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The 1924 Six-Wheel Bus

A Modern New Motor Coach By The Six-Wheel Company

The Goodyear Six-Wheel Bus and Trucks and the Eight-Wheel Bus, covered recently are being followed up by this unique and attractive 1924 coach that utilized the same chassis design. It was built under license from Goodyear by The Six-Wheel Co.

Earlier Ellis W. Templin developed and filed a patent for the design of the Six-Wheel Truck for the Goodyear Tire Company on June 30, 1921.

Templin left Goodyear after the truck was developed and for a time went to Wisconsin and worked with others on the design. Later in a three-page article in the July 10, 1924 Automotive Industries covering the new low-slung Six-Wheel Bus, Templin was listed as the Chassis Engineer and Chester M. McCreery the Vice-President for the new Six-Wheel Co. The article also credited both with developing the concept for Goodyear.

  •                                     The Six-Wheel Co. Bus production line in Philadelphia, PA.

The Six-Wheel Co. Bus production line in Philadelphia, PA. old antique

The Company was a subsidiary of the The Six-Wheel Company, and both were located in Philadelphia, PA. The bus was on a 255-inch w.b. chassis that was the longest made in the US at the time. The new offering not only featured twin rear axles, but also a quickly-detachable Timken front axle and spring assembly. The engine was a rubber and spring-mounted 331 c.i. 70 h.p. Continental Six backed up by a Brown-Lipe gearset.

  •    1. Continental Six – 2. Heavy bracing – 3. The longest chassis in the U.S. – “Automotive Industries”  


The body of the 27-passenger coach was of all steel construction with the exception of the roof, and made of manufactured panels that could be changed quickly after being damaged. This coach and its long wheelbase were intended for interurban service and a 31-inch shorter unit with a taller roofline was available for use in cities.

Very little other information was found covering the attractive, low and unique creation or how the enterprise fared. The top two photos are courtesy of hyperv6 whose great uncle worked for the Company. Look for an article covering the modern Edmond & Jones Model 20 Bullet-Shaped Headlamps that the bus is wearing tomorrow.

  •           1. Replaceable panels. 2. Window regulators 3. The finished interior with gray leather seats. 



7 responses to “A Modern New Motor Coach By The Six-Wheel Company

  1. That’s an interesting image. The bus is filled to capacity with women of very similar age. Most of them appear pleasant enough so I suspect they’re at the beginning of their journey, but to where?

    The interior is evidently quite plush for that era, with armrests even. With the engine isolated by rubber and springs the ride must have been considered first class at a time when the concept of widely available automobiles was barely over ten years old.

  2. Great article! I can only imagine how difficult this thing was to turn. I know that I have anticipate every turn I make with my 25 ft. 1925 Studebaker housecar!

  3. The drive axles appear to be more modern than the previous entry s of the GY six wheel bus/trucks. The earlier ones look to be worm drives. Does anyone know if Goodyear was the first “twin screw” set up or was this borrowed from someone else?

  4. Look closely: some of the chassis in the shop seem to have front air-springs (Westinghouse or a competitor?) while others do not. But I cannot see the Westinghouse oval at the bottom of the tubes, may be hidden behind the front bar. I have just got my Westy’s to work again (see HCC Gazette, August ’14 for dismantling procedure)

  5. I worked at the SMT garage in Asheville NC as a gofer during high school & college, 1952-1958, so I was up close and personal with SMT’s fleet of stretched-out Packards. The ones we had were all 1935 to 1941 Packards, 8s and 12s with roll-top roofs. They all retained the classic Packard front end, from the doors, dual sparetires in classic Packard front fenders, the hood and grill. We did not have any with the boxy appearance in the pix above although the owner prior to my father, Frank Bridgers, may have had some and retired them before Jack Priedeman bought the company.

    The three-axle configuration Dad had did not have power to the 3rd/rear axle. That 3rd axle had hydraulic brakes and was supported by a center turn-table that allowed that axle to accommodate turns without rubbing the tires. The 3-axle versions were 13 and 17 passenger models with solid bench seats from the driver to the back.

    The latest model Packard and the last one in operation was a 10 passenger bus with 2 axles. It was stretched from a 1941 Super 8. It was also the last Packard to operate for SMT, until sometime in 1960s. It was last seen just a few years ago at an auction in Indiana, bought by a German for $50,000 plus $5,000 auction fee. He had it shipped to Germany. No one has found a trace of it since then.

    Go to Facebook “Smoky Mountain Tours Company” for pix of the various SMT Packards.

  6. My great Uncle Frank D Conkle was one of the engineers involved here.

    He was hired by Goodyear by PW Litchfield. He worked on the Goodyear tandem axle trucks as well as the busses.

    While these my not have been the first they were the first perfected for commercial use.

    These trucks lead to the Six Wheel Bus in Philly. It was later purchased by GM and became GMC coach.

    Frank worked at GMC as an engineer from the late 20’s till the the early 60’s.

    He also had a short run at White Motors in the 20’s. In Cleveland.

    He was born in 1898 and saw his first truck in Millersburg Ohio in the early 1900’s. It was a International truck one most likely built in Akron Ohio.

    While Frank was not a well know name in history he did play a large roll in truck development. He worked with and knew most of the big names in zdetroit and would deer hunt with them.

    He was all aquatinted with a Henry zford and was invited to the opening of the Henry Ford Museum dinner. It was his greatest regret he did not attend due to rain that night. He lived in Pontiac and did not want to put on the side curtains in his Chevy.

    I was Young when I heard his stories and I wish he was around as I got older and better understood his accomplishments.

    I still have many cotton backed photos of the Goodyear trucks and six wheel bus company busses.

    I even have a blueprint he signed off on of a 20’s Cab truck that had tandem axles .

    He is the one who got my interest in cars and it has lead to a very good career for me in the racing industry.

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