part of our display, which won Second Prize in the Display competition (see photos on the News page). The model is a nearly exact duplicate of the "Fifth Avenue Bus" model from the 1928 7½ manual (see image below). The original is one of many designs in the manual that are based on the famous "White Truck" chassis. The only difference between my version and the original (aside from the signs, of course!) is its overall length.

The version of the 1928 White Truck that I chose to build for the convention is called the "Fifth Avenue Bus" in the manual; for my purposes I have renamed it the "Girders & Gears Tour Bus." As the illustration in the manual indicates, the original model can be built from a #10 set or from a 7½ set plus a variety of additional parts. The body of the bus is supposed to be built primarily from 6 DQ special base plates. These 12" plates were only included in a few Classic Period sets, and are hard to come by and quite expensive today. However, 10" base plates were standard in more sets, and I happened to own 6 of them, so I used these to produce a shortened version of the bus. I shortened the frame accordingly, then moved the rear axle as far back as possible to give the bus a balanced look. To accompany the bus I built a trailer using the standard truck body and a couple of additional wheels & tires. The result is shown below.

As depicted in the manual, the model is a classic double-decker bus design, and a perfect choice for my tour bus needs with its upper deck unroofed and open to the elements. The upper deck extends forward to form a roof over the driver's cab. Access to the passenger compartment on the lower deck is via a stepped platform attached to the back of the bus; a curved ladder with handrail connects this platform to the upper deck. A full-width bench that separates the cab from the passenger compartment provides seating for the bus driver. Seating for passengers is absent on the lower deck inside the cabin (presumably to simplify the model), but is present on the upper deck in the form of benches, each made from 2 K 11-hole strip brackets (see third photo from bottom).