Chevrolet, a car manufacturer established in the early 20th century, quickly ventured into the realm of truck production. In 1918, a mere year after Ford introduced the TT, Chevrolet unveiled the 490 one-ton hauler. The early years, however, were just the beginning of Chevrolet’s truck legacy.

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Chevrolet’s Expanding Truck Lineup in the 1940s

The early 1940s marked a significant turning point for Chevrolet’s truck offerings. Beyond the 490, Chevrolet introduced a more diverse range of trucks, including cab-over designs, two-ton haulers, and even school bus chassis. The AK Series, produced from 1941 to 1947, paved the way for the Advance Design lineage. This marked Chevrolet’s first major post-WWII redesign, ushering in a generation of trucks that were larger, sleeker, and more capable than their predecessors.

Under the umbrella of the Advance Design series, Chevrolet’s truck lineup became impressively versatile. While the small 3100 trucks still shared roots with passenger cars like the Styleline and Fleetline, the series expanded to encompass 3/4-ton and one-ton trucks, including forward control variants, as well as two-tone haulers with cab-over designs. In total, there were no less than 15 different iterations of Chevrolet trucks within the Advance Design lineup.

The Enduring Legacy of Advance Design

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Fast forward to 2023, and the Advance Design series remains a familiar sight, especially in the case of the smaller 1/2- and 3/4-ton trucks. However, the larger haulers and school buses are a rare find due to limited production numbers and the fact that many were left to deteriorate after their retirement from active service. Even finding an intact school bus from this era is a considerable challenge.

Recently, the YouTube series “Barn Find & Rescue” unearthed a particularly enigmatic school bus in the United States. This bus had been parked and forgotten for half a century, spending most of its life enclosed in a wooden barn. A unique feature of this bus was its light blue paint, hinting at a transformation from the typical school bus yellow when it ceased its school service. Further investigation revealed that the bus had undergone a conversion into a living space, explaining its concealment behind wooden planks in the barn.

A Remarkable Survivor Worth Restoring

Despite the five decades of storage, the bus had weathered the passage of time remarkably well. It displayed some rust, a likely stuck engine, and the original interior had vanished, but it stood as a testament to durability. It presented a compelling case for restoration, provided there was a collector interested in adding a 1950 school bus to their collection.

1950 Chevrolet school busWhile the host of the show referred to this Chevy as a 6500, it’s more likely a 6700, in accordance with Chevrolet’s nomenclature for its largest school bus chassis of the time. The 6500 two-ton truck featured a 179-inch wheelbase, whereas the bus stretched a bit further with a 199-inch wheelbase. Chevrolet also offered a shorter school bus chassis, known as the 4500, with a 161-inch wheelbase. The 6700 bus was the lengthiest iteration within the Advance Design truck series.

The engines driving this truck series were exclusively inline-sixes. Initially, the Advance Design trucks came equipped with a 216-cubic-inch (3.5-liter) engine, which was discontinued after the 1953 model year. Starting in 1954, the Advance Series provided options for 235- and 261-cubic-inch (3.9- and 4.3-liter) straight-six powerplants. This particular bus rolled out of the factory with a 216-cubic-inch engine delivering 92 horsepower.

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**Q1: What is the Advance Design series of Chevrolet trucks known for?**

A1: The Advance Design series by Chevrolet is renowned for its versatility, featuring a diverse range of trucks that include 1/2-ton to one-ton haulers, cab-over designs, and school bus chassis.

**Q2: Why are larger haulers and school buses from the Advance Design series rare to find today?**

A2: Larger haulers and school buses from the Advance Design series are scarce due to their lower production numbers and the common practice of leaving them to deteriorate after they were retired from service.

**Q3: What was the recent discovery in the “Barn Find & Rescue” YouTube series?**

A3: The series unearthed a mysterious school bus that had been parked for 50 years in a wooden barn. The bus had been repainted light blue, hinting at a change in its original purpose, and it had been converted into a living space.

**Q4: What was the powertrain of the Chevrolet 6700 school bus featured in the story?**

A4: The Chevrolet 6700 school bus came with a 216-cubic-inch inline-six engine that delivered 92 horsepower.

**Q5: What makes the Advance Design series stand out in Chevrolet’s truck history?**

A5: The Advance Design series marked a significant post-WWII redesign, introducing larger, more stylish, and capable trucks that have endured over the years, making them a familiar sight even in 2023.

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