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1930s Washington Motor Coach System Kenworth W-1 Deck and a Half Bus

The Kenworth W-1 Deck and a Half – A High Style Pre-War Bus

Last fall the Kenworth W-1 Deck and a Half Bus was covered here on The Old Motor and just recently the interesting photo above was found of this Washington Motor Coach System unit. To bring you up to date as many as 25 of these pre-war buses were built by the Pacific Car and Foundry Co. Power was provided by a Hall-Scott Model 190 horizontal 779 c.i. gasoline engine that produced 240 h.p. The rear-mounted engine and the luggage compartment are located below the floor of the elevated rear passenger compartment.

You can view two more Kenworth W-1 Bus images here and learn all that has been uncovered about these unique vehicles as a result of our earlier coverage. We are looking for more detailed photos and information and want to learn more about the W-1 if you can help. The photo is courtesy of pauldorpat.

6 responses to “The Kenworth W-1 Deck and a Half – A High Style Pre-War Bus

  1. Thank you for publishing this! I didn’t know of the Kenwoth W- 1, and when I went from LA, Calif. to Oshkosh, mostly by Greyhound SCENI-CRUISER in 1956, their advertising and attitude about their double decker WAS AS IF NO ONE had ever done it before!!! A pleasant surprise to discover the W-1! The Hall-Scott engine configurations were not designed as economical, but WERE very powerful! This SOHC is almost like working on a (smaller) Mercedes- Benz engine, except that everything on a Hall-Scott is huge 2 men & a boy stuff !!!
    Take note of the excellent STREAMLINING and also take note of the “standoff insulators & wire” Radio Antenna (Aerial)” on the front lower roof. WE love our ’30 Ford 157″ W.B .STAKEBED, “Belle'”, and we appreciate ALL early truck, bus, & “other” of Commercial Vehicles!!! Edwin

  2. Did I miss the actual year such a Kenworth bus was introduced? Very forward looking conveyance! While here I should state that I have hotlinked your Frank Lockhart engineering article to my Facebook blog, Looking Back Racing, if that is OK with you. Welcome to visit….

  3. I am pretty sure this is a Kenworth KHO-33, a collaboration between Kenworth Motor Truck and Heiser Body Company. The Kenworth W-1 was a post war design which entered service in about 1948. About 15 went to North Coast Transportation and 5 or so went to a firm in Montana. The North Coast buses ended up as Greyhounds and were retired in the mid 1950s. I saw them all parked in a fenced yard before they were surplussed.

    My father, Sherman Howard, designed the W-1 body, and a gentleman named H. L. Simi designed the chassis. The body design also served as the basis for several suburban, trackless trolley, and school bus layouts up till Kenworth exited the bus business in 1957. The front and rear end caps, side windows and seats were the only body differences between all those models.

    There is only one known W-1 survivor, which was rescued from a field in Western Washington after laying unused for many years. It was cleaned up by the buyer and later sold to a bus line owner and collector in the Midwest. It is awaiting restoration.

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