Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kenworth-built school buses

In the early 1940s, Kenworth began branching out into bus production with their buses bearing the "Pacific" name after their parent company "Pacific Car and Foundry Company." One of their first products was the Pacific SchoolCoach Model T126 (which were built to Washington State school bus specifications,[4] but available in other configurations as well), which became the first school bus ever to feature a roof escape hatch and dual side emergency exits as standard equipment.[5] Also produced was the CarCoach, a small, early type-A school bus which featured an extra wide entrance door, and a vehicle known as the CargoCoach (nicknamed the "Bruck", of which only 12 were built.)[6] The CargoCoach was a hybrid design using the shell of the T126 SchoolCoach platform, which sported a modified rear end design featuring twin cargo bay doors that opened up to a full cargo bay, and the front half of which was a regular transit bus. Other offerings included a public transit bus based on the T126 SchoolCoach platform. In 1957, with PACCAR wanting to focus more on heavy duty truck production, the Kenworth bus division was sold to Gillig Bros., a bus manufacturer based in Hayward, California that would ultimately use a majority of the T126's (as well as the T216's) [7] design in their own products.

In 2007, efforts began to expand the Gillig Coach Historical Society's role into preserving Kenworth "Pacific" SchoolCoach school buses.
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