1954 – GM formally announced the PD-4501 on July 14, 1954 at Pontiac, Michigan.
The bus company ordered 500 units at $50,000 each. Total cost: $25 million.
In mid-July, Greyhound officially unveils the first of the 500 new coaches.
Railroad revenue would soon drop by more than 10 percent over 1953 numbers.
1955 – Disneyland opens in Southern California.
Burger King sells their first hamburger.
(Research of the Scenicruiser parts of these stories underway).
1956 – A Greyhound advertising campaign reminds passengers: "It’s such a comfort to travel by bus, and leave the driving to us."
This later evolves into the company’s signature slogan: "Go Greyhound, and leave the driving to us."
Beat poet and Alan Ginsgurg pens the poem "((allen-ginsburg-in-the-baggage-room-at-greyhound|In the Baggage Room at Greyhound))" between loading Greyhound Scenicruisers at the Oakland, California terminal.
1957 – Greyhound introduces its goodwill ambassador, "Lady Greyhound," during its sponsorship of NBC’s "Steve Allen Show."
1959 – Greyhound bus revenues exceed $300 million for the first time. Scenicruiser appears in Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest.
1960 – Tony Curtis stars in "The Rat Race’. Good Scenicruiser footage through the movie and the entire opening credit sequence. Fleet number not yet researched.
1960 – Prefix letter designations are dropped from fleet numbers with the merger of the various Greyhound divisions into just four operating companies. Repainted 4501 buses become Super Scenicruisers, as all restroom operated coaches are sloganized with Scenicruiser Service on the side. A total of 960 PD-4501 buses are listed on the Greyhound roster at this time.
1960’s – Greyhound ships PD4501-426 on tour to Europe. The bus was decorated with Pan-Am Airline logos as part of a joint promotion. (Photos?).
1961 – Intercity bus travel matches rail travel in total passenger miles in the United States for the first time in history.
The PD-4501 Scenicruiser is given much of the credit for the change in American travel habits.
1961-62- All 979 Scenicruisers still in service were rebuilt by Marmon-Herrington after General Motors declined the building contract.
The two 4-71 engines in each PD-4501 were replaced by a single new Detroit Diesel 8V-71 engine.
The work was completed in an 11-month period ending in September 1962.
1964 – Greyhound celebrates its 50th anniversary. Scenicruiser livery changed to include a gold stripe.
1966 – Gold Stripe livery replaced by single thin red stripe on new bus orders.
Still researching date for red-stripe refit on PD4501 coaches.
May have been at time of 1970 rebuild? Fluted aluminum sidings were removed.
1968 – The first two Greyhound Scenicruisers were sold, to Michaud Bus Lines, Boston, Massachusetts, and were numbered 181 and 182 on the Michaud roster.
1970 – Five hundred of the remaining Scenicruisers were rebuilt again and the last of them were retired from Greyhound service in 1977-78.
Combo 4501 units were introduced in Gold Stripe livery.
1972 – Greyhound Lines’ extended travel fare, the Ameripass, is launched.
1974 – A total of 350 Scenicruisers are still listed on the Greyhound roster in April of this year.
1975-1976 – About 130 Scenicruisers were converted to package express ‘combo’ buses, with a the removal of most of the seats and the addition of a large baggage door in the rear on the right side, and the installation of a bulkhead separating the passenger seating from the upper deck baggage area. The first group was assigned numbers 0600-0649, and operated mostly in the western United States.
Mid-Late 1970s – Pepsi livery introduced, the modern red and blue paint scheme that many Greyhound travelers became used to in the 1970s and 1980s.
One report has first unit to be repainted as bus #5519, which we think may have been PD4501-797; another report indicated only combos were repainted.
Information to add?
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