A Unique American Vehicle

 One of the fascinating sidelights of our visit to Glacier National Park was the ubiquitous red tour bus.   Since I was driving my own rented vehicle, I did not actually get to ride one, but we usually saw them parked with us at various points of interest.   One’s first impression when you see them is, “How do they dare run an antique vehicle up these mountains?”   Then you discover that they have been refurbished beautifully.   Even the interior work is excellent.  Ford Motor Company did the remodeling job.  They add a unique element to the park that somehow complements in time frame and style the grand lodges of the park which were completed in the early twentieth century.     This link is about riding in them.  http://glacierparkinc.com/tour_detail.php?id=1

They have become a cultural icon in themselves in the park.   The drivers are called “jammers” from the old days when the vehicles had manual transmissions rather than the automatics of today.   Even a local root beer is named for the buses.  I drank a bottled of it and peeled the label off for a souvenir.  

A modeling company (The Open Top Bus Company) has produced an O scale model of the 1936 White Tour bus # 706.  (White is the name of the company that made them, not the color.)  Being an O gauge railroad buff on the side, of course, I had to have one.   This link details the history of the vehicles.  http://www.fomentek.com/opentop_history.htm 

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