Handle with Fun | Lot 2152

1949 Nash Model 3248 School Bus by Wayne

$82,500 USD | Sold

United States | Auburn, Indiana

5 - 13 May 2021

Chassis No.
US Title
  • An extremely rare postwar Nash bus in wonderful, restored condition
  • One of approximately six built, with just two known survivors
  • All-steel body by Wayne of Richmond, Indiana
  • Charming yellow school bus livery
  • Equipped with stop sign and bench seats

Nash Motors built its reputation on well-engineered, economical family transportation, but the Kenosha, Wisconsin-based automaker did occasionally branch out into heavier-duty vehicles—including, notably, the highly successful four-wheel drive Jeffery Quad, which made a name for itself in WWI. While it was not destined for the battlefield, this rare Nash school bus by Wayne was likely no less hardworking in its day!

Built between 1947 and 1954, the Nash Model 3148 and long-wheelbase Model 3248 trucks were not intended for the general public. Instead, they were designed for commercial use and export, making them an uncommon sight on American roadways even when new. Tow trucks for Nash dealerships were a common career for vehicles that remained stateside, though the chassis could be configured for a wide variety of tasks.

This Model 3248 is one of a limited number, perhaps as few as six, fitted with bus bodywork by Wayne Works of Richmond, Indiana—all of which were said to have been built for a Wisconsin school district. Wayne was noted for its all-steel bodies and numerous safety innovations, which would have surely been appreciated by the parents of this bus’s junior passengers. In this application, power was supplied by a Nash inline-six mated to a manual transmission, which was in turn connected to a dual rear axle. Coincidentally, the rounded rear end of this bus’s Wayne bodywork somewhat resembled the streamlined Nash “Airflyte” styling that was introduced for the 1949 model year.

Saved from the scrap heap, this bus was fully restored approximately a decade ago by Vintage Motorcars of Westbrook, Connecticut. In addition to repairs to the chassis and bodywork, this comprehensive job paid close attention to details such as a stop sign, rows and rows of bench seats, and, of course, the classic yellow-and-black school bus livery.

The survival rate of vintage school busses such as this is very low, and with most extant examples having been modified for other purposes, vanishingly few from any manufacturer remain in period-correct configuration. One of just two known to exist today, this wonderfully restored 1949 Nash is a particularly rare find, and a must-have for any dedicated fan of the plucky Kenosha automaker!

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