In the early 1990’s Dick and Barbara Carlsberg happened upon a Yellowstone National Park Bus on display in front of the Union Hotel in Goleta, California. Dick searched to find a similar Yellowstone National Park Bus to display at their guest ranch, Brooks Lake Lodge, at Togwotee Pass, Wyoming. With the help of George Baker, Dick located a bus at a ranch outside Elko, Nevada. The bus had been used at a Silver Mine in Elko where everything in back of the front seat was removed so the bus could be used as a flatbed truck. The bus had been disassembled and parts were scattered around the ranch. Dick and George gathered all the parts they could find which included the original chassis engine and fenders.
The bus was shipped to Montana where George Baker worked on the bus restoration. During this time Dick researched the history of the bus and he learned that it was Yellowstone Transportation Company Fleet No. 321, a 1925 White Motor Company Model 15-45, Series B. The bus had been one of the replacement buses following a fire that destroyed many of the Yellowstone National Park vehicles in the spring of 1925. Bus 321 was later sold at auction between 1940 and 1943.
On May 15, 1992, after restoration was complete, Bus 321 was delivered to the Carlsbergs at Brooks Lake Lodge, Wyoming where they displayed the bus and used it for rides for their lodge guests, and to drive in many special events including Fourth of July Parades, trips with Jammers through Yellowstone National Park, and three trips to Rose Parades in Pasadena, California. When the lodge was sold in 2020, Barbara kept the bus for personal use to display in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Dignitaries carried in Bus 321 at Rose Parades are the 2015 President of the Tournament of Roses; and honorary guests including the family of sports commentator Vin Scully; and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and family.
In November 2021 Bus 321 proudly became a part of the permanent fleet of Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust.
Bus 401 came off the assembly line on April 29, 1937 at the White Motor Company in Cleveland, Ohio. It was number 12 of the 40 Model 706 buses built for the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company that year; one of the 98 Model 706 buses added to the Park’s fleet from 1936 to 1939.
It was given a number of “401” which it wore as it worked throughout Yellowstone Park from 1937 through 1960. In 1960 it was purchased by a family from Bozeman and its insides turned into somewhat of a “camper” to be used by the family on planned trips to Alaska. In 1965 it was parked in their barn and remained there until 2011 when the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust purchased it.
Right to work the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust went to restore Bus 401 to its original operating condition. Efforts included an extensive inside and out cleaning; inspection of all mechanical and electrical systems; replacement of the canvas top, glass and tires; and hand polishing of the body. The leather seat cushions were treated with abundant amounts of leather lotion but in the end, the leather on the cushions could not be saved and had to be replaced.
Bus 401 made its debut in the 2012 Red Lodge, Montana, 4th of July parade, some nine months after its purchase in 2011. A well preserved beauty to this day!
Yellowstone National Park owned the phone lines that serviced the park and were in charge of maintaining them. The buses were too big to use on service runs so the Yellowstone Park Company made an addition to their growing fleet, that being the 1941 Ford Special Body Truck. This truck became the telephone truck used in the park. The truck featured a flathead V8 engine. This truck was donated to the Buses of Yellowstone Preservation Trust by a family from Billings, Montana in 2015. The truck needed very little work to restore it to its original condition - some new tires, an engine tune-up, a new emblem, and a little elbow grease to make it shine once more.