This 1936 White Model 706 was once used as a tourist shuttle in Yellowstone National Park, and despite being yellow, it is not a school bus. Although similar models are still in operation in National Parks, this particular 16-passenger bus was obtained and restored by Winslow Bent, the founder of Legacy Classic Trucks, and was recently featured on Jay Leno’s Garage. Bent had previously brought a six-wheeled Dodge Power Wagon to the show.

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White began as a sewing machine manufacturer in 1858 before diversifying into steam cars. Some of its early vehicles were used as official White House cars. The company gradually transitioned from passenger cars to larger vehicles and produced a wide range of products, including World War II half-tracks and buses like the Model 706.

Similar to modern commercial trucks, White supplied only the cab and chassis, leaving customers to seek out a supplier for the body. This bus has a body by Henri Binder, a coachbuilder who also made bodies for luxury cars like Duesenberg and Hispano-Suiza. The distinctive grille and narrow hood were supplied by White, however.

Underneath that hood sits a 318-cubic-inch inline-6 producing what Bent estimates to be 120 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a lot of power for such a large vehicle, but this flathead engine is very quiet, Bent noted. So it won’t scare the wildlife.

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The transmission is an unsynchronized 4-speed manual, earning drivers the nickname “Gear Jammers.” The transmission isn’t the only thing that needs to be finessed, as the four-wheel drum brakes weren’t designed for emergency stops.

One of 150 bought by the federal government, this bus accumulated 600,000 miles in tourist-hauling service on mostly unpaved roads. It’s remarkable that there was enough left to restore after that. The body is wood, while other components are a mix of steel and aluminum prone to corrosion through galvanic reactions.

The streets of Los Angeles might not be as scenic as Yellowstone, but this restored bus still makes for an impressive sight. Check it out in the embedded video.

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