1939 Carter County bus project In O scale

Lee Bishop

Here we go, my newest project.
Most of you remember that uploaded color movie film from Hampton, Tennessee during what it labelled as taken during the fall of 1940. Sadly, I looked up the Vimeo video and can’t find it there now and I think it's gone.
I’m glad I screen saved a few shots from it. In this film, they showed a few Carter County school busses heading back to Elizabethton from a football game. They were 1939 Dodge truck fronts with what have to be custom bus bodies.
Sadly, nobody makes a ’39 Dodge truck in O scale, so I had to find something that could be used as a representation. My scratch-building skills to create the bus body (with all its compound curves) are nowhere up to the task. So, I had to compromise there, too. I’m going to use a Russian GAZ bus body, grafted onto the front of another maker’s truck front end.


I’m going to grind off the nose of the truck from the firewall, do the same to the bus body and graft them together.
After that, I’ll shorten the truck frame to match the wheelbase for the finished body and mount it onto the shortened truck frame. It’ll then be painted in yellow, and I’ll make my own decals as I have a typeface very close to the original busses already prepared for the decals.
The irony here is that I model the summer of 1943, so a school bus doing anything doesn’t make a great deal of sense, though I assume they did get used in the summer for moving people around as needed?

Lee Bishop
Owner, Stoney Creek branch of the ET&WNC in On30 gauge

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