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.