This GMC School Bus with 49-Inch Tires and a 454 V8 Is Too Cool to Just Shuttle Kids
Drive it anywhere—into town or across the country. But make sure you’ve got the gas money.
You and I both know about the cool-factor of old-school camper vans, so vintage camper busses have to be even sweeter, yeah? I think so. I have a 1965 Chevy "Schoolie" that's perfectly flawed, though it's nothing like this '68 GMC that's been...what's the opposite of gentrified? Anywho, it's lifted sky-high and rides on 49-inch tires with all the livability upgrades you'd want when traveling between stops at every short track across the country. Better yet, it's for sale!
Old photographs show that this GMC wasn't always a high-rider. There's a snapshot of it sitting on the beach—in the early 2000s, by the looks of it—with a rack of fishing poles mounted at the front. Luckily, that mod has stuck around, as have a few others. The interior apparently sleeps six, and it's got a propane heater as well as two air conditioners. Hot- and cold-weather camping are totally in this puppy's wheelhouse.
Sure, the living quarters' wood paneling shows its age, but that's not necessarily a knock against the GMC. It's more than 50 years old, after all, so we shouldn't be expecting a #VanLife Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. There's a completely usable kitchenette with a countertop range for when you don't feel like building a campfire, and there's a restroom on-board. I'm not sure what else you could want in a bus.
The powertrain was supposedly yanked from a 1995 GM truck, and the rig is probably better for it. A 454-cubic-inch V8 now sits under the hood, and it's backed by a 4L80E automatic transmission. From what I can tell, it's still two-wheel drive but those ginormous tires should help with traction whenever you're in need. It's pictured atop a heavy layer of snow in the for-sale ad, and it lives in Massachusetts, so there's plenty of reason to believe it does just fine in the elements.
Oh, and it's got power steering so you don't have to worry about that.
The asking price is $12,500 which, truthfully, isn't that bad. You could theoretically build your own for less, depending on how mechanically inclined you are. Who's to say, though, that you could swap in a more modern powertrain while plumbing the, erm, commode in short order. If you can afford the extra, it's probably easier to just buy this one. It's road-ready and, if you buy it, we just might send a million internet points your way. How much is that worth? Well...
Got a tip, or your own cool schoolie? Email the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
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